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Vasiliy Lomachenko wants Mikey Garcia, but fight will be negotiation hell, says Arum

Photo by Tom Hogan-Hoganphotos / Golden Boy Promotions




12
May

NEW YORK — After Vasiliy Lomachenko successfully debuted in the lightweight division with a 10th-round stoppage of Jorge Linares, the biggest fight remaining to make at 135 pounds is a showdown with Mikey Garcia. 

It’s a fight which pits two of the top pound-for-pound talents in the sport against each other, but Lomachenko’s promoter, Bob Arum of Top Rank, says he isn’t holding his breath waiting for both sides to agree to terms.

Garcia (38-0, 30 knockouts), who has won titles in four divisions and currently holds the WBC lightweight belt, had a messy split from Top Rank, filing a lawsuit to extricate himself from a promotional deal. He is now reportedly close to inking a deal with Zuffa Boxing, a company headed by UFC president Dana White.

It’s not a situation Arum foresees being pleasant to navigate.

“Mikey Garcia is a worse negotiation than (Donald) Trump is gonna have with the North Koreans,” said Arum at the post-fight press conference on Saturday at Madison Square Garden.

“Because of the way (Garcia) negotiates: ‘Oh, I’m loyal to (Showtime president of sports and event programming 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, who has now won titles in three different divisions, told reporters that he wants to unify other title belts at 135 pounds after being asked about Garcia.

“I’m always interested in unifying the titles. This is why I came to this weight class and that’s what I’ll be looking for,” said Lomachenko (11-1, 9 KOs), who now holds the RING and WBA lightweight belts. Lomachenko revealed at the press conference he had a “problem” with his hand after the second round, but his manager, Egis Klimas, clarified it was a shoulder issue, which was not expounded on.

In any case, Lomachenko will have to wait while Garcia and IBF titleholder Robert Easter finish their own business when they meet on July 28 in a unification fight which was reported shortly before the Linares-Lomachenko show began.

Lomachenko will fight next on August 25 at The Forum in Inglewood, California, Arum tells THE RING, with Arum, Lomachenko and Klimas to decide on an opponent by next week.

“Whoever’s the best available, whichever makes the most sense, that’s what we’re gonna go after,” said Arum.

One unification fight that should be easy to make is with WBO titleholder Raymundo Beltran (35-7-1, 21 KOs), the overachieving tough guy who won the vacant title in February with a unanimous decision over Paulus Moses and is signed with Top Rank.

“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 may be 90 years old by the time negotiations finish. I’m tired of that,” said the 86-year-old Arum.

“He wants to fight, let him call me. I’ll give him a number. If it’s not good, fuck it. I ain’t negotiating.”

Prior to the fight, Arum told RING that he is also looking at making a fight between Manny Pacquiao and Lomachenko at a catchweight later this year, provided that Pacquiao gets past Lucas Matthysse on July 14 in Malaysia.

“I’ve been talking to Manny and his people about that. I really hope that we’ll be able to get that fight done, maybe later this year,” said Arum.

Arum also confirmed that Floyd Mayweather Jr., who promotes WBA junior lightweight titleholder Gervonta Davis, had reached out to Top Rank president Todd DuBoef about a possible fight between Davis (20-0, 19 KOs) and Lomachenko, but isn’t sure how serious the talks were.

“I think you should ask Floyd. Floyd called Todd and I think he was pissed off at Davis and he wanted to see Davis destroyed.”

Ryan Songalia is a member of the Boxing Writers Association of America and can be reached at [email protected].

  • Nick Bannister

    Beltrán is a really good fighter and he deserves the belt he has after getting jobbed against Burns a few years back, but is there anyone anywhere who thinks he can hang with Loma? Style wise this figures to be a really one sided one.

    • chickenstock

      Just a stay busy for loma, not every fight he takes can be against a top guy…. Plus he gets a belt!

      • Nick Bannister

        It makes lerfepe sense for Loma. Decent name recognition, easy work and another belt. I was thinking more from a fans’ perspective, and from Beltran’s!

        • chickenstock

          Oh yeah, he earns that greencard if he takes that fight man

    • Rippy JA

      Not to mention Beltran has looked past his best days in his last few fights.

    • Observer

      If they make Loma – Beltran in the end of August, why not? Waiting for Garcia-Easter winner will take too much time.. assuming that’s even an option.

    • Stephen M

      Beltran will have the size and strength advantage. He loses but makes Loma work hard.

    • Michael Montero

      No, but fights shouldn’t be decided on paper. Belt for Loma and a payday for Beltran.

  • Dug Fisher

    I like Beltran for August. I just hope that, somehow, the Garcia-Easter winner can follow in the fall.

    I saw Loma gesture to his right arm whilst sitting on his stool after the second. His lead hands took a while to get going with the same zip after that. Here’s hoping it’s only a minor ailment.

  • Jamil Salvo

    after the knockdown its 60-40 in favor of mikey garcia, but i maybe wrong. MIkey is more stationary and slow than linares so only power and timing is key for mikey in fighting loma

    • ciobanu catalin

      I believe the latter is true. I feel that it wont even be as competitive as linares, because linares is very atlethic compared to mickey. You cant try to pick loma apart you have to do it while keeping up with the very high rhythm

      • Jamil Salvo

        i’m afraid mikey will keep loma off the bay with his power.

