Teofimo Lopez Frustrated Lomachenko Fight Not Finalized
When Teofimo Lopez (15-0, 12 KOs) knocked out Richard Commey to win the IBF World Lightweight title on December 14, 2019, it was presumed that all roads would lead to a showdown against WBA World “Super”/WBO World Lightweight champion Vasyl Lomachenko (14-1, 10 KOs).
At ringside to witness Lopez win over Commey, Lomachenko was asked about the ambitious 22-year-old from Brooklyn. He responded by saying “welcome to my club, see you in April (2020).”
Now when it comes to the action in the ring, things have been put on freeze due to concerns over the COVID-19/coronavirus pandemic. However, that doesn’t mean the business of the sport stops outside of the ring. Deals and fights still can be negotiated and made.
LOPEZ FRUSTRATED BY TEAM LOMA
What was thought to be a mere formality regarding a Lomachenko – Lopez lightweight unification showdown has become an annoyance for the young Brooklynite. During a sit-down interview with ESPN, Lopez explained why he’s becoming tiresome of what he described as Team Loma being “difficult”.
“We were waiting, particularly on Loma and his team for the fight. I think he was being mad difficult with certain things, negotiation-wise. He wanted a bigger cut, he wanted a bigger percentage, such and such.
So it was pretty much going back and forth. Now this happened, and apparently, they sent Loma back to Ukraine, back home. So I don’t know, honestly. I’m just frustrated about all this and about how he handled things and how he’s doing things.”
Lopez went on to say he will not wait for Lomachenko, expressing he eventually wants to move up to the junior welterweight division.
Egis Klimas, manager of Lomachenko ,did affirm to ESPN that his charge was training in the States from March 7-16 before going back to his native Ukraine. According to him, while they have not officially signed a deal, they’ve agreed to all terms, feeling the fight will happen.
TIMING IS EVERYTHING
This back and forth between both camps can be summed up in two ways. One, Lopez is young, full of vigor and itching to fight. He wants this fight ASAP.
It’s well known he has issues making 135-pounds and has admitted the only reason he’s still fighting at lightweight is to face Lomachenko, a fighter some feel is the #1 pound-for-pound fighter in the sport. Secondly, boxing is on edge right now as a result of the coronavirus pandemic. No one knows what will truly happen next.
While there’s virtually no action taking place in the ring, there’s plenty of business happening outside the ropes. Because both Lopez and Lomachenko are promoted by Bob Arum, the fight will probably happen. At this point, it’s a question of when.
Here’s hoping that all the minutiae is resolved and things are a go. When (or if) the sport recaptures a sense of normalcy and fights are once again taking place regularly, Lomachenko-Lopez is one of the more intriguing bouts in boxing.
By: Michael Wilson Jr.