World Lightweight Champ Vasiliy Lomachenko was certainly dominant in his most recent title fight Saturday night in London. And, he may have piqued the interest of one of the young up-and-coming American stars one division below.
The Athletic’s boxing insider, Mike Coppinger, reported Sunday afternoon that the WBA Junior lightweight champ, Gervonta Davis, is apparently interested in moving up to 135 lbs. with his sights set on a possible fight with Lomachenko:
Source tells The Athletic that Gervonta Davis has vacated his WBA junior lightweight title and will now campaign at 135 pounds as he seeks to become a two-division champ. Tank now occupies the same weight class as Vasiliy Lomachenko, perhaps setting the stage for a PPV showdown
— Mike Coppinger (@MikeCoppinger) September 1, 2019
While natural bump up in weight does seems to Davis’s best option for a big payday, there are certainly obstacles to a potential Mega-fight with the Ukrainian three division World Champ. More on that in a moment.
First, Lomachenko (14-1 10 KOs) continued his dominance of the 135-pound division and added the WBC Championship to his Arsenal with an impressive twelve round unanimous decision when over England’s Luke Campbell Saturday night in London. Lomachenko was never seriously threatened and even scored in 11th round knockdown to convince the judges and everyone watching that he was the better fighter.
There is talk that Lomachenko would fight the winner of IBF champion Richard Commey’s title defense with unbeaten American Teofimo Lopez currently scheduled to happen in December at Madison Square Garden. That would give Lomachenko the chance to have Undisputed Lightweight Champion status. Something that has not happened, since the late Pernell Whitaker held all of the belts in the 1990s.
As for Davis, he is the WBA Junior Lightweight Champion and successfully defended it in front of a huge sell-out crowd in his hometown of Baltimore in July. That’s when he knocked out little-known Challenger Ricardo Nunez in the second round to improve to 22 – 0 with 21 Kos..
There has been talk that Davis might be pitted against IBF 130 lbs. champion Tevin Farmer, but that’s where the complications begin. Farmer has a deal with Matchroom Boxing and DAZN streaming service. Those outlets are bitter rivals with Premier Boxing Champions and the Showtime premium cable network in the U.S. that Davis has fought on several times in the past.
We wrote recently about Davis’s promoter Leonard Ellerbe of Mayweather promotions blasting Matchroom’s Eddie Hearn and DAZN about any negotiating leverage they think they have to make a Davis Farmer fight happen on the DAZN streaming service. Hearn reportedly offered Davis $5 million to do a deal with them and have the fight with Farmer on DAZN. Ellerbe made it clear, they have no interest.
However, that same type of obstacle exists if Davis wants to move up to 135 lbs. and try to get in the ring with Lomachenko. He is promoted by Bob Arum and Top Rank Boxing and they have a deal with ESPN and their streaming service. Arum and ESPN did an agreement with Hearn, Matchroom and Sky Sports to have Lomachenko fight Campbell in England and shown on ESPN Saturday.
However, it’s much more complicated for PBC to try to get a deal done with Arum and Top Rank, as they are already upset with PBC owner Al Haymon for refusing to deal with them in several other divisions and title scenarios. This includes, PBC refusing to include WBO Welterweight Champion Terence Crawford in any of their unified title discussions for fights.
Crawford has patiently waited for over a year for a shot at one of the champions under the PBC umbrella, like unbeaten IBF titleholder Errol Spence, WBC champion Shawn Porter or now WBA titleholder and 7 Division World Champ Manny Pacquiao. All of those three Fighters are under the control of PBC. Spence and Porter will meet in Los Angeles later this month on PPV.
So while Coppinger’s info is interesting about Davis vacating his belt, it’s not as if it would be a simple negotiation to end up in the ring with one of the best pound-for-pound fighters on the planet right now, Lomachenko.