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Teofimo Lopez says he’s prepared to fight Vasiliy Lomachenko without fans if necessary

The lightweight title unification could be coming in September.

Teofimo Lopez v Masayoshi Nakatani Photo by Scott Taetsch/Getty Images
Scott Christ is the managing editor of Bad Left Hook and has been covering boxing for SB Nation since 2006.

The target date is Sept. 19, but there’s still a lot of ground to cover before we actually get a deal done for a lightweight unification bout between WBA/WBO titleholder Vasiliy Lomachenko and IBF titleholder Teofimo Lopez.

Lopez (15-0, 12 KO) said tonight on ESPN that he knows promoter Bob Arum — who represents both fighters — has been working on a way to do the fight, possibly with spaced seating in a football stadium.

“I know Bob’s been working on having at least a couple thousand fans out there,” Lopez said. “With a fight of this magnitude, it’s definitely one that needs to have fans. But we’re training every day and waiting on it to be official.”

AT&T Stadium outside of Dallas has been considered, as has the new Allegiant Stadium in Las Vegas, which will play host to the recently-moved in Raiders.

“I would love the fans to be at Allegiant Stadium, I would love for us to be the first fight (at the stadium),” Lopez said. “I think everybody else would, too, even Lomachenko himself.

“But we’re prepared to fight with or without fans. But this type of fight, everyone wants it to be with fans.”

The last part is a big note, because the reality of this situation right now — with COVID-19 doing anything but going away in the United States especially — looks to be that we will not be having fans, staggered seating or any other way, at fights any time soon. American promoters really need to start reckoning with that for fights like this, or for a planned Canelo Alvarez return in September, where promoter Oscar De La Hoya is “still waiting” to see “what Las Vegas will do” as far as possibly having fans at T-Mobile Arena. September is two months away, there’s just not much time to keep hoping that you’ll get a green light for spectators.

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