Could Lomachenko vs. Pacquiao Happen?
Vasyl Lomachenko is a bit of an anomaly in professional boxing. Despite a record of only seven fights — one of them being a loss — Lomachenko is one of the most highly-regarded fighters in the sport.
Much of that acclaim is due to his legendary amateur record of 396-1, but the Ukranian has been impressive in his pro career since losing a featherweight title fight to Orlando Salido in only his second pro bout. Known for his elusiveness and mesmerizing footwork, Lomachenko won the featherweight belt in his next fight and then took the WBO junior lightweight title in June of this year.
One fighter who Lomachenko has been mentioned alongside is Manny Pacquiao, who makes his return on Nov. 4 in a welterweight title fight against Jesse Vargas.
Top Rank promoter Bob Arum has said he wants to see Lomachenko vs. Pacquiao, and now the Filipino fighter’s coach is following suit.
Freddie Roach told BoxingScene.com that he too wants to see the fight, but only if it takes place at Pacquiao’s desired weight of 140 lbs.
"Yeah, [Pacquiao] can make 135, but I would rather him fight Lomachenko at 140. The thing is, Lomachenko…I haven’t really thought about that fight because the weights are too far apart I thought. I would love that fight. I would pat Bob [Arum] on the back for that fight. I would say yes to that fight."
Interestingly, Roach does not share the sentiment that Lomachenko is a great fighter. Roach has seen the Ukranian champion train, and was left relatively unimpressed.
"I don’t think [Lomachenko] is that good. He’s a good fighter, yes. I’ve seen him look terrible in fights when he first came over here.
"I saw him train at my gym for his first two fights and I saw him play more with the tennis balls than anything else. I told him you’re going to need a lot more than tennis balls to beat Manny Pacquiao. His workouts are very unusual and I saw them over here for two fights. But everything has a purpose. He’s a very smart fighter I think, but I think he’s just too small for Manny Pacquiao."
Lomachenko will defend his WBO super featherweight belt against Nicholas Walters in Las Vegas on Nov. 26.