Anthony Crolla could be the next opponent for Vasiliy Lomachenko

Anthony Crolla could challenge unified lightweight world titleholder Vasiliy Lomachenko a lot sooner -- if his promoter has his way.

Eddie Hearn, of Matchroom Boxing, will have a challenge up his sleeve though, as Lomachenko has his eyes set on fighting the winner of Richard Commey and Isa Chaniev, who are competing for the vacant IBF world title on February 2. Furthermore, the WBA has ordered a February 4th purse bid for Lomachenko-Crolla.

Crolla (34-6-3, 13 KO's), 32, of Manchester, outpointed Daud Jordan last November to become Lomachenko's mandatory challenger. Lomachenko (12-1, 9 KO's), the dual Olympic gold medalist from Ukraine, methodically dominated Jose Pedraza to unify two 135-pound world titles last month in the main event of a Top Rank Boxing on ESPN card at the Hulu Theater at Madison Square Garden.

"The money for that fight is actually in America," Hearn told Sky Sports. "I don't believe that fight happens in the UK, but there are purse bids on February 4.

"Top Rank will try to get a unification fight for Lomachenko. Crolla would have to wait, but we don't think that should be allowed, because it was called before certain fights were made, and if it goes to purse bids, someone is going to be very happy."

Crolla was outpointed in two bouts with former three-division world champion Jorge Linares, who Lomachenko defeated via 10th-round stoppage despite suffering a torn labrum during their May 2018 fight.

Crolla knows what he is up against, but he has a high sense of optimism about fighting Lomachenko.

"I feel fantastic in the gym, I feel like I'm still improving, but I know it's one of those sports, it can take a lot from you, and you've got to take more from boxing than it takes from you. We'll assess it. One, two more fights, we'll see [where my career is at]," Crolla said.

"(Madison Square Garden) would certainly be a nice place to box, but that isn't in my head that I'd be thinking of, or thinking of getting in the ring with Lomachenko. I'd be going over there to win a world title and shock the world."

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