Bob Arum insists that Vasyl Lomachenko (17-3) is to sit out the remainder of the year despite recent speculation that the former unified world lightweight champion is being linked to a fight with George Kambosos Jr (21-2). Arum has cooled the suggestion of this prospect happening when speaking with Boxingscnene.com. Arum also added that he had offered Lomachenko the opportunity to face Shakur Stevenson (20-0) before being informed of Loamchenko’s decision to take the remainder of 2023 off before returning in 2024.
“I met with Egis before he went off to Poland for the Usyk fight,” Arum said in reference to Egis Klimas, Lomachenko’s manager.
“We tried to make the fight between Shakur and Loma. And Egis told us that Loma has decided that he’s not fighting again this year. So, the fact that they’re talking about a fight with Loma and Kambosos is nonsense. Egis would not mislead us, and he told us that Loma wants to take the rest of the year off.”
Opportunities were explored last year regarding the possibility of Lomachenko challenging Kambosos when the Australian held the unified world lightweight titles. However, this failed to come to fruition following Russia’s invasion of Lomachnko’s home country of Ukraine.
Lomachenko passing (understandably) of the opportunity to face Kambosos ultimately allowed Devin Haney (30-0) to come forwards with his WBC world title and create an undisputed lightweight title match-up with Kambosos in June of last year. Haney would defeat Kambosos twice in little over five months to become an undisputed champion and ultimately defend his then newly found status.
Loamchenko and Kambosos are currently signed to Bob Arum’s Top Rank Inc. Kambosos is a recent addition to the Top Rank stable and debuted under the promotional umbrella last month against Maxi Hughes.
Lomachenko was last in action against Devin Haney on May 20th, losing a narrow controversial point verdict and had immediately called for a rematch to challenge for the undisputed lightweight championship. However, Haney has since decided that he will be moving up to the super-lightweight division and seeking to challenge current WBC title holder Regis Prograis. Talks remain ongoing between the pair, but the WBC has confirmed that Haney has been designated its lightweight champion in recess to allow him to explore the opportunity to face Prograis.
Shakur Stevenson attempted to force a fight with Devin Haney due to his status as the WBC’s number one contender topo challenge for the WBC world lightweight title. Shakur, on being rejected by Haney over any such proposal to step in the ring with him, turned his attention towards Lomachenko, knowing that if Haney were to vacate his title, the WBC would have selected himself and Lomachenko to contest the vacant title due to their respective positions within the WBC ratings.
The prospect of Stevenson-Lomachenko for the near future has now been diminished by the Ukranian’s decision to sit out the remainder of the year.
Bob Arum is still working on Stevenson’s return to the ring, which is most likely set to be held in Las Vegas and will be held in the city when the Formula One circus rolls into town as it brings its action to the streets of Las Vegas in November.
“We’re working on that,” Arum said. “We’ll get somebody because we have the resources to do it. Shakur will be in action, and we’ll see who the best available guy is for him to fight. I think Shakur is the most talented guy in the lightweight division, but we’re making progress [on securing an opponent].”