How Would You be Able To Watch A Potential Vasiliy Lomachenko Vs. Teofimo Lopez Fight?
The boxing world has slowly begun the process of creating fights that fans can pay for. This is after months of inactivity due to the coronavirus. Could Top Rank end up becoming one of those promotions?
Since June, Top Rank has been producing fights from inside the MGM Grand Conference Center in Las Vegas, Nevada. All fights from inside the “Bubble” have aired on ESPN. With all of the promotion’s major players expected to return soon, Bob Arum is hoping to take advantage.
According to Boxing Scene, a lightweight unification bout between IBF Lightweight Champion Teofimo Lopez (15-0) and WBA, WBO, and WBC Lightweight Champion Vasiliy Lomachenko (14-1) could very well air on ESPN. There is also the idea of producing the fight on PPV via ESPN+. Arum is sticking to the October 3 date for the fight and is waiting to see how ESPN wants to handle promotion and production for the fight.
“We’re going October 3rd,” Arum stated. “We’re negotiating the purses with Teofimo and with Lomachenko. We’re making progress, and hopefully we’ll get it agreed to soon. ESPN is gonna do it. I don’t know whether they’ll do it on linear or pay-per-view, but that’s up to them.”
“It’s an expensive fight, but if college football goes away [due to COVID-19], instead of showing a big football game, say a Michigan-Ohio State game, for example, if we do Lomachenko-Lopez and put two title fights with it, that’s a big, tentpole event that could be a good substitute for a big college football game on ESPN.”
Both fighters were originally scheduled to compete against one another in March before the coronavirus pandemic shut everything down. September 19 was announced as a potential landing spot before October was announced. Arum is hoping to have the event inside Allegiant Stadium, home of the now-Las Vegas Raiders.
Lomachenko won gold in his first professional fight in 2013. He ended up winning the WBO Featherweight Title in his third fight. Holding junior-featherweight gold, “Loma” won the WBA Lightweight Title from Jorge Linares. A WBO Champion, Lomachenko last fought Luke Campbell in August, where he won the WBC Lightweight Title.
Lopez turned professional in 2016. He won NABF gold in 2018 and ended up knocking out Richard Commey back in December to win the IBF Lightweight Title. The 22-year-old has twelve wins via knockout.
Top Rank would join Showtime as a promotion set to host PPV events if it was to work out that way.