Vasiliy Lomachenko Vs. Teofimo Lopez: What Is Bob Arum Hoping For?
While not a dealbreaker, Top Rank’s Bob Arum is looking into making sure a lightweight unification bout is the biggest thing going on in boxing.
After months of negotiating, it appears we are close to seeing Teofimo Lopez v. Vasiliy Lomachenko. Lopez (15-0), the IBF Lightweight Champion, agreed to fight the WBA, WBO, and WBC Lightweight Champion Lomachenko (14-1) on October 17. As of now, the fight will take place inside the MGM Grand Conference Center in Las Vegas, Nevada.
Due to COVID-19, no fans are allowed in sports arenas. Arum, however, who originally wanted the fight inside Allegiant Stadium, still has hope something can come to fruition.
“if we get the go-ahead form the government, from Nevada we will consider doing the fight at the MGM with limited spectators,” Arum stated to ESPN. “If that’s not possible, it just goes in ‘the bubble.”’
A fight between the two was meant to take place in March inside Madison Square Garden, but the coronavirus pandemic halted all plans. Talks heated up until Lopez rejected an offer in recess of $1.2 million for a fight. He agreed to a purse package worth $3.5 million but was able to reduce it to $3.25 million.
Lopez 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.
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.
If a certain number of individuals can enter the “Bubble” and the right safety procedures are in place, Arum may not hesitate when it comes to bringing in fans.