Scheduling and rescheduling is the name of the game as Top Rank is working on its schedule for the rest of the year, which includes a date change for the much-anticipated lightweight title unification between Vasiliy Lomachenko and Teofimo Lopez Jr.
Lomachenko-Lopez, which was at first penciled in for May 30 at Madison Square Garden in New York but forced to move to Sept. 19 at a site to be determined due to the coronavirus pandemic, is moving again.
Top Rank chairman Bob Arum told BoxingScene.com on Wednesday that the new date will be Oct. 3.
“Loma-Lopez, we had scheduled it for Sept. 19 as the working date but now it will probably go on pay-per-view and that means the working date now is Oct. 3,” Arum said of a fight he hopes to hold in Las Vegas although whether there will be spectators allowed to attend is undetermined.
“Right now, with the (coronavirus) spike going on Nevada we couldn’t schedule it even with limited spectators,” Arum said. “Hopefully, and we have some time, we’re looking to do that fight for 2,000 or maybe 2,500 people.”
Lomachenko (14-1, 10 KOs), who many regard as the No. 1 boxer in the world pound for pound, and Lopez (15-0, 12 KOs) have turned down the opportunities to have interim bouts because they only want to fight each other next. Lomachenko, in fact, began his training camp this week in his native Ukraine.
Dan Rafael was ESPN.com's senior boxing writer for fifteen years, and covered the sport for five years at USA Today. He was the 2013 BWAA Nat Fleischer Award winner for excellence in boxing journalism.