Is There A New Plan For Teofimo Lopez?
It appears the dream of a Teofimo Lopez-Vasiliy Lomachenko bout will remain just that, at least for right now.
Recently, talks of a Lopez v. Lomachenko fight hit a standstill. Lopez rejected an offer in recess of $1.2 million for a fight, and would now make less if he is “resigned” to defend his IBF Lightweight Title against another opponent. This comes after the two were scheduled to clash on October 3.
Top Rank’s Bob Arum has attempted to explain that negotiations have been hard due to a lack of potential resources. He has been hoping fans can attend the event inside Allegiant Stadium, home of the now-Las Vegas Raiders. With a lack of revenue an issue, Arum is looking to not break the bank.
“We explained to them we have no gate, no closed-circuit,” said Arum to ESPN. “I mean, we’re willing to pay him a big price, but again, I’m not going to lose millions of dollars on an event because he thinks he’s worth more.”
Lopez (15-0) turned professional in 2016. The Brooklyn-born star won the vacant WBC Continental Americas Lightweight Title in his tenth pro fight. He won NABF gold in 2018 and ended up knocking out Richard Commey back in December to win the IBF Lightweight Title. That was the last time he fought inside a boxing ring. The 22-year-old has twelve wins via knockout.
Both he and WBA, WBO, and WBC Lightweight Champion Lomachenko (14-1) were originally scheduled to compete against one another in March before the coronavirus pandemic shut everything down. David McWater, Lopez’s manager, believes that if he is not getting paid what he believes his value is, then it is time to move on.
“Everybody is trying to do the right thing,” said McWater. “But there doesn’t seem to be enough money for everybody. We were willing to take a hair cut from what was expected before, but not one of the magnitude presented to us.”
“I think more likely we would take another fight at 135 and revisit [Lomachenko].”
McWater went on to say that ESPN, the network in which the potential PPV bout would air on, should try and collaborate better with Top Rank. He agrees that Top Rank shouldn’t have to lose money on a bout with no fans, but neither should Lopez.
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.
Both Lomachenko and Lopez have expressed interest in moving weights to advance their careers. With Lomachenko needing to fight mandatory challengers outside of Lopez, it may take a while for talks to come up again. While he isn’t officially done with the idea of Lomachenko-Lopez, Arum is not going to halt all plans for Top Rank just for Lopez.
“If we don’t make a deal with him, we’ll move off,” said Arum. “But I’m optimistic still that we’ll come to terms.”