Vasiliy Lomachenko’s upcoming world title challenge, in which he moves up in weight to win a third world title, is just the latest test to prove whether or not he’s an all-time great boxer, according to promoter Bob Arum.
In the final press conference before Lomachenko is set to fight WBA lightweight champion Jorge Linares on May 12, Arum spoke about Lomachenko’s dominance as a featherweight and super featherweight and said the lightweight title fight is one challenge that people will want to tune in and watch.
“It’s a challenge, but that’s what makes a fighter one of the all-time greats,” Arum said. “Lomachenko was great at 126. He devastated everybody at 130. Now he’s moving up to 135 and people say, ‘Is this a bridge too far?’ That’s what boxing is all about. If there aren’t any challenges, if there aren’t any obstacles who the hell wants to watch it?”
Lomachenko’s journey to winning world titles in two weight classes is an unorthodox one. After winning an Olympic gold medal in consecutive Summer Olympics in 2008 and 2012, Lomachenko was thrust into the featherweight world title scene in just his second pro fight. Despite losing that first world title fight to Orlando Salido, Lomachenko would then win the WBO featherweight world title in his third fight. Lomachenko then moved up in weight to win the WBO super featherweight title and has defended it four consecutive times, all of which were stoppage wins. Lomachenko is coming off arguably the best win of his career last December when he stopped former top 10 pound-for-pound boxer and former super bantamweight champion Guillermo Rigondeaux.
Lomachenko vs. Linares will headline a Top Rank Boxing on ESPN card at Madison Square Garden, the second consecutive time Lomachenko headlines a boxing event at the venue. You can read Fightful’s preview of the fight, which includes the full fight card and a betting guide to the main event, at this link.