By: Hans Themistode
At one point in time, comparing anyone to the late great Muhammad Ali was a laughable and offensive subject.
Promoter Bob Arum has spent the better part of half a century promoting some of the best fighters that have ever lived. But Ali was always in a class by himself.
After watching multiple division titlist Vasiliy Lomachenko over the years however, Arum is ready to place his name in Ali’s category.
“When Ali was in his prime, before the three and a half years when he couldn’t fight, he was a tremendous technical fighter,” said Arum on Loma Official TV on YouTube. “He had a control over distance and how to move in the ring that no one had ever seen before. Lomachenko has those sort of skills and more. Lomachenko technically is the best fighter I’ve seen since that early Ali.”
The near 400 wins as an amateur, back to back Olympic gold medals and multiple world titles as a pro have impressed Arum over the years. The 88 year old promoter gives Lomachenko credit for being so accomplished in his career. But it isn’t the funky angles which he employs in the ring, nor is it his hand speed that deserves most of the credit. Although all of the above has helped him become a three division world champion in only 15 fights, Arum believes Lomachenko’s biggest weapon comes from the man standing in his corner.
“He is blessed with one weapon that no one in the world has and that’s his trainer and father Anatoly. In my opinion, he is the best trainer in the world.”
At the moment, Lomachenko has no time to soak in the compliments from Arum. The 32 year old is currently putting on the finishing touches of his training camp for his highly anticipated showdown with fellow lightweight champion Teofimo Lopez this Saturday night.
Their contest is expected to bring in a ton of viewers on ESPN as every lightweight world title will be on the line.
Arum, the promoter for both fighters, finds it extremely difficult to make a prediction. So while he won’t choose sides, he does expect a great fight. Unlike a certain other former fighter Arum promoted, the 88 year old believes his killer instinct separates Lomachenko from the pack.
“He doesn’t want an easy fight or to win a decision, he wants to win by destroying his opponent. Mayweather was a great defensive fighter. But unlike Mayweather, Loma is always looking for a way to destroy his opponents. That’s what makes him a fan-friendly fighter.”