By: Hans Themistode
Boxing fans have collectively stood around a toilet bowl and watched their 2020 schedule go down the drain.
Fights such as Deontay Wilder vs Tyson Fury 3, Anthony Joshua vs Kubrat Pulev and Naoya Inoue vs John Reil Casimero have all gone by the wayside due to COVID-19. One matchup that has also been a casualty of this deadly virus however, has promoter Bob Arum grabbing his plunger with the hopes of pulling it out of the drain before it’s too late.
IBF Lightweight belt holder Teofimo Lopez literally punched his ticket to a fight with unified champion Vasiliy Lomachenko with his highlight reel knockout over former titlist Richard Commey in December, of 2019. Plans of a unification matchup were tentatively set for May of this year. But, like every other big matchup on the docket, COVID-19 had other plans.
It’s possible for the contest to still take place without any fans in attendance, but Arum has other ideas in mind.
“A big fight, we’re hoping to do it in September with a limited audience,” Arum told Sky Sports.
“We’re talking to the new American football team. The Las Vegas Raiders, who have a beautiful new $1.8 billion stadium. They’re talking to us about doing this fight in their stadium in September. Maybe 10,000 people spread out. Everybody is working to get these things done.”
For Lomachenko, he is regarded by most, as the best fighter in the world. But he has yet to step foot inside of the ring in 2020. In fact, if Arum’s timetable comes to life, the unified champion will have been out of the ring for over one year. Not exactly ideal circumstances when considering that at least on paper, Lopez is the hardest hitting puncher he has ever faced.
Still, the enthusiasm of boxing fans has to be curved to at least some extent. According to Arum, there are still plenty of steps that must take place first.
“We can’t talk definitely until we have satisfied all the regulatory bodies. The Nevada commission is way ahead of everybody in terms of moving forwards.”