Now that the dust has settled in Madison Square Garden, the world is rightfully talking about Vasyl Lomachenko and his dominant 10th round TKO victory over Jorge Linares.
Despite getting knocked down in the sixth sound, Hi-Tech survived after landing a perfectly placed liver shot to claim the WBA (Super) lightweight title.
After snapping the Venezualan’s 13-fight win streak, Lomachenko became the fastest fighter in history to win championship titles in three different weight classes after achieving the feat in only his 12th professional fight.
Understandably, boxing fans are raving about the Ukrainian’s performance and are already looking ahead at who could be next as the challenges are surely going to get tougher moving forward.
As soon as Lomachenko picked up the win, Mikey Garcia was instantly the name fans thought should be next as the 38-0 fighter is said to be the biggest opponent out there for him. Instead, Top Rank promoter Bob Arum has revealed that with Lomachenko set to return to the ring in August, Ray Beltran looks to be the opponent to enter The Matrix next instead of Garcia.
What makes it more disappointing that this fight might not be happening next is that Garcia is actually interested in the fight. According to Boxing Scene, he told the LA Times: “Lomachenko did good, beat a solid world champion at 135. I would love a fight with him. Hope we can make it happen in the near future.”
Arum, though, has poured cold water over any clash taking place next. He claims Garcia’s negotiation style make it borderline impossible to cut a deal, while their network allegiances don’t make things easier with Garcia aligned with Showtime and Lomachenko fighting for ESPN.
According to Boxing News 24, Arum said: “Beltran is the obvious opponent.
“Mikey Garcia is a worse negotiation than [President] Trump is going to have with the North Koreans.
“Because of the way [Garcia] negotiates: ‘Oh, I’m loyal to [Stephen] Espinoza and I’m loyal to Showtime.’ I admire loyalty. If he’s loyal to Showtime and they’ve been good to him, let him be loyal to Showtime. Just don’t bother me.
“Lomachenko wants to fight often. We have all these dates on ESPN. With a Mikey Garcia [fight] it becomes the second coming of Mayweather-Pacquiao. The negotiations will go on.
“I’m tired of that. He wants to fight, let him call me. I’ll give him a number. If it’s not good, **** it. I ain’t negotiating.”
Fans will know just how frustrating the negotiations between Mayweather and Pacquiao were, and how long it took for them to finally meet in the middle of the ring.
The 86-year-old Arum will be keen to keep Lomachenko active and looking dominant while racking up the records; so they can’t be blamed for not wanting to play another waiting game for Garcia who they predict will be very difficult to work with.
What do you make of Bob Arum looking to have Ray Beltran fight Vasyl Lomachenko instead of Mikey Garcia? Have YOUR say in the comments section below.