News | Premium | Aug 29 2019

Inoue aims to fight Lomachenko at 126lbs, Bob Arum reveals how he plans to make that happen

In an exclusive interview Bob Arum tells John Dennen how he’d like to make a super-fight for Lomachenko that no one quite expected
Naoya Inoue eyes Lomachenko bout
Action Images/Reuters/Lee Smith

BOB ARUM knows brilliance when he sees it. The veteran promoter has worked with some of the greatest fighters in history, but his enthusiasm for Ukrainian star Vasyl Lomachenko is unmistakeable. “Lomachenko is the greatest technical fighter that I’ve seen since Ali. Not the [Muhammad] Ali after not fighting for three and a half years, because the draft, but the Ali that came over with me after the [George] Chuvalo fight, when he fought Henry Cooper for the second time at Arsenal and a month later he fought Brian London in Earls Court, then [Karl] Mildenberger in Frankfurt, all in the course of one summer. That Ali was the most technical fighter I’d seen. Until Lomachenko came around there was no fighter that was in any way his equal,” Arum told Boxing News.

Lomachenko is carving out his own path out to greatness. On Saturday (August 31) he takes on Luke Campbell for the WBA and WBO lightweight world titles as well as the vacant WBC belt. If Lomachenko is victorious he’ll be one step away from becoming undisputed. Richard Commey and Teofimo Lopez are due to fight for the IBF’s 135lb belt at Madison Square Garden in New York on December 14. The winner of that clash is a natural opponent for Lomachenko in 2020. If Lomachenko then unifies the division, you might think he’d be running out of challenges. However his promoter Arum can see a further super-fight down the line. He revealed that if Japanese star Naoya Inoue defeats Nonito Donaire in the final of the World Boxing Super Series he will work with Top Rank and take aim at Lomachenko, back down at 126lbs.

Naoya Inoue
Naoya Inoue eyes Lomachenko bout Action Images/Reuters/Lee Smith

“There’s a Japanese kid who is becoming a sensation. He’s 118lbs and he knocks everybody out. I met him in Japan and he’s fighting Nonito Donaire in that tournament and assuming he beats Donaire we’re going to put him in fights. His goal and ambition is to fight Lomachenko at maybe 126lbs. That would be a massive fight,” Arum told Boxing News.


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