By: Hans Themistode
No fans? No fight.
That’s the stance IBF Lightweight titlist Teofimo Lopez has taken for his contest against unified champion Vasiliy Lomachenko.
COVID-19, has forced boxing along with every other sport around the world to press pause on their schedule. It could be months before fans are given the green lights to attend events, but in the meanwhile, fights behind closed doors are being discussed.
If that option is brought to the table of Lopez however, no matter how badly he wants a fight with Lomachenko, count him out unless the fans can be in attendance.
“That wouldn’t happen,” Lopez said during SiriusXM’s “The Ak and Barak Show” this week. “I wouldn’t accept the fight if that was the case.”
“I mean, it ain’t the same without the fans,” Lopez explained. “I mean, if we’ve got LeBron out here saying it as well, it ain’t the same. The atmosphere – what makes New York and Madison Square Garden a place that I love – cuz you’re not gonna get the type of audience in New York. You’re not gonna get those Brooklyn fans. You’re not gonna get that energy anywhere else.”
“When you go out there, you’ve got all the people from Cali, they come out. You’ve got people from the East Coast coming out, New Jersey. You’re not gonna get that energy. And that brings more of a bigger audience. That makes it just that much more fun. It’s a drug that I’m addicted to. And if it ain’t no [fans], it’s pretty much considered a sparring match.”
The thought of becoming an undisputed champion has been on the mind of both Lopez and father for years now. They’ve bragged and boasted that Lomachenko won’t make it the distance. Lomachenko on other hand, has been quiet.
Regardless of how badly Lopez wants to make his dreams a reality, he simply isn’t interested in the contest if he can’t perform in front of his fans.
“Everything I do is for the fans. Everything I love to do, and why I get so excited when I’m in there, is because of the fans. They bring that energy out for me. You know, whether it’s in Cali, whether it’s in Vegas, it don’t matter where. It’s just, for me, I devote everything to the fans. So, it’s gotta be done with the fans. Somehow, some way.”