Vasyl Lomachenko vs. Teofimo Lopez possible for September behind-closed-doors in U.S
By Chris Williams: Promoter Bob Arum is optimistic that Vasily Lomachenko and Teofimo Lopez will be fighting next in September behind-closed-doors in the United States. One huge obstacle that could prevent the Lomachenko-Lopez fight from taking place in September is the travel ban.
The U.S will need to lift the ban for WBA/WBC Franchise/WBO lightweight champion Lomachenko (14-1, 10 KOs) and his team to be able to come to the U.S. Arum says he’s working at trying to find a way to bring Loma and his team over to the U.S.
Big money loss fighting without fans
What’s interesting is Arum is willing to stage the Lomachenko vs. Lopez fight without an audience, which is surprising. This is a fight that would bring in a lot of fans if they stage it at Madison Square Garden in New York. Teofimo has a lot of supporters in New York, and Lomachenko has a lot of fans.
With Teofimo being just 22, it’s not as big a deal for him to lose out on the gate compared to the 32-year-old Lomachenko. Teofimo is going to be around for a long time, and he can make big bucks in the future once the pandemic disappears. Lomachenko is too old to wait for the pandemic to vanish, considering that he may be in his mid-30s by the time this thing goes away.
If they choose to fight without fans in 2020, they could be losing out on a lot of money. However, with the future situation with the pandemic being murky, it might be better for Lomachenko and Teofimo to get it over with and fight behind-closed-doors.
If this thing lasts as long as the 1918 pandemic, it’ll be around for three years. That’s a long time for Teofimo and Lomachenko to be waiting for fans to be allowed back in, and they can’t afford to wait.
Behind closed doors for Lomachenko-Teofimo
“No, we would want to do that fight as soon as possible,” said Arum to Ringside Reporter Live on the Lomachenko vs. Teofimo fight. “Loma is over in Ukraine, and we’re exploring now means for him to get back into the United States with his father and the rest of his training staff.
“I know [Teofimo] Lopez calls me all the time and his management that they’re ready. We’re not looking for any interim fights. We’re looking to go right into a Loma-Lopez fight, and we’re looking to do it in the United States, and it may very well be that we would do it without spectators.
The numbers there might be high, but they’re not like the numbers that you have in a big heavyweight fight. So the gate is not as important as they would be in a Fury-Wilder battle, where we gook in $17 million gate last time.
“So the fighters may make an adjustment, and they may be working more on the upside pay-per-view event,” said Arum.
It might be a better idea for Arum to stage the Lomachenko-Lopez fight in a foreign country like the Middle East, China, or Eastern Europe. However, there may not be interest from those countries in staging a low-level fight between Loma and Teofimo.
China and the Middle East would jump at the chance of staging a heavyweight clash between Anthony Joshua and Tyson Fury, but probably not Lomachenko vs. Teofimo. Those guys aren’t stars, and it wouldn’t do much for those countries to pay a colossal site fee to stage that fight in their countries.
Lomachenko vs. Lopez targeted for September
“We’ll get it done, and hopefully, we’ll get it done by September if we can get Loma and his people over here,” said Arum on Lomachenko vs. Lopez.
Arum is probably a little too optimistic, projecting that Lomachenko vs. Teofimo takes place in the United States in September. The U.S government is strict with the travel situation now, and the States that Arum is probably looking at might make it too labor-intensive to put a card on behind-closed-doors.
It would be a lot of red tape for Arum, and it might be better for him to wait a couple of months to December or January before he makes the Lomachenko vs. Lopez fight.
The longer they delay the fight, the more it favors Teofimo. He’s getting stronger as he gets older, and he’s going to have a big advantage over the aging Lomachenko the longer this fight is put off.
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