Vasily Lomachenko vs. Teofimo Lopez looking shaky for October 3
By Max Seitelman: Vasiliy Lomachenko vs. Teofimo Lopez ESPN+ pay-per-view fight STILL isn’t signed, and there’s a growing belief among boxing fans that it won’t take place in 2020.
October 3 is the new date for the fight, but that could change too. The match would have taken place on May 30, but he pandemic fouled things up.
The fact that Top Rank isn’t talking about the Lomachenko vs. Teofimo fight suggests that they may choose to wait until 2021 before staging it. You can’t blame them, considering that they would be leaving a lot of money on the table by scheduling the Lomachenko vs. Lopez’s unification fight without fans.
Lomachenko vs. Lopez date keeps moving
The date for the Lomachenko-Lopez contest keeps getting moved. Initially, the two were supposed to fight at the end of May, and then there was talk of it getting pushed to September 19 in Las Vegas, Nevada. Now it’s October 3 that we could see Loma and Teofimo (15-0, 12 KOs) finally get it on. Don’t bet on it.
According to Mike Coppinger, there haven’t been any offers made, and that’s worrisome. The combination of the continually shifting dates and the absence of an offer for the Lopez vs. Lomachenko fight indicates that Top Rank boss Bob Arum may be sitting back and hoping that a vaccine will be produced soon so that live crowds can come back.
It’s doubtful that a vaccine will be introduced to the market before December. They still need to test it out because it could be trouble if it doesn’t work or if it makes people sick. That’s why it could be a waste of time for Arum to hope for that to take place. It’s a pipedream.
You can understand why Top Rank and Arum don’t want to finalize the Lomachenko-Lopez fight yet because there’s too much money that will be lost if they lose out on the gate.
Too much money at stake
The fight is much too big for it to take place behind closed doors, which is why Arum needs to hold off on scheduling Lomachenko’s match against Lopez until 2021. Once he seems what the situation looks like next year in terms of the virus, then he can either schedule Lomachenko vs. Lopez or continue to wait.
If Arum wanted to match Lomachenko against Lopez two or three times, then it won’t be as big of a deal for them to fight behind closed doors in 2020. They would still be able to make big bucks fighting each other in front of fans in 2021 and 2022.
With Lomachenko planning on moving back down to 130, and Teofimo going up to 140, their fight will likely be a one-off. They won’t be able to fight a second or third time because both guys are heading in a different direction. That’s why Arum must wait until he’s sure that Teofimo-Lomachenko can take place in front of fans.
It would be better for the fans if Arum made an announcement now that he won’t be staging Lomachenko and Teofimo until next year. At least if Arum does that, he won’t be getting the fan’s hopes up for nothing.
December might not work
Teofimo-Loma isn’t the only colossal fight that is having problems getting scheduled. Arum still hasn’t planned the Tyson Fury vs. Deonay Wilder trilogy match. That’s a match-up that has constantly shifting dates as well, and we don’t know when it’ll take place. Top Rank is talking about December, but the fight has already been moved more than once.
There’s nothing magical about December, but Arum and Top Rank may be hoping the vaccine will be available to the U.S public by then. In a perfect world, the vaccine will be there, and everyone in the States will be immunized. That’s so unlikely to happen, though.
You hate to drizzle on people’s parade, but we’re probably going to have to wait until the first half of next year before a live crowd can attend an essential fight like Lomachenko vs. Lopez.
Lomachenko is getting old at 32, and it would be a shame if he gets less than big money to fight Lopez behind closed doors.
Another reason why it’s better to wait on the Lopez vs. Vasily fight until 2021 is because the economy is so miserable right now. It’s no longer just an issue about the gate. The reality is that fans are hurting financially, and many of them can’t afford to pay $75 to watch Lomachenko battle Lopez on ESPN+ pay-per-view.
Will fans be able to afford Lomachenko vs. Lopez?
If people are jobless or working part-time because that’s all they can find, they’re not going to be able to afford to purchase the steep price tag for Lomachenko against Teofimo this year. So, if Top Rank believes that Lomachenko-Teofimo will still make huge even without a live gate, they could be very wrong. It might not bring in many buys at all right now.
Yeah, the fan that is employed full time can still potentially purchase the fight, but there may not be enough of them. The numbers of unemployed Americans are truly staggering right now. We’re talking levels not seen since ‘The Great Depression,’ and there’s no end in sight for this misery.
No one can predict when a vaccine will be produced or if it’ll be effective in stopping the spread of the virus. Even if the infection does disappear, it could take many years for the U.S economy to recover from this. It won’t be overnight. It’s going to take a lot longer to undo the damage than it did for it to take place.
Lomachenko vs. Lopez is a risky fight for both guys career-wise, and they’re going to get shortchanged if they face each other without fans.
The loser of this fight won’t be happy if his career is damaged from the defeat, and all he got was chump change. That’s why Top Rank almost has to postpone the Lomachenko fight until 2021 so that these guys can make massive money. Will things be better next year? Probably not much better.
It may take two or three years before things swing back around again. Top Rank can’t wait that long before they stage the Lomachenko vs. Teofimo fight.
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