By Steve Kim
So this much is clear: Vasyl Lomachenko will be performing at the Madison Square Garden on May 12th. The question is whether Top Rank has moved on from trying to get WBA lightweight titlist, Jorge Linares, as the dance partner.
Top Rank and Golden Boy Promotions have come to an impasse over the date because HBO will be replaying the pay-per-view bout between Gennady Golovkin and Saul Alvarez (which takes place on May 5th), along with another live fight which will be promoted by Golden Boy.
Bob Arum, the founder of Top Rank told BoxingScene.com - "There's no hurry but obviously Lomachenko's fighting at Madison Square Garden on May 12th and we'll have an opponent in due time. He's coming back to the United States in a week and we'll take it from there but definitely we're going May 12th."
Then Arum added - "Linares has sent Golden Boy letters threatening a lawsuit. Maybe it can be resolved, maybe it can't be resolved. I don't want to abandon Linares in mid-stream until we realize it can't get done."
Which Eric Gomez, the president of Golden Boy Promotions, categorically denies.
''It's clear that Bob is desperate to get Lomachenko a real opponent but instead of playing games he should pick up the phone and call me and actually represent his fighter like a real promoter,'' Gomez responded.
''For the record we have not received a letter."
Gomez reiterated - "May 12th is not going to happen. We told Arum - and we made it very clear - if he wants to do it on HBO, no problem. HBO's willing to buy the fight. If he wants to do it on ESPN it has to be another date."
Last year Top Rank entered into an exclusive agreement with ESPN to broadcast their fights.
Arum has made it clear that he believes HBO Sports led by Peter Nelson helped kill this match-up for May 12th on ESPN. When asked if he believes this will be a continuing pattern, he said - "I can't answer for that. I just know that Nelson is skating on very thin ice in his own pond and he better watch his step. That's all I've got to say."
Steve Kim is the news editor for BoxingScene.com