By: Hans Themistode
Once upon a time, the boxing schedule was filled with some of the interesting matches possible.
WBC and Lineal Heavyweight champ Tyson Fury and Deontay Wilder were heading toward a third matchup against one another. Former Super Lightweight world champions Regis Prograis and Maurice were on the boxing docket as well. Even a woman’s super fight between undisputed Lightweight champion Katie Taylor and eight division champ Amanda Serrano was on the schedule as well.
Those aforementioned fights, coupled with plenty of others, was set to make the year 2020 one of the most memorable in recent memory. Yet with so many contests on the boxing program, there was one that seemed to stand above the rest. A Lightweight unification match against unified champ Vasiliy Lomachenko and IBF titlist Teofimo Lopez.
Originally, the two were scheduled to face one another with all the marbles on the line on May 30th, but with this global pandemic due to the Coronavirus, the IBF champ is pretty sure it won’t happen on the initial date.
“It’s not gonna be May 30th no more,” said Lopez. “It’ll be a whole new date. You’ve gotta think about it. They sent Lomachenko back home to Ukraine. And usually, us as fighters, we get ready within a two-month span, which would be right now. They don’t know when this thing is gonna be over. It could be over in April, and then you’ve gotta think it would be pushed back to June.”
“No matter what, put two, maybe 2½ months [after] that time. Some people expect September or October, maybe even November. They expect Wilder-Fury to happen in October, November. Same thing with Loma-Lopez. We’ve just gotta wait and see, honestly.”
It’s been a crazy four year career for Lopez so far. When he first stepped onto the scene in 2016, not only was he a knockout artist, but he was a major trash talker. It may not have won him a ton of fans, but it did win him a championship belt at just the age of 22. But, that wasn’t enough.
For years, both Lopez and his father/trainer have been calling for a contest against Vasiliy Lomachenko. A fighter who may have only 15 fights under his belt, but is mostly known as the best fighter in the world, regardless of weight classes.
A head turning, jaw dropping knockout over then champion Richard Commey gave him exactly what he wanted.
The Coronavirus may have placed the entire boxing landscape in a bleak situation, but Lopez still believes it’s just a matter of if, not when they fight.
“I believe the fight will be made,” Lopez said. “It’s just when now. We had May 30th. That was gonna be the date, but now it’s been postponed. Now we’re really just sitting, waiting for this to go away or slow down. Let’s everyone stay indoors. Let’s not make it worse and try to prevent this from growing to what it already is. But it’ll eventually happen sometime this year. Who knows? During the fall, maybe during winter again. That’s the only thing now.”
“We were getting close to camp,” Lopez said. “But obviously this happened, and they sent Lomachenko back to be with his family, which I totally understand. At times like these, you wanna be as close to your family as much as possible. But once this goes away, we can get the ball rolling again and make the fight happen. Obviously, the fans win when they get to see this fight in action. Even the media, you guys will love this. That’s the thing that gets me most excited, that I know so many people are gonna be watching this fight when it happens. The only thing now is for everyone to agree with each other and make the fight happen.”