Top Rank has started negotiations between 135-pound champions Vasily Lomachenko and Teofimo Lopez for October 3 on ESPN or ESPN pay-per-view. WBA/WBC/WBO lightweight champion Lomachenko (14-1, 10 KOs) and IBF belt-holder Teofimo (15-0, 12 KOs) will be fighting for the undisputed championship.
Right now, the U.S economy is in shambles, thanks to the pandemic, and there’s no relief in sight. Unless Top Rank promoter Bob Arum wants to kick the Teofimo vs. Vasily fight to 2021, he’s going to need to accept lower than expected PPV numbers for this contest.
There’s disagreement among boxing fans whether you can legitimately call the Lomachenko-Lopez match a fight for the undisputed 135-lb championship, given that Lomachenko doesn’t have possession of the WBC belt any longer.
Last year the World Boxing Council changed Lomachenko’s status to ‘Franchise’ champion at 135, and at the same time, they emailed Devin Haney and made him the new WBC lightweight champ.
The Franchise title is one that can’t be won or lost. It’s the equivalent of an ‘Honorary’ title. As such, for the winner of the Lomachenko vs. Lopez fight to be the undisputed champion at 135, they’ll need to beat the current WBC lightweight belt-holder, Devin Haney.
Lomachenko, 32, is confident that he’ll beat the 22-year-old Teofimo, who hasn’t been around for that long. The 2016 Olympian Teofimo turned pro at 18-years-old in 2016, and he hasn’t had time to face the kind of opponents that Loma has in his seven-year pro career.