The proposed bout between unified lightweight champion Vasiliy Lomachenko (14-1, 10 KOs) and IBF belt holder Teofimo Lopez (15-0, 12 KOs) tentatively set for Oct. 3 is officially in jeopardy.
According to a report from The Athletic, Lopez is balking at the $1.25 million offer from Top Rank for the fight.
Theoretically, Lomachenko-Lopez seemed like an easy matchup to make with both fighters being promoted by Top Rank. But the financial parameters on the business side of boxing have changed because of the current economic conditions as a result of the coronavirus pandemic.
“We explained to them we have no gate, no closed-circuit,” said Top Rank CEO Bob Arum of his talks with Lopez. “I mean, we’re willing to pay him a big price, but again, I’m not going to lose millions of dollars on an event because he thinks he’s worth more.”
After Lopez knocked out Richard Commey in two rounds last December to win his first world title, anticipation for a showdown with Lomachenko at Madison Square Garden in the spring began to grow.
Lomachenko, who holds the WBO and WBA lightweight belts, as well as the WBC franchise title, is considered by many to be the pound-for-pound best boxer in the world. Lomachenko is ESPN’s top-rated lightweight, followed by Lopez
Lopez’s manager. David McWater, says he understands the situation but believes his fighter deserves a bigger payday for a fight of this magnitude.