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Orlando Salido displeased with purse offer for Lomachenko, turns eyes to Takashi Miura

Orlando Salido hits Francisco Vargas, left, with a right hand during their WBC super-featherweight title bout on June 4.
(Sean M. Haffey / Getty Images)

Veteran fight promoter Bob Arum’s mood has been ornery to say the least in recent weeks.

Consider Monday an anti-anti-depressant.

While Arum was flying to the Philippines to discuss Manny Pacquiao’s next fight, a potential thriller for Arum’s super-featherweight champion Vasyl Lomachenko appears to be crumbling.

The manager for proposed Lomachenko opponent Orlando Salido told The Los Angeles Times following a Twitter feud with Lomachenko’s manager that Salido is looking in another direction for a fall date.

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“Bob Arum said take it or leave it to the purse he was offering. Well, we’ll leave it,” Salido manager Sean Gibbons said. “It’s a … insult.”

Gibbons is irked that Salido is being offered less than what former World Boxing Organization super-featherweight champion Rocky Martinez was paid (around $525,000) to lose his belt to Lomachenko on June 11 at Madison Square Garden.

Lomachenko is apparently positioned to earn between $850,000 and $1 million for his next bout.

“I really wanted Lomachenko, but I haven’t heard back from Mr. Bob. He knows our number,” Gibbons said. “We’re not waiting too long, we’re not chasing.

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“You know you’re getting an unbelievable event with Salido. [Arum] is saying he can get WBA champion Jezreel Corrales or IBF champion Jose Pedraza for Lomachenko. He can get them, and there’ll be no interest.”

Story lines, not belts, sell fights, and there’s obvious intrigue in how an ever-improving, two-time Olympic champion Lomachenko of the Ukraine will fare in a rematch with Mexican warrior Salido, 35, who while overweight defeated Lomachenko by split decision in 2014.

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Since then, Salido engaged in a seven-knockdown battle with Terdsak Kokietgym, two wars with Martinez and a June 4 draw and fight-of-the-year contender with World Boxing Council super-featherweight champion Francisco Vargas at StubHub Center.

If the Lomachenko bout can’t be negotiated, Gibbons said he’s in the early stages of proposing a date at StubHub with Japan’s Takashi Miura, who lost his belt to Vargas in the 2015 fight of the year.

A representative of Miura’s promotional company said Miura “can be ready for November, of course, and I know Salido is looking for a fight.”

Gibbons expressed confidence HBO would have interest since the bout would lead to the winner meeting Vargas in a 2017 rematch.

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“Bring Salido back to StubHub in November and he’s going to fill the house,” Gibbons said. “It doesn’t matter that there’s no belt on the line. The belt has [nothing] to do with this. The belt is not the same as a good story line.”

Of course, HBO knows that the most powerful next story line available for Lomachenko is a Salido rematch, so it wouldn’t be stunning to expect HBO and Arum to further discuss how much the promoter wants to give Salido.

Salido-Vargas had a peak HBO audience of 954,000 and nearly sold out StubHub, while Lomachenko-Martinez peaked at 613,000 without competing against a UFC pay-per-view.

Lomachenko manager, Egis Klimas, told The Times, “I got my fighter the minimum he wanted. It’s not my job to pay Salido or find the money for Salido to fight. It’s the promoter’s job. [Team Salido] remembers Lomachenko saying he’d give Nicholas Walters $300,000 of his purse if Walters could beat him. That’s not happening again.”

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Klimas told Gibbons on Twitter on Monday, “Between all u Mensa’s, u should be able to figure it out,” adding, “looks like you shopping … all over chasing everybody,” and reminding Gibbons Salido did not win the WBC title like Lomachenko won his belt.

Arum was not immediately available for comment. He briefly stopped speaking to reporters after criticism of placing the Terence Crawford-Viktor Postol 140-pound title unification on pay-per-view July 23.

He returned to answer criticism that Pacquiao, according to the fighter’s manager, decided to fight WBO welterweight champion Jessie Vargas on Nov. 5 instead of the unbeaten Crawford, referring to Pacquiao’s manager, Michael Koncz, as “a farmer.” Koncz and Arum boarded the same flight to the Philippines together Sunday.

If that awkward arrangement didn’t add to Arum’s crankiness, he certainly had some bitter news to absorb upon landing.

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Follow Lance Pugmire on Twitter @latimespugmire


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