        • ceylon mooney

          just like walters did

      • Mark Schoeman

        Footwork is the single most ignored attribute by fans. Linares was GREAT and even his feet ultimately failed him vs Loma. I like Mikey, enjoy his fights, but he’s been carefully managed to ALWAYS fight guys who don’t/can’t move their feet and he himself is very slow-footed.

        I see Loma/Garcia looking exactly like Pernell Whitaker vs Azumah Nelson, where a very talented fighter is simply befuddled by a southpaw who is a superior athlete, who keeps turning him, shooting angles…the difference though is Garcia’s team surely suspect this and have no interest in the fight. Mikey will say he wants the fight, just like he said he wanted Gamboa before sitting out 2 and a half years.

  • ozzy

    I hope the shoulder issue can be sorted without some sort of surgery because if it can’t then such an issue has more chance of stopping Loma in his tracks than any opponent.

    As usual Arum is putting his perceived grievances against another fighter (Garcia) ahead of what is the best for the fighter he is representing – he should either negotiate on behalf of Loma in good faith (ie: do his fucking job) or let another promoter represent Loma.

    • Mark Schoeman

      Say you’re a promoter. You tab a guy as a star, so you put your machine behind him, hyping him, feeding lesser talents to him in the spotlight on HBO, paying him likely more than anybody in his weight class in order to get to bigger fights with other big names….then he decides he’s not happy and deserves more.

      So you spend AN ENTIRE YEAR talking and finally you think the issues are resolved and put out news as such…then no deal and ANOTHER YEAR transpires before you just decide this guy’s impossible and cut him loose despite 7 figures of investment. You’re telling me this is a guy you think you can make a deal with?

      • Stephen M

        Fans don’t seem to realize the work that promoters do or the financial risks that they take. Once a guy is a star the promoter can make money but there is a long road before that day. And a lot of guy’s potential fizzles out before the promoter can recoup anything.

        • Mark Schoeman

          I love business history of all stripes, but would be fascinated to read a book on the business of boxing promoting, specifically the amount of money spent to develop/market fighters and the point at which they become profitable….which I tend to think is much later than conventional wisdom.

          As fans we tend to think a guy becomes profitable as an HBO co-feature, but we don’t consider having an entire team at Top Rank, publicists, matchmakers, etc and the resources spent to get them to a spot that may just be break even. Then there’s those TV dates where you sell the network fighter A instead of fighter B only for fighter A to flake out, become a diva, and now fighter B feels slighted and starts looking at options.

          • Stephen M

            As an example of fighter flakiness, Stevenson just forced his promoter ( via Haymon ) to change the location of his fight against Jack from Montreal to Toronto, less than a month from the fight date!

            And, people forget all the would be promoters that fall by the wayside. Many are called but few are chosen. It takes a lot of work and a lot of talent to be a successful promoter.

      • ozzy

        No need to talk in generalities everyone knows who is involved here. Firstly, you talk as if Arum made no money back from Garcia, the important figure is not how much a promoter invests in a prospect, it’s whether he makes that money back and the truth is that nobody on this website knows if he did from Garcia – all we have is various claims from Arum and counter claims from Garcia. Also even if I accept your scenario, which I’m not convinced is anywhere near 100% accurate here, you are forgetting that Arum now promotes boxing’s new star in Loma and so if he’s a true professional he is honour bound to negotiate the best deals possible for Loma. So while I can understand the point you’re making imo you are now concentrating on the wrong person, the most important person for Arum now is Loma and if he can’t conduct business properly for his star client, ie: make Loma the best money no matter who he has to negotiate with, then imo he’s not doing his job properly.

        Also as none of us can see into the future, it may also be short-sighted of Arum if he won’t negotiate with Team Garcia as a Loma-Garcia fight could turn into a trilogy and make Arum a lot of money. Finally, let’s be honest, Arum has made A LOT of money out of fighters over the years, if he did actually make a loss from Garcia then he should take solace in this being a rare occurrence in his career.

  • Tony Nightstick

    Lomachenko-Garcia is a tough one to call. As of now, I say Garcia. Either way, one helluva fight.

  • ciobanu catalin

    Mickey negociation will be hell for 2 reasons, he is a full diva and he knows loma will beat him so he wants to be paid a shitload… On another note, how about those judges and their scorecards, golden boy is screwing boxing with their fixtures. This is way too much, i mean they dont even wait things out a bit, they just go non atop with this upfront fixing. Something hing has got to give at one point, just saying

    • TNT

      You’re misinformed. The Garcias honestly believe that Mikey will defeat Loma.

      • ciobanu catalin

        Yeah right…

      • ceylon mooney

        it doesnt seem that way to me.

        i dont think mikey will beat him. i think mikeys style, even with his great
        timing, offers
        less
        of a
        challenge
        than linares.

        • TNT

          Sure they do believe that. On any and every interview I’ve ever seen of them they say it straightforward.

