29
Oct
2020

Oscar De La Hoya amazingly failed to sign Vasyl Lomachenko despite deal

Phil Jay 10/03/2020
Vasyl Lomachenko

📸 Mark Robinson

In an uncovered documentary by Team Vasyl Lomachenko, the 2016 WBN Fighter of the Year explained how a deal to sign with Golden Boy Promotions collapsed in 2013.

Lomachenko, fresh from amassing the most impressive amateur record of all time, wanted to hit the ground running in the paid ranks.

Touting himself around to US promoters, Lomachenko met with three before deciding to ink a long-term agreement with Top Rank and Bob Arum.

But ‘Loma’ revealed Arum was the last of the trio he met with, and that he had verbally decided to sign with Oscar De La Hoya before things went awry.

“The first promoter was Kathy Duva,” Lomachenko explained in the TEAM LOMA at 5:40 secs of the 2018 episode. “We talked for a couple of minutes and I realized we were talking about unimportant things.

“Then I asked, ‘can you make my first fight for the champion title?’ – She was startled. A pause, silence. Then she says, ‘of course, I will not do that and I don’t think anyone will (be able to).’

“(I thought) We’ll see.

“After that, we got into Golden Boy Promotions. They talked about all the advantages I would have if I signed a contract with them.

“I responded, ‘I’m not interested in that. Can you set up a champion fight for me at once, from the first fight?’

“They said, ‘Not the first one, but they can do it from the second one. I said, ‘Okay, I’m ready. Give me the contract and I will sign it.’

“Egis Klimas (my manager) said, ‘give me the agreement on paper and we’ll talk.’ – But they didn’t send the contract, they didn’t have anything on paper.”

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Moving on to a meeting with Top Rank and Bob Arum, Lomachenko explained his position of wanting to break new ground immediately.

“I had a goal and motivation to establish myself among professionals. To do something historic. I wanted to do it from the first match.

“I was told that it was impossible and I wasn’t even in the rankings. That I cannot be put in the ring for the title fight at once.

“Bob Arum said he could do it from the second match. I said, ‘Fine. That’s the deal. Let’s shake hands.”

Eventually, ‘Loma’ made his debut for Arum in October 2013. He beat the seasoned Jose Luis Ramirez Garcia in a WBO International Featherweight title contest.


SALIDO

The formidable Ukrainian scored a knockout and moved on to face champion Orlando Salido in his next fight for the full WBO version.

Salido came in overweight and was criticized for ‘fighting dirty’ against Lomachenko, who was the only fighter who could take the strap.

Robbed of creating history, Lomachenko somehow lost via split decision with the judges in a ruling still debated to this day.

Just three months later, Lomachenko fought and defeated Gary Russell Jr. to reach his target in just three fights.

Salido subsequently negated on facing Lomachenko in a rematch until retirement in 2017.

Since then, Lomachenko hasn’t looked back. De La Hoya must be kicking himself.

Phil Jay is Editor of World Boxing News. Auxiliary member of the Boxing Writers Association of America. Follow on Twitter @PhilDJay