By Sean Jones: Teofimo Lopez and Vasily Lomachenko will be fighting in front of a small crowd of 250 people when they meet up in 12 days from now on October 17th at ‘The Bubble’ in the MGM Grand in Las Vegas, Nevada.
Top Rank promoter Bob Arum says they’ll be letting a small group of the first responders to attend the fight live a the MGM Grand. These are the people that took care of the COVID patients.
As far as the fight goes, IBF lightweight champion Lopez (5-0, 12 KOs) says he doesn’t like Lomachenko’s personality and the way that he carries himself.
Teofimo got to see what Lomachenko is like in person in interacting with him and views him as arrogant, and he wants to put him in his place on October 17th.
The 23-year-old Brooklyn, New York native Lopez has already apologized to Arum for what he’s going to do to WBA/WBC/WBO lightweight champion Lomachenko (14-1, 10 KOs)
When the smoke emerges on October 17th, we’ll have an undisputed 135-lb champion with the Lomachenki vs. Teofimo fight winner.
250 people allowed to see Lomachenko-Lopez in bubble
“This is the biggest fight of the year,” said Bob Arum about the Lomachenko vs. Lopez fight. “People have been looking forward to this fight for so long, and I want to give a shout out to ESPN for giving us the wherewithal to show this fight without an additional charge to anybody.
“People that love boxing and follow the sport are looking forward to this match as I am. One of the innovations that we’ll have here is thanks to the state of Nevada that we’ll be able to admit to the Bubble 250 to watch the fight under strict guidelines. So we will have a cheering audience at the fight.
“There are no tickets available,” said Arum about the 250 people allowed into the Bubble at the MGM Grand for the Lomachenko-Lopez fight. “The people that are admitted under the strict protocols will be the so-called first responders.
“We’re looking to reward those people that worked in the hospitals, taking care of the COVID patients. There will be a few additional senses among the 250 given to the fight camps to invite people near and dear to them, which wouldn’t have been allowed under the old protocol.
“But there will be no sales of tickets, no high rollers or any of that stuff. I think Aaron will clarify that some of those seats will be available to the media, but all under very strict monitoring protocols, which Brad Jacobs will be distributed to everybody who wants to attend the fight,” said Arum.
Hopefully, none of the people that are attending the Lopez vs. Lomachenko contest are ill because that would be bad. Arum didn’t say what precautions they would have to ensure that no one is sick in the audience.
Teofimo can’t wait to put hands on Lomachenko
“I’m 12 days out from being undisputed champion. That’s where my mindset is at,” said Teofimo. “I’m 23-years-young, and we have a lot to showcase. I’m very content. No nerves.
“I’m just ready and determined. The winner comes out the undisputed lightweight champion. That’s something historic right there. This is for all the marbles. I’m very thankful, very happy, and I can’t wait,” said Teofimo Lopez.
“Moving forward, I’ve had my reasons. I’ve seen how Vasily Lomachenko carries himself outside of the sport. I got to witness that in person because I am a professional athlete, I can see behind the scenes.
“And I just don’t like it. I don’t like the way things have been carried upon with him. That’s why on October 17th, I can’t wait to put hands on him. Sorry, Bob. I know that’s your guy, but he ain’t going to be your guy after this,” said Lopez.
After all this time, Teofimo is finally about to land his shots on Lomachenko, and its going to be exciting to see if he can take it. Teofimo says he put on more muscle from his previous fight last December in working out, and he’s going to have more size after he rehydrates.
For Lomachenko, this will be a new experience in fighting the biggest opponent of his career. Lomachenko got marked up in his wins over Jose Pedraza, Jorge Linares, and Luke Campbell at 135. He looked like the loser at the end of those fights from just looking at how bashed up his face was.
Vasily’s experience won’t matter
“I understand experience plays a big role and a big key, and the amount of years and all that,” said Teofimo. “It was the same thing that they said about Richard Commey.
“He had more years than me in the pro game, and he’s ell more experienced than people say I am. The thing is, look what happened. I’m different. I truly believe I am. I’m built different, and I’m different on many aspects. I’m one of those fighters that, ‘What can’t Teofimo do?’ What can I not do, and that’s something I’m very happy about.
“You guys have only seen me for three and half years. You’ve only looked at Teofimo now. You guys haven’t seen anything yet, and I’m learning as I continue to do what I do. I learn something each and every day, and you haven’t seen anything of Teofimo.
“People only see me as a power puncher, and I power in both hands. The thing is, my ring IQ is different, and I think that’s what’s going to play a big role come October 17th,” Teofimo added.
It’s good to have experience in boxing, but when a fighter gets old like the 32-year-old Lomachenko, it works against them. In other words, the experience is helpful up to a point. As a fighter gets older, the wear and tear start to add up, and it’s not helpful being experienced.
In the case of Teofimo, he’s much younger, faster, and stronger than Lomachenko, and that could nullify his experience and talent.
Lopez happy to fight in front of fans
“It’s good to have fans,” said Lopez. “250 people is better than no people at all, especially for this type of magnitude of a fight going on. If this was 2019, we would have had a better outcome, but we find a way to make it work.
“Thanks to ESPN, Top Rank, and Bob Arum, we find different ways to entertain the fight fans. That’s why this fight is on cable TV to tune in and watch. That’s the thing about it, you don’t have pay to watch it on pay-per-view for.
“It could be and should be pay-per-view. This is a pay-per-view fight absolutely. We thank about what’s going on. It’s going to be a great night and whoever those 250 people are, they’re going to have a treat right there,” said Lopez.
A crowd of 250 wn’t make much of a difference in the Lomachenko-Lopez fight, but it’ll still be interesting to hear who they root for. You have to assume that many of them will be rooting for Teofimo, as he’s the American and the first responders will be from the U.S.
With Teofimo’s one-punch power, it wonder that the crowd is small. If Lopez lands one of his big shots on the button, he could stun Lomachenko and knock him out. If Teofimo staggers Lomachenko, he could poleaxe him moments later, and that would be brutal to watch.
Teofimo doesn’t view Lomachenko fight as a risk
“I’m looking forward to October 17th, not to shock the world, but to prove to myself that I am the best,” said Lopez. “I don’t look at it as a risk. Bob can explain it better than I can because he was there during those times with Muhammad Ali, Roberto Duran, Tommy Hearns.
“Those guys fought each other regardless of their record to become the best. They fought those guys Marvin Hagler. They didn’t care. they wanted to put on a show for the fans and prove to themselves that they are the best in their division, and that’s what it comes to.
“I understand Floyd Mayweather and everything that’s been going on. You’ve got to protect your ‘O’, but there’s been a lot of great fighters that have come off a loss and are now a cash cow and cash kings with Canelo, Anthony Joshua and so many others.
“I don’t look at it as a risk, but I’m not coming in with a mindset of loosing,” said Lomachenko.
If Teofimo looks good effort in the Lomachenko fight and makes it competitive, he’ll come out of it with a lot of popularity even if he loses.
The only way Teofimo can beomre a star is by beating the aging lion Lomachenko now rather than waiting until he’s in his mid to late 30s. If Lopez were to wait that long to fight Loma, he won’t get credit from boxing fans because they’ll see him as pulling a Canelo in facing a top guy after he got old.