07
Jul
2020

Manny Pacquiao, Naoya Inoue and a future undisputed Vasyl Lomachenko

Vasyl Lomachenko Manny Pacquiao

📸 Mark Robinson / Stephanie Trapp

As Vasyl Lomachenko confirms his undisputed goal, WBN speculates whether Manny Pacquiao or Naoya Inoue lay in his future path.

Speaking to Top Rank from quarantine, ‘Loma’ firstly discussed a match-up with Teofimo Lopez, the only other fighter holding a super-lightweight belt right now.

Loma holds the other three, although the WBC Franchise situation had muddied the waters somewhat.

Discussing his ambition to fight Lopez and take the IBF crown, Lomachenko secondly answered four major questions on the unified battle.

On his feelings when he found out the tentative date of May 30 for the Lopez fight was postponed due to COVID-19:

“Of course, I was disappointed a little bit, but everything that’s happening {with self-quarantines} is happening for the better. The most important thing is for all the people on this planet to get back and get healthy and everything will go back to normal.”

On whether he thinks Lopez is ready for the sport’s elite:

“I really think he’s a good boxer. He’s a top fighter. He’s young, he’s hungry, he has big power. Certainly, I want this fight. He’s a world champion, and he holds my belt. It’s my IBF title.”

On whether he sees the Lopez fight ending in a knockout:

“Nobody knows. It’s very unpredictable. Nobody can predict what is going to happen, how it’s going to happen. And the people are talking about which round they are going to knock somebody out or stop somebody. I am getting very, very interested. Now, I want to see (the fight happening).”

On what makes the Lopez matchup interesting:

“The interesting thing for me, it will be to look into his eyes and his father’s eyes and see their reaction (when I become undisputed).”

Victory for Lomachenko would cement his already certain place in the Boxing Hall of Fame on the back of one of the greatest amateur careers in the history of the sport.

The Ukrainian is a perfectionist of the highest order. His meticulous training regime gives him the ultimate and best chance of success.

Once holding all the aces at 135 pounds, a run at 140 is predicted. Although the 32-year-old has admitted himself that super-lightweight could be a bridge too far.


PACQUIAO or INOUE

It would open up the slim possibility of a fight with Manny Pacquiao if Lomachenko does choose the higher option, with the ‘Pacman’ on board with squeezing back down to his old weight for the contest.

Without a Pacquiao fight, there aren’t many choices left at the lower weights. Naoya Inoue at a catchweight is the standout candidate now they both share the same promotion company.

Lomachenko may be required to drop down below 130 pounds for the first time since 2017, though. Inoue currently operates at 118 pounds.

Furthermore, an agreed limit of around 126 or 127 should be enough to seal the deal.

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