According to the panel on today’s Top Rank Boxing on ESPN broadcast, the fight between WBA/WBO lightweight titlist Vasiliy Lomachenko and IBF titleholder Teofimo Lopez is a done deal, and will air Oct. 17 on ESPN, not pay-per-view.
The fight was first reported to be close to done, and “targeted” for Oct. 17, just a few days ago, not long after the fight was thought to be all but dead.
ESPN essayist Mark Kriegel says that the idea that Lomachenko gave up money to get Lopez (15-0, 12 KO) into the ring isn’t quite true, and that Lopez, 23, reworked his original contract with Top Rank to raise his minimum guarantees going forward, and also got some “cash considerations.” Kriegel ultimately credited Lopez’s father, Teofimo Sr, with possibly being the man who most encouraged his son to take this fight, fearing that it simply might not come again.
Top Rank still haven’t put out an official release or anything, but generally speaking things aren’t advertised for specific dates on TV if something isn’t a done deal, so all is looking good here, and the fact that it will be on normal ESPN is fantastic for boxing fans. This is a genuinely great matchup, as good as it gets at 135 pounds right now, and it’s rare we see a matchup at this level on basic cable anymore.