Top Rank promotion boss Bob Arum said that in the event that Floyd Mayweather Jr. retired in 2017, Manny Pacquiao could face World Boxing Organization (WBO) super featherweight champion Vasyl Lomachenko.
“I’ll wait to see what will happen at the end the year and I will fly to Manila this January to meet with Manny then we’ll decide whose opponent,” Arum told The Manila Times via overseas call on Thursday.
Arum said that his top priority is still to arrange a Pacquiao-Mayweather rematch early next year.
“Obviously If Floyd (Mayweather) is available and then he’ll come out of retirement, that ends the story you know,” he added. “But if Floyd will stay retired, then we will consider another opponent. It might be like Crawford or Lomachenko, well will see.”
But if Mayweather (49-0 win-loss record with 26 knockouts) would not come out of retirement, Arum said he is considering undefeated WBO junior welterweight champion Terence Crawford (29-0 with 20 knockouts) or Lomachenko as Pacquiao’s next foe.
There has been a clamor for a Pacquiao- Lomachenko match even before Lomachenko’s stunning seventh round technical knockout victory over Nicholas Walters on Saturday. Lomachenko holds a 7-1 record with five knockouts.
“He (Lomachenko) was brilliant. He put on a show that I’ve never seen in years. I thought he would win the fight but that’s very unbelievable, it was a virtuoso performance when he handled Walters and took him apart,” said Arum.
“Lomachenko? That’s a possibility.”
Pacquiao (59-6-2 record with 38 knockouts) defeated Jessie Vargas last November 5 in Las Vegas, to capture the WBO welterweight belt. Arum said that based on Pacquiao’s last performance, the Filipino ring icon has a chance against the 28-year-old Ukrainian.
“Lomachenko is not the same size as Manny, Manny is bigger and use to fight heavy and bigger guys. Lomachenko will be smaller than Manny. It is an interesting fight you know. Whether if that will be a good fight style-wise, that’s a question should be asked to Freddie Roach and Manny,” he said.
“All I can say is the strength of the promotion.”
Asked if a Pacquiao-Lomachenko fight has a good pay-per-view potential, Arum said: “I think so—that will be a major international event.”