Not long ago, it looked as if a lightweight unification bout between Vasiliy Lomachenko and Teofimo Lopez was close to being made official. Now, there is some doubt if the fight will be produced before the end of the year.
Originally discussed for March before the coronavirus pandemic halted talks, the bout was rumored for September 19. The original date of Deontay Wilder v. Tyson Fury III, October 3, then became the premier spot for the fight. That may not happen, however, if nothing is official. According to Mike Coppinger of The Athletic, neither IBF Lightweight Champion Teofimo Lopez (15-0) or WBA, WBO, and WBC Lightweight Champion Vasiliy Lomachenko (14-1) have received offers for a bout.
It appears that the two did not receive an offer before the initial March date as well. According to the report, October is now considered a “best-case scenario” for the fight to take place. This is due to negotiations of pay as well as where the fight would be. According to Top Rank’s Bob Arum, Allegiant Stadium, home of the now-Las Vegas Raiders would be the ideal location.
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.
Arum has been adamant that he wants fans to be able to attend a fight between the two. That would help create revenue that both fighters would normally be able to create for Top Rank. The promotion has been producing events from inside the MGM Grand Conference Center, but not fights similar to Lomachenko-Lopez. Premier Boxing Champions is set to return to action in August, and have shown interest in doing PPV-type events without fans.
The fight may also be delayed if restrictions to Nevada return as a result of COVID-19. That would complicate training camps during a time when access to gyms has already been limited.
As of now, Top Rank is hoping something can come out of a fight between the two. It is unknown when negotiations will take place for a potential clash.