Despite facing a seemingly insurmountable disagreement over purse size late last month, The Athletic reports that WBC franchise/WBO/WBA “super” lightweight champion Vasiliy Lomachenko and IBF champion Teofimo Lopez have “agreed to terms” to meet in an October unification match. Originally penciled in for an October 3rd pay-per-view, the bout is now targeted for the 17th on standard ESPN.
While the WBC slapped a big fat asterisk on this match by elevating Lomachenko (14-1, 10 KO) to franchise champion, this is for all intents and purposes a clash for undisputed lightweight supremacy. After strong runs at 126 and 130, Lomachenko established his 135-pound dominance by beating Jorge Linares, Jose Pedraza, Anthony Crolla, and Luke Campbell.
The Crolla fight was originally against then-IBF champion Richard Commey, who wound up injuring his hand in his title-winning knockout of Isa Chaniev. Commey instead knocked out Ray Beltran in his first defense to set up a December 2019 clash with Lopez (15-0, 12 KO). Lopez had made his name with brutal knockouts of Mason Menard, Diego Magdaleno, and Edis Tatli, but a rough performance against Masayoshi Nakatani had some questioning whether he was ready for the inordinately rugged Commey.
In short, he was. The now 23-year-old took just over four minutes to smash Commey and join the division elite in emphatic fashion.
A fight between these two is not just a potentially historic occasion but also an incredibly exciting scrap between a technical marvel and a flashy, brutally powerful young gun. That it will likely be on network television is just icing on the cake. Get it over the finish line, fellas.