By Chris Williams: Teofimo Lopez is NOT happy with how the negotiations went with Vasiliy Lomachenko and he’s even less pleased that the coronavirus will likely cause their May 30 fight to be postponed. Teofimo (15-0, 12 KOs) complains that he hasn’t fought since winning the IBF lightweight title last December, and he wants to fight 2 to 3 times in 2020.
The young Teofimo and Lomachenko are supposed to be fighting at Madison Square Garden in New York on May 30, but the COVID 19 pandemic is likely to cause that fight to be postponed.
Lomachenko had been training in the U.S for the Teofimo fight, but he’s since gone back to his native Ukraine now that things are looking shaky. With the postponements of many boxing events due to the coronavirus, it was pointless for Lomachenko to stay in the U.S.
Lopez hasn’t fought since last December
Unfortunately, the way things are looking, the 22-year-old Lopez will be fortunate if he gets one fight this year. That works in the 32-year-old Lomachenko’s favor, on account of the fact that he’s finished growing. Lopez is still growing, and he’s already having a hard time getting down to the 135 pound limit.
If his unification contest against WBA/WBC [F]/WBO lightweight champion Lomachenko is delayed for a year to 2021, it could be a hardship for Teofimo to make weight. That would work in Loma’s favor because he would have a potentially weakened Lopez to contend with.
If the fight ends up being postponed for a year, Lopez will be in a shaky position to take on Lomachenko in 2021. Will Teofimo still be able to make the 135-lb limit by that time?
Maybe not but that obviously that Loma and his team will be worried about. It works for them if Teofimo is weakened for the fight, and they’re not going to complain if he’s looking wasted physically after making weight.
With Lopez under contract to fight Lomachenko, he probably can’t go up to 140 right now no matter how much he wants to.
It’s just cruel fate that the coronavirus has come about at this time, given that the delay could work in Lomachenko’s favor. He’s not growing, and he won’t have to struggle to make weight the way Teofimo will.
Teofimo not happy with Lomachenko
“We were waiting…he [Lomachenko] went quite a bit from one side to the other in the talks, now this happened, and apparently they sent Loma back to Ukraine, back home. So I don’t know, honestly, I’m frustrated by all this and by how he handled things and how he’s doing them,” said Teofimo to ESPN.
“We are not going to wait for this guy,” said the Brooklyn, New York native. “We gave him everything he needs and everything he wants and now he complains about New York,” said Lopez.
“This is 2020, and I have not fought yet, and we are already in March, and I fought in December,” López said. “I am trying to fight at least two or three times this year, and who knows how long this virus will last,” said Lopez.
Teofimo says Lomachenko started saying he didn’t want the fight in New York, and that he wanted to move it to Las Vegas. Then he started talking about Cali.
From the start of the negotiations, Teofimo had issues with Lomachenko. The time that it took with putting the fight together bothered Lopez, and he reportedly didn’t like the percentage that he got. Lomachenko is the bigger name right now, so it made Lopez the B-side in the equation.
It’s something that all young fighters like Teofimo have to deal with during negotiations with old lions that have been around the sport for ages.
In order to become a star, guys like Lopez have to take the smaller cut against the established names. However, once Lopez beats Lomachenko, his career will take off, and he’ll be able to command the bigger purse split against most of his opposition from that point forward.