With Top Rank looking to bring Vasiliy Lomachenko back on April 12, there is a lot of talk about a potential opponent, with most of it centered around the winner of the Feb. 2 vacant IBF title fight between Richard Commey and Isa Chaniev.
But Lomachenko (12-1, 9 KO), who has the WBA and WBO lightweight titles in his possession following this past weekend’s win over Jose Pedraza, does have a WBA mandatory challenger.
Simply put, Anthony Crolla (34-6-3, 13 KO) will have to be dealt with at some point, and Matchroom Boxing promoter Eddie Hearn has ideas on getting that fight done for the spring.
“The WBA have already ordered Crolla against Lomachenko, and the clock’s ticking on that one. We’ve made several offers now to Bob Arum for that fight, and we’ll see what they do. I don’t know,” Hearn told Fight Hub TV.
“(Arum) won’t want it, because he will know that we would love to do that fight on DAZN. He, of course, would want to do it on ESPN. Same thing if Lomachenko was with us and he had Crolla.
“So Lomachenko will be looking at this now going, ‘I am going to get an absolute fortune to fight Anthony Crolla.’ So he wants the Crolla fight. ... He can fight Crolla, then fight the winner of (Commey-Chaniev).”
Hearn also the potential to take the fight to a purse bid and attempt to outbid Top Rank using DAZN’s big backing money.
“Bob’s in an awkward position, because he knows it’s going to get very, very expensive for him in this particular fight, because we’ll just go to purse bids,” Hearn said. “That’s why he’s dismissed the fight. Lomachenko will want this fight. He’ll believe he can beat Anthony Crolla, and he’ll make a career-high payday.”
As for where the potential fight would take place, Hearn says if they won the rights to the bout, it likely wouldn’t be a home fight for Crolla.
“We’d probably do it in America, because that’s where the bulk of the money would come, from American TV,” he said. “But Crolla would take a lot to New York for that fight — a lot.
“It’s like Rocky against Canelo. He’s a massive underdog, they both are. But you don’t turn these fights down. Life-changing money and more importantly, an opportunity to fight the pound-for-pound best in the sport.”