Vasiliy Lomachenko and Teofimo Lopez to fight in September – Bob Arum
By Chris Williams: Bob Arum states that lightweight champion Vasiliy Lomachenko and Teofimo Lopez will be fighting in September and he’s hoping that fans will be able to attend the events by that point.
Lomachenko and Lopez were supposed to fight last May, but the pandemic caused the fight to be postponed.
WBA/WBC/WBO lightweight champion Lomachenko (14-1, 10 KOs) and IBF champion Lopez (15-0, 12 KOs) aren’t interested in taking an interim match before facing each other.
A lot of boxing fans are interested in seeing the 32-year-old Lomachenko and 22-year-old Teofimo go at it. This might be one of the last times that Teofimo fights at 135, as he plans on moving up to 140 soon.
It’s hard for Teofimo to make weight because he’s outgrown the lightweight division, and it’s difficult for him to cut down each time.
Arum talks Lomachenko vs. Teofimo
“That’s going to be one of our September cards, where we’re going to be open to, hopefully, spectators,” said Arum to ESPN.com.
Arum doesn’t say what type of situation it would be with the fans. Will he have spacing between each seat at the venues? Is there going to be a crowd limit of 1,000 to 2,000 spectators? Further, how much will the tickets be? Will they be targeted to people with higher incomes?
Teofimo, 22, attempted to talk his way into a unification fight with WBC lightweight champion Devin Haney. Still, it was clear that there wasn’t any interest from his promoter in making that fight.
Although Haney did do a lot of talking about Teofimo on social media, his promoter Eddie Hearn seemed disinterested in making the fight.
It’ll be interesting to see if the crowds will be allowed to attend the Lomachenko-Lopez fight in September. If not, then the card is going to take a big hit with a loss of gate revenue.
This now or never for Lomachenko and Teofimo to fight. With Lomachenko getting older and possibly thinking about moving down in weight to 130, this is probably the last chance to make this fight.
Once Teofimo moves up to 140, then the chances of them fighting will be gone. It’s good that Arum was able to make the fight no while the two are briefly competing in the same division.
A lot of boxing fans believe that Lomachenko will be too crafty for the younger, less experienced Teofimo Lopez. That could be, but the youth, power, and the size of Teofimo could even things out considerably.
Is Lomachenko too old to win?
When you get an aging fighter facing a bigger, stronger, and younger opponent, it’s a toss-up. Lomachenko looked unbeatable years ago, but he’s not impressed with his recent fights against Jose Pedraza, Jorge Linares, and Luke Campbell. Loma took the punishment in all three of those contests, and he looked beatable.
Teofimo can’t match Lomachenko in the boxing department, but if he can land his shots on him, he could wear down the two-time Olympic gold medalist. Lomachenko can’t get hit as much as he did in the Pedraza, Campbell, and Linares fights by a slugger like Teofimo if he wants to win.
Lomachenko looked like a guy in his 40s after each of those three clashes, and you can only imagine how bad he’ll look after his contest with Teofimo. If that fight goes 12 rounds, Lomachenko’s face could be in bad shape. Teofimo hits way too hard for Lomachenko to let him hang around for 12 rounds.
The Top Rank boss Arum didn’t say whether he plans on making the Lomachenko vs. Lopez fight on ESPN pay-per-view or not.
Naoya Inoue vs. John Riel Casimero in September
In addition to the Lomachenko-Teofimo fight, Arum is also interested in staging the bantamweight unification fight between IBF/WBA 118-pound champion Naoya Inoue and WBO champion John Riel Casimero. This would be a separate date and card than the Teofimo vs. Lomachenko fight.
Inoue is coming off of a win over Nonito Donaire in the World Boxing Super Series tournament in Japan. That fight proved to be a costly one for Inoue, as he suffered a fractured eye ridge, broken nose, and a cut. Casimero is a big puncher like Donaire, and he could be a problem for Inoue if he can take him into the later rounds.
It would be nice if Arum compiled the Lomachenko-Lopez and Inoue-Casimero fights on one card, but he’s not going to do that. Both fights are too big for them to be put on one card. However, if Arum is considering peddling these fights on pay-per-view, then putting them together would be the way to go.
Trying to sell either of these fights on PPV during pandemic would be brutal. With a lot of people unemployed due to companies being closed down, fans don’t have the disposable income to spend $60 to $80 on pay-per-view in the U.S right now.
We’ll see if things change with the economy by September, but if not, then it might be a train wreck if Arum tries to hawk these fights on pay-per-view. They’re both excellent fights, but pay-per-view? I don’t think that’s going to work right now, given the current circumstances.
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