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Arum: Would Be Very Hard To Do Loma-Lopez Fight Without Spectators

Bob Arum counts Vasiliy Lomachenko-Teofimo Lopez among the high-profile fights his promotional company won’t be able to put on if fans aren’t allowed to attend.

Arum’s Top Rank Inc. figures to make a significant amount of money from tickets sales to the card headlined by Lomachenko-Lopez. Removing that revenue stream from that equation would make it more difficult to pay Lomachenko and Lopez their desired purses for that lightweight title unification fight.

That potential problem could cause Arum to push back Lomachenko-Lopez even further once his company can schedule fights in the aftermath of the coronavirus crisis.

“It’s gonna be very hard to do a Loma-Lopez fight without spectators,” Arum told Top Rank’s Crystina Poncher during an interview that debuted on Top Rank’s YouTube channel Monday. “We’re not gonna be able to do a fight with Loma, in any event, until after the travel ban is lifted, since Loma, who was in the United States, went back to the Ukraine to be at home when everything got shut down.”


The 88-year-old Arum also discussed with Poncher the viability of staging lower-profile fights without fans in attendance once the U.S. government will allow it. That just isn’t an option for some expensive events, though.

“For a sport like boxing, for big events, where the gate money is so much a big percentage of the revenue,” Arum said, “I don’t see how you can do it without spectators.”

Neither Ukraine’s Lomachenko nor Brooklyn’s Lopez had signed contracts for their 135-pound championship unification match before the COVID-19 pandemic brought boxing to a standstill last month. They still were expected to fight for Lomachenko’s WBA and WBO titles and Lopez’s IBF belt May 30 at Madison Square Garden in New York.

The 22-year-old Lopez (15-0, 12 KOs) told recently that he doesn’t expect to box Lomachenko (14-1, 10 KOs) until October or November. Lopez also stated during SiriusXM’s “The Ak and Barak Show” last week that he wouldn’t accept a fight against Lomachenko if it meant competing without fans inside the venue.

“That wouldn’t happen,” Lopez said. “I wouldn’t accept the fight if that was the case. … It ain’t the same without the fans.” 

Keith Idec is a senior writer/columnist for He can be reached on Twitter @Idecboxing.

User Comments and Feedback
Comment by jackblack008 on 04-22-2020

Arum is 88 years old. He seems fit and healthy

Comment by The3 on 04-21-2020

Fans are really thinking they getting Loma vs Lopez Danny vs Spence Wilder vs Fury 3 Crawford vs Brook GGG vs Canelo 3 Charlo vs Andrade in 2020 -2021 with no fans in the arena , Oh the rumors no…

Comment by Marvlus Marv on 04-21-2020

Nah, let's just wait. Won't be long now. Loma vs Lopez should live up to the hype, hopefully more so than Rigo vs Loma. Blame Rigo for that, though. Pah.

Comment by TarasMarcenko on 04-21-2020

From a suspended Twitter post? That's your analysis. Multiple sources put the numbers at over 10k. All one has to do is watch the fight to see there are more than 5k... Wikipedia...front of 10,101 in attendance, Lomachenko stopped Crolla…

Comment by HaymonzPlanet on 04-21-2020

[QUOTE=TarasMarcenko;20528500]Crolla and Loma fight was rocking. Search for article ' Tonight, a crowd of ten thousand one hundred were in attendance to see the man called “Hi-Tek”. The crowd was energetic and supportive of not only the main event but…

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