Lomachenko Chose Bob Arum Over De La Hoya

November 15, 2023
5 months

Oscar De La Hoya had the chance to sign Vasiliy Lomachenko only to miss out on signing the star. 

The talks over Lomachenko signing with Golden Boy Promotions started in 2013. The Ukrainian was being approached by the biggest promoters out there, given his impressive amateur record.

The boxer won 396 amateur fights with only one loss, showing his remarkable pedigree. Despite agreeing to join De La Hoya verbally, Loma chose to sign with Bob Arum’s Top Rank instead. 

Lomachenko On De La Hoya

“We got into Golden Boy Promotions. They discussed all the advantages I would have if I signed a contract with them. I responded, ‘I’m not interested in that. Can you immediately set up a champion fight for me from the first fight?’

“They said, ‘Not the first one, but they can do it from the second one. I said, ‘Okay, I’m ready. Please give me the contract. I will sign it.’

“Egis Klimas (my manager) said, ‘Give me the agreement on paper, and we’ll talk.’ – But they didn’t send the contract. They didn’t have anything on paper.

“I had a goal and motivation to establish myself among professionals. To do something historic. I wanted to do it from the first match.

“But I was told that it was impossible. I wasn’t even in the rankings that I could not be put in the ring for the title fight at once. Bob Arum said he could do it from the second match. I said, ‘Fine. That’s the deal. Let’s shake hands,” Loma

As things would play out, Lomachenko beat Jose Luis Ramirez Garcia on his debut. In his following bout, the Ukrainian took on Orlando Salido for the WBO featherweight title.

But given that Salido came in over the weight limit, in addition to his physical tactics, Loma lost a controversial split decision. 

However, in his next fight, Loma beat Gary Russell Jr. to become the WBO champion after the title became vacant.

The rest was history, as Lomachenko became a three-division champion, as he will go down as a future hall-of-famer. 

Ultimately, De La Hoya missed out on one of the best fighters out there. But given what Loma has managed to achieve since then, it was just as well that he joined Top Rank.

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