Manny Pacquiao shouldn't - and won't - face Lomachenko at 135lbsWritten by Lee Cleveland
WBO super featherweight belt-holder Vasyl Lomachenko (7-1, 5 KOs), perhaps one of the top 10 pound for pound fighters today, has expressed an interest in facing fight legend Manny Pacquiao, a welterweight.
Given both fighters are promoted by Top Rank's Bob Arum, Pacquiao vs Lomachenko would have far fewer negotiation hurdles because only one major promoter would be involved.
And to his credit, Lomachenko brings much to the table, talent-wise. A legend in the amateur game, Lomachenko is a two-time Olympic Gold medalist and boasted a magnificent record of 396-1, with his only loss, to Albert Selimov, avenged twice.
He is arguably the greatest amateur fighter ever, and is equipped with tremendous talent.
So how about a Pacquiao vs Lomachenko showdown?
Egis Klimas, Lomachenko's manager, hinted in order for that fight to take place, Pacquiao would have to drop two divisions to 135 lbs.
"I don't think Pacquiao right now can go down to 135," said Klimas recently on 'the 3 Knockdown Rule' with Mario Lopez.
"And I'm not joking and I'm not trying to be funny but I'm very serious, if we can get a couple of fights, two fights at 135 and Pacquiao can come down to 135, send me a contract - we'll sign it."
Even if Manny could get down to 135 lbs, why would he do it for Lomachenko?
That's not how boxing works.
The big-name fighter, the A-side, makes the demands. If a non-mandatory wants to face Manny, they must accommodate him.
And if you're not in Manny's weight class, find a way to get there.
If Lomachenko wants that fight, it's in his best interest to fight at 147 or at the weight Manny stipulates. Pacquiao is the legend. He's the draw and has the leverage to call the shots.
Granted, if Lomachenko had the drawing power of a prime Roberto Duran, Pernell Whitaker or Julio Cesar Chavez then, and only then, would it make sense for the teams to negotiate some sort of catchweight... Maybe 140lbs.
Lomachenko is one of the best fighters in the world but asking Manny to fight him at 135 or 140 lbs would be a bit insulting because Vasyl's drawing power is not comparable to Manny's.
Sure, at 140 lbs it's a heck of fight but, from the business end, it would make absolutely no sense for Team Pacquiao at this monent.