By Steve Kim
As Vasyl Lomachenko put the finishing touches on his 10th round stoppage of Jorge Linares to capture the WBA lightweight title at the Madison Square Garden in New York, Bob Arum strolled over to press row to announce that Lomachenko (11-1, 9 KOs) is scheduled to return to the ring on August 25th.
And it's believed that WBO 135-pound titlist, Ray Beltran (35-7-1, 21 KOs), is in the pole position to land that assignment.
Steve Feder, who manages Beltran told BoxingScene.com on Sunday evening - "Obviously we were all watching that fight last night and we obviously know there's a couple of possibilities out there for us and we'd be more than happy to discuss anything. Ray has never shied away from anybody and we know (Mikey) Garcia has already been taken by (Robert) Easter."
Word has it that Garcia (the WBC lightweight belt-holder) will face Easter (the IBF champion) in late June in a unification clash.
"So there's some obvious choices out there and we'll see. We're looking forward to what Top Rank has in store, what they have in mind with Ray. But Ray is not awed by someone who has the buzz about being the best in the world, he's been in the ring with everybody," continued Feder.
"Don't forget he went toe-to-toe twelve rounds with (Terence) Crawford and he couldn't get him out, the only guy to survive Crawford recently and he's now a welterweight. So it tells me the kind of guy Ray can handle."
Beltran (35-7-1, 21 KO's) won the vacant WBO belt on February 16th by out-pointing Paulus Moses.
"Ray's been resting and getting ready, obviously we want to start camp and it'll come back to what Bob thinks and what Ray thinks. So we're looking forward to what's next,'' stated Feder.
Steve Kim is the news editor for BoxingScene.com.