The ink was barely dry on “The Squad: The Pound-4-Pound Best“ when I get a text from a close friend and training partner urging me to check out a YouTube video suggesting Bob Arum wants to make Pacquiao Vs Lomachenko at a catchweight of 138lbs.
After noticing who and where the content came from while knowing how credible he is, I watched it, but with the understanding of why he may have made that video. We'll get to that in a minute. But I thought this was an interesting quote from The Bobfather:
“I would love to see that fight (Pacquiao Vs Lomachenko). I don't think Manny (Pacquiao) could get down to 135, but we'd probably do that fight at a catchweight of 138.”
Now, this is interesting for a few reasons. First of all, Lomachenko doesn't want to fight Pacquiao any more than he wanted to fight Guillermo Rigondeaux. I tracked Loma down, after perhaps the most entertaining weigh-in of all time in the Chase Plaza section of Madison Square Garden back in December 2017 and asked him how hyped he was for the fight.
“It's too easy. I'm more excited about lunch than him (Rigo),” declared Loma, which was all I needed for copy at the time. In fact, I never even used that line until now, because I never thought a younger, bigger Loma Vs an older, smaller Rigo was competitive. But then I thought, “Bob Arum isn't the greatest promoter in the history of sports for nothing.” Consider where Vasiliy Lomachenko is now in stature: the near universal recognition as P4P #1 and bona-fide star status on ESPN+; all of that is owed to the Rigondeaux fight. Arum knows how valuable a fight with a falling star is for a rising one.
It's why he wanted a Manny Pacquiao fight for IBF welterweight champion Terence “Bud” Crawford just last year, ‘brain damage' concern for Pacquiao and all. When you think about where Bud still isn't, it's because he doesn't have that signature fight with a name casuals threw a house party for, while smashing “Buy” for a PPV on their remote controls.
Pacquiao didn't understand the risk vs reward associated with a Crawford fight, and it made sense. And after putting Keith “One-Time” Thurman..
..in his time vault at 40, “Pac-Man” had the audacity to take Thurman's WBA “super” welterweight belt before naming his dog after the brash Clearwater, FL product. If there's anything Pacquiao has absolutely done in 2019, it's beat up younger, brash fighters.
Nothing he's done this year has surprised me at all, in fact, I kinda sorta wrote about the prospect of fights with Keith Thurman and Lomachenko, again, with the article “Pacquiao V Lomachenko: The Locomotive Train II“. You should read it. Casuals were really getting out of hand after Pac bombed what was essentially a bum in Lucas Matthysse in July 2018. And if you're really not especially busy, revisit “Pacquiao Vs Matthysse: The Malaysian Massacre.” It happened nearly exactly as I thought it would.
But this whole Pac/Loma business started nearly two years ago. In January 2018, during Fight Week festivities for Errol Spence Vs Lamont Peterson at Barclays Center in Brooklyn, then Pacquiao advisor Michael Koncz was telling myself and NY Fights editor-in-chief Michael Woods, that Pac/Loma would be an amazing fight at 140.
Of course, at this time, the memory of what happened with Jeff Horn was so vividly in view I thought Koncz was out of his mind. The crazy thing is, that fight isn't really “Loco” anymore, even though I believe the result would be the same.
This is a fight Floyd Mayweather certainly wouldn't mind Pacquiao taking, because it would make a lot of people leave him the hell alone. It would certainly help Gervonta “Tank” Davis as well, in a prospective match-up with Loma at 135, for it would add another serious camp and elite level fight to the body of Lomachenko, who at 31, is on the threshold of physical attrition. But if I'm Loma — I not only take a Pacquiao fight, I beg Arum to make it. Because he's slated for the winner of IBF lightweight champion Richard Commey Vs Teofimo Lopez, set for December 14, Loma could use this kind of high profile match-up going into that fight. It would, in fact, make him a superstar.
But to address the question asked in the title, I don't think so — which is different from an affirmative “No” rendered in “Pacquiao Vs Lomachenko: The Locomotive Train“. Manny has faced and beaten bigger men of size and speed for over a decade as a true super lightweight. He's never been a true welterweight. In Loma (who by his own admission), he'd be dealing with a natural super featherweight, albeit an incredibly quick and powerful one. My logic follows if he fought an older, too small Rigo and beat him with ease, then the opposite end of that spectrum for greater heights makes sense.
Manny would have to actually cut weight for the first time in a while, but he'd rehydrate right back to super lightweight before the bell. The metrics of this fight are very intriguing, for their height and reach is virtually the same, and, of course, they'd both be fighting from the southpaw stance. But Manny wouldn't have a defensively challenged David Diaz…
..in front of him; while himself prone to occasional poor defense against the world's best combination striker. Loma just might, incredibly, be the best body puncher in the game and would know that Pacquiao is not really an inside fighter. This would be an older, craftier mongoose trying to outfox an arrogant, younger and more athletic mongoose of greater volume. Pacquiao would have the heavier punch and trouble Loma with deceptive speed at what would be 41– but it's no longer pure speed. If anyone were to “retire” or come close to an unstated crucifixion of Pacquiao, it would be Vasiliy Lomachenko, for he'd possess all the physical tools to “Oscar De La Hoya” Pacquiao in the same manner he did the Golden Boy in 2008.
So can Senator Manny Pacquiao Beat Vasiliy Lomachenko? He'd need what an outclassed Mike McCallum…
did to Donald Curry, or what an aging Sugar Ray Robinson caught Gene Fullmer with.
Manny would need the “perfect punch” to KO Vasiliy because both of them fight to win rounds rather than not lose them, and I can't see a scenario where Pacquiao wins a lot of rounds against Loma. However, we're talking about an incredible action fight while it lasts. Loma TKO 8. But tell me what you think. And if you can, please support independent media and my Go Fund Me for “The Fist Club” a book which basically chronicles my adventures in boxing during the era of Donald Trump. (PUBLISHER NOTE: Click here to be a patron of Gatling's art.)
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