The official date has been set for the eagerly-anticipated undisputed lightweight clash between Vasyl Lomachenko and Teofimo Lopez.
Firstly, four belts will crown one champion. A universally recognized king at 135 will be crowned Saturday, Oct. 17, live on ESPN from MGM Grand Hotel & Casino in Las Vegas.
WBO/WBA/WBC Franchise world champion ‘Loma’, the pound-for-pound “Boxing Baryshnikov” from Ukraine, will fight unbeaten IBF world champion Teofimo Lopez, the knockout artist from Brooklyn.
Lopez has lobbed verbal haymakers at Lomachenko for more than two years. The two will fight from the MGM Grand Conference Center aka the “Las Vegas Bubble.”
Lomachenko (14-1, 10 KOs) enters this bout coming off a scintillating decision win over British star Luke Campbell.
The contest took place last August in front of a sold-out O2 Arena in London.
A two-time Olympic gold medalist, Lomachenko went 396-1 in the amateur ranks. He tied a boxing record by winning a world title in just his third pro fight.
He is a former featherweight and junior lightweight world champion who won the lightweight crown in May 2018 with a body shot knockout over Jorge Linares.
In seven years as a pro, Lomachenko is 13-1 with 9 knockouts in world title fights and is ranked by many pundits as this generation’s most accomplished pugilist.
From 2016-2017, he made four consecutive fighters quit on their stools, earning him the “No-Mas-chenko” moniker.
Matt Kenny, Vice President, Programming and Acquisitions, ESPN discussed the fight being part of their huge schedule for the remained of 2020.
“Boxing has long been part of the fabric of our company. We could not be more excited about the October schedule on ESPN platforms, which includes the highly anticipated lightweight title bout between Vasiliy Lomachenko and Teofimo Lopez on October 17.
“Top Rank was one of the very first organizations to safely stage live events during the pandemic. As the calendar turns to fall, ESPN will be home to fights that will excite boxing enthusiasts and capture the attention of casual fans.”
Lopez (15-0, 12 KOs), the brash Brooklynite initially gained attention because of his post-fight “Fortnite” dances. Also his backflip celebrations.
He soon emerged as boxing’s most charismatic young superstar following his 2016 pro debut.
He was the consensus 2018 Prospect of the Year, a campaign punctuated by a one-punch, first-round knockout over Mason Menard on the Lomachenko-Jose Pedraza undercard.
Following the Menard knockout, he donned the jersey of Kyler Murray, who’d won the Heisman Trophy earlier that evening.
Lopez climbed the rankings in 2019 with wins over Diego Magdaleno, Edis Tatli, and Masayoshi Nakatani.
Last December, Lopez knocked out Richard Commey in two rounds to win the IBF world title.
Sitting ringside was Vasyl Lomachenko, who entered the ring during the post-fight pandemonium.
Arum waved him over to take a photo with the newly crowned champion. Furthermore, the stage had been set. #LomaLopez was going to happen.