Skip to content
Home » Oscar De La Hoya fumbled the ball at Lomachenko deal end zone

Oscar De La Hoya fumbled the ball at Lomachenko deal end zone

  • by
  • 4 min read

Oscar De La Hoya missed out on a legend who could have been his greatest signing after fumbling the ball close to the end zone.

De La Hoya thought he had the signing of amateur standout Vasiliy Lomachenko. As it turned out, the promoter was close but no cigar.

In an uncovered documentary by Team 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. He added that he had verbally decided to sign with Oscar De La Hoya before things went awry.

Why did Lomachenko not sign with Oscar De La Hoya?

“The first promoter was Kathy Duva,” Lomachenko explained in the Team Loma at 5:40 secs of the episode. “We talked for a couple of minutes. 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. I don’t think anyone will [be able to].’ [I thought] We’ll see.

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

“I responded, ‘I’m not interested in that. Can you immediately set up a champion fight for me 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. Please give me the contract. 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.”

Bob Arum swooped in

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.

“But I was told that it was impossible. I wasn’t even in the rankings that I could not 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. Furthermore, he beat the seasoned Jose Luis Ramirez Garcia in a WBO International Featherweight title contest.

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

In addition, Salido came in overweight and was criticized for ‘fighting dirty’ against Lomachenko, 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 today.

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.

Follow WBN: Facebook, Insta, Threads.