Bob Arum hopes to finalize a deal for the Vasiliy Lomachenko-Teofimo Lopez fight by the end of next week.
Negotiations are ongoing with representatives for Lomachenko and Lopez, but the lightweight champions haven’t agreed to purses for their highly anticipated 135-pound showdown. Arum met Wednesday with Egis Klimas, Lomachenko’s manager, at his company’s headquarters in Las Vegas and has been in communication with David McWater, Lopez’s manager.
Arum told BoxingScene.com that he wants to bring the Lomachenko-Lopez fight to Madison Square Garden on May 30, but neither the venue nor the date have been finalized.
“Everything is being worked out, but [May 30th] is our working date,” Arum said. “And it belongs in The Garden. That’s a New York fight.”
It hasn’t been determined if Lomachenko-Lopez will air live on ESPN, will be streamed on ESPN+ or will headline and ESPN pay-per-view show. Regardless, Arum wants to come to an agreement with Lomachenko and Lopez by the end of next week to capitalize on all the attention that’ll be paid to the Deontay Wilder-Tyson Fury heavyweight championship rematch scheduled for February 22 at MGM Grand Garden Arena in Las Vegas.
“My goal is to finalize the fight prior to February 22nd,” Arum said, “so with that huge audience we can announce it on the telecast.”
Wilder-Fury II is a joint pay-per-view venture between ESPN and FOX Sports.
Arum’s Top Rank Inc., which co-promotes Fury, has an exclusive deal with ESPN. Al Haymon, who advises Wilder, has a similar agreement with FOX Sports to televise his Premier Boxing Champions series.
While numerous details need to be worked out to finalize their lightweight title unification fight, Ukraine’s Lomachenko (14-1, 10 KOs) and Brooklyn’s Lopez (15-0, 12 KOs) aren’t considering other options. Assuming they come to an agreement, they’ll fight for Lomachenko’s WBA and WBO lightweight titles and Lopez’s IBF belt.
Keith Idec is a senior writer/columnist for BoxingScene.com. He can be reached on Twitter @Idecboxing.