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Bob Arum: Vasyl Lomachenko vs. Manny Pacquiao could happen 'sometime next year'

Next up for Manny Pacquiao... Vasyl Lomachenko? It sounds crazy, but Top Rank's Bob Arum says it could happen in 2017.

Noah K. Murray-USA TODAY Sports

This weekend sees one of boxing's most gifted fighters in action as he faces one of his toughest tests. Vasyl Lomachenko is a rare talent, a two-division world champion only 7 fights into his pro career. He takes on the very dangerous Nicholas Walters in a terrific HBO main event Saturday night.

In the lead up to Saturday night and Lomachenko vs. Walters, promoter and Top Rank CEO Bob Arum talked about what could be next for Lomachenko, and he brought a very interesting name to the table (emphasis added):

Lomachenko has a huge upside. This is the second world title in as many divisions in seven professional fights - that has never happened before, and he is going to win more world titles as he goes up in weight and there are going to be very interesting guys for him to fight. It is not beyond the realm of possibility that he and Manny [Pacquiao] could fight sometime next year. Lomachenko wants challenges and he is a tremendous talent. His upside is enormous and a lot of people are watching him -- not just boxing fans -- because he is an unbelievable talent. They see him on You Tube and on HBO and have said what an unbelievable talent he is.

Lomachenko for his part stated that "of course" he would fight Pacquiao, "but not in the next fight."

The idea of a Lomachenko vs. Pacquiao fight is certainly an interesting one. Fans have been clamoring for Pacquiao to face a true top level talent, and also one of the younger, next-generation fighters - giving someone the same chance to build up his name that Oscar De La Hoya gave Pacquiao years ago. Pacquiao is currently a 147 pound champion thanks to his win over Jessie Vargas, and has not fought below that weight since 2008, while Lomachenko is just two fights into his 130 pound campaign after moving up. Still, it's a fascinating possibility, and one worth watching.

Join Bloody Elbow Saturday night for live fight night coverage of Lomachenko vs. Walters.