          With that said Mikey is better than Linares (I feel), but I’d still make Loma the favorite. And he would be the favorite in a match between the two.

          • ciobanu catalin

            No no no, not only i think that he poses less of a problem for loma, but i also think deep down they know it. Its like margarito, they strongly believed that he will beat pacman, but when he was obliterated, it wasnt a surprise for anyone in their crew, they just moved along

          • TNT

            There are two different arguments here:1) whether Mikey and his people believe that he can beat Loma and 2) whether Mikey can pose a problem for Loma.

            There are countless videos where Mikey and his people discuss a fight with Loma. They always maintain that Mikey can beat Loma.

            So that is #1.

            What about #2? At this point it is speculation. But given both of these guys styles it would seem that Mikey would trouble Loma.

          • cat

            Garcia’s people absolutely believe Mikey can beat Loma. Loma wants challenges—Mikey Garcia is the next obvious challenge.

          • ceylon mooney

            i think mikey is better than linares but less of a challenge for lomachenko.

        • AngelMorningstar

          Agreed Mikey is a boxing guru we can all agree. However as great AND talanered as he is he’s just to slow. He’s not catching Loma and I see Loma bearing him nigh the same way Mayweather schooled Manny.

          • ceylon mooney

            i think hes frickin great, BUT…

            yeah not a bad comparison at all, tho i think the frustration will be more from lomas ability to hit mikey than mikeys inability to hit loma.

          • Julio

            You all forget that Garcia as highly esteemed as he is, has no signature win so far and has never faced and elite opponent yet.

          • ceylon mooney

            true, but hes been dominant at the world class, hes elite…i still dont think he beats lomachenko

          • Julio

            He has elite skills, but he has not quite transcended the most elite status since he has not faced anyone viewed as a “top dog” yet.

          • ceylon mooney

            true that

          • Mark

            How about the Broner win and Lipenets win at 140?

          • Julio

            Were those two viewed as the very elite of the division like Linares was?

    • Alan

      Agree. Lomachenko dominated this fight, and the judges should be ashamed of themselves. Even he knockdown round probably should have been 9 – 9.

      • ciobanu catalin

        Honestly i gave 1,6 and 9 to linares, but i felt that loma was the agresor and always in control of the fight so i dont see how someone would fing score it for linares, even a draw! Its ridiculous

        • Julio

          I also agree that Lomachenko established enough separation between him and Linares to be ahead on the fight.

  • Andrii Matiash

    August 25 Raymundo Beltran . Deсember Manny. April 2019 Garcia.

  • sean

    Arum is sad. He can’t have a conversation without bringing up the president.

    • Stephen M

      Really? That was a good metaphor.

  • PrinceGian

    I really hope Loma-Garcia gets made, best fight out there. I would pick Lomachenko by close UD or SD based on today’s performance. As for Loma vs Davis, no way Floyd let’s his apprentice anywhere near Lomachenko for a few years yet. He needs to marinate it of course.

    • ceylon mooney

      agreed. floyd was just lettin him know who daddy is.

  • mikescapes

    Arum is negotiating. All the talk about Garcia being difficult is the start of negotiation. He can call me if he’s interested, I’m too old for this nonsense, etc. are a deal maker’s technique to open a dialogue. These arrangements between promoters and networks who ostensibly won’t deal with each other have happened before. Who knows, contacts may have already been made between Garcia’s team and Arum. Arum is doing his job which is promotion. Garcia may play hard to get, but that’s part of the game as well. Yeah, I know, Garcia has to get past Easter. But that doesn’t stop Arum from firing the opening shot for a Loma – Garcia showdown. It’s smart business.

  • Canek

    Not happy his slave Mikey left the plantation. Arum is what’s wrong with Boxing.
    More in house fights coming for Loma.

    • ceylon mooney

      well, i think weve seen that lomachenko isnan exception & arum is willin to make the top matchups for him.

      • Canek

        Not when Mikey goes through the Easter Bunny, it will scare Arum sh*tless.

        • ceylon mooney

          thats should surprise, scare or shock no one.

    • Michael Montero

      Top.rank did a.great job with Mikey you fool.

      • Canek

        TR bonus is in the mail.

  • Gian Torres

    Loma reminds me of when I first saw Jordan playing.

    Mikey’s very talented but this might be like the “Jordan or Dominique Wilkins?” debate that circulated in the 80’s.

    • LOMATARD

      NBA.com

  • AngelMorningstar

    Good luck I don’t see them wanting any part of Loma.

  • LOMATARD

    Will be fighting Gervonta Davis.. then negotiation starts with Mikey

  • Teddy Reynoso

    Sez you. Loma did not specifically call out Mikey. In the ESNews interview after the fight, he merely responded to a question and he said through his father that he was interested in unifying the titles at lightweight. He knows that Mikey has an upcoming unification versus Easter and should have known better than prejudge that fight. This is obviously a media spin abetted by master show promoter Bob Arum who should know even better.

  • Andrew Clenaghan

    Negotiations will be hell because Bob Arum is up his own arse and can only see things from that perspective.