Golden Boy Promotions outbid rival Top Rank by just $2,250 in a purse bid today for the vacant WBO featherweight title fight between Gary Russell Jr and Vasyl Lomachenko, and have scheduled the fight for June 21 on Showtime.
Golden Boy's winning bid was $1,052,250, with Top Rank offering $1,050,000 for the fight.
Russell (24-0, 14 KO) has been criticized for facing soft opposition as his career has (not) developed, which is basically the exact opposite of Lomachenko (1-1, 1 KO), the amateur superstar who tried to win a world title in his second pro fight against Orlando Salido on March 1, losing a split decision.
Lomachenko, 26, may have come up short, but it wasn't by much, and his performance against the gritty veteran Salido probably says more about his skill level than anything Russell, 25, has done in 24 professional fights. This is a matchup with a lot of talent, and should be a very interesting fight.
Lomachenko will get 60% of the bid ($631,350), with Russell making the remaining 40% ($420,900).
GBP CEO Richard Schaefer says the fight will "have nothing to do" with Top Rank, only that they'll have to sign the paperwork and have their fighter show up, which Top Rank VP Carl Moretti says he will. The bout will most likely take place in Carson, California.