Arum says Vasiliy Lomachenko vs. Teofimo Lopez still possible for May 30
By Jim Maltzman: Vasiliy Lomachenko vs. Teofimo Lopez lightweight unification fight is still possible for May 30, according to their Top Rank promoter Bob Arum. With coronavirus pandemic having shutdown boxing, Arum isn’t certain if the Lomachenko-Lopez fight will still take place on May 30.
Arum says that even if they’re allowed to go ahead with the May 30 Lomachenko vs. Teofimo fight, they may still postpone if the fighters haven’t had enough time to train.
The uncertainty about the situation makes it difficult to predict if the fight will take place on the scheduled May 30 date or not. With just two months to go before May 30, it’s not looking likely that Lomachenko vs. Lopez will take place on that date. The coronavirus pandemic is still causing massive problems in the U.S.
WBA/WBC [F]/WBO lightweight champion Lomachenko (14-1, 10 KOs) is supposed to be facing IBF 135-lb champion Lopez (15-0, 12 KOs) in a fight for the undisputed lightweight championship on May 30 at Madison Square Garden in New York.
Arum: Nobody knows if Lomachenko vs. Lopez will happen at the end of May
“I don’t know what you mean by ‘officially on’ because Loma was over here beginning his sparring when he heard about the closing of the borders, and he’s in camp training in Ukraine,” said Arum to IFL TV when asked if the Lomachenko vs. Teofimo Lopez fight is still on. “Again, could this fight happen at the end of May? It’s all possible. Will it happen? Who knows? Nobody knows.
“We don’t know if fights will happen in May or happen in June,” Arum continued on the Lomachenko vs. Teofimo fight. “All we know is at some point in time fights will happen. So I’m not going to project that the fight will be postponed or it won’t be postponed,” said Arum.
The only thing that Arum, Lopez, and Lomachenko can do is wait and see if their fight will be allowed to go ahead. New York governor Andrew Cuomo will be the one that decides when boxing will be able to continue in the state.
When he gives the green light for mass gatherings for events such as boxing, then the Lomachenko vs. Lopez fight will be able to take place. New York City has 5,683 positive cases of coronavirus as of last Friday, according to the New York Post. The numbers are increasing at a rapid rate, and it’s not looking good for the Lomachenko-Lopez fight scheduled for May 30.
Lomachenko could face Teofimo in June or July
“It’s too early to tell,” said Arum in talking about the possibility of Lomachenko vs. Teofimo still taking place on May 30. “It may be that once we get close to May 30th, even though we’re allowed to go ahead, fighters won’t have sufficient time to train, we don’t have sufficient time to promote the fight.
“We’ll postpone it for June or July. Again, we’re all up in the air. Any kind of projections and so forth are all guesses. It’s not fair to the fans and it’s not fair to the fighters. It’s a good fight,” said Arum when asked how he sees the Lomachenko vs. Teofimo contest playing out.
Arum’s backup plans to postpone the Loma vs. Lopez fight for June or July might not work either. Right now, Arum is picking out months at random to come up with a time period that he can reschedule the fight.
It’s not going to work if the U.S doesn’t have a vaccine and/or better testing for the coronavirus. There are countries like Russia that are doing an excellent job of reducing the spread of the virus.
If the Lomachenko-Teofimo fight gets postponed until later this year, there will be a lot of upset boxing fans, but there’s nothing Arum can do about it. He can’t stage the fight behind closed doors because there’s no way of guaranteeing the safety of the fighters.
Arum: Lomachenko is the favorite over Lopez
“Nobody is technically better than Lomachenko,” said Arum. “On the other hand, Lopez is a strong, young guy with a tremendous punch. He’s the naturally bigger guy, Lopez is.
“Lomachenko is still basically a featherweight that’s fighting at lightweight. So I can see arguments both ways, but I would make Lomachenko the favorite in the fight,” said Arum.
It’s almost a given that the 32-year-old Lomachenko will be the favorite over Lopez. The two-time Olympic gold medalist Lomachenko has a lot more experience than Teofimo, and he’s been looking impressive recently.
Although Lopez is coming off a shocking 2nd round knockout win over Richard Commey last December, that’s not a big enough win to say that he’ll beat Loma. In Teofimo’s fight before that, he had problems beating Masayoshi Nakatani. He beat Nakatani, but he was getting hit a lot by the Japanese fighter and looked frustrated.
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