By Edward Chaykovsky
If they both keep winning, Top Rank's CEO Bob Arum could see two of his rising stars, Terence Crawford and Vasyl Lomachenko, collide in the ring.
Arum considers them to be the two biggest forces coming up in the ranks, now that Floyd Mayweather Jr. and Manny Pacquiao have announced their retirements in the last twelve months.
On July 23rd, Crawford (28-0, 20 KOs) will face Viktor Postol (28-0, 12 KOs) in a WBO/WBC junior welterweight unification from the MGM Grand in Las Vegas, Nevada. The fight will be distributed by HBO Pay-Per-View.
Lomachenko (6-1, 4KOs) set boxing record last Saturday night at the Theater at New York's Madison Square Garden. He knocked out Roman “Rocky” Martinez (29-3-3, 17 KOs) in the fifth round to capture his second divisional title - becoming the first boxer to claim to two titles in two divisions in seven pro fights.
“I was sure if Crawford gets by Postol, he will be the next big thing in boxing. But after seeing Lomachenko on Saturday, maybe I have No. 1 and No. 1A. [Lomachenko's win] was the best performance I've seen since [Muhammad [Ali],” Arum told the Las Vegas Sun.
Right now Lomachenko and Crawford are 10 pounds apart, but that won't be the case for long. Lomachenko is already discussing the idea of heading up to 135-pounds in the next two fights, which cuts down the weight difference to 5. Crawford will eventually head up to the welterweight ranks and it is likely that Lomachenko will one day follow him there, as the two-time Olympic gold medal winner wants to continue rising up in weight to set more records with more title wins.
If the financial terms make sense, Arum could see the two fighters colliding in the ring one day as a headline fight to a major pay-per-view event in Las Vegas.
"We don’t know [for sure if that fight will ever happen], but I’d imagine someday if the money were right. Crawford is getting a lot of confidence from his victories, and I’ve never seen anybody with the confidence of Lomachenko. He goes in the ring absolutely sure he will knock out his opponent," Arum said.