Teofimo Lopez will reportedly face Vasiliy Lomachenko in a lightweight championship unification bout after all.
According to Mike Coppinger of The Athletic, the fight will take place on a Saturday after Oct. 3—which is the date it was scheduled for—inside MGM Grand in Las Vegas after Lopez agreed to terms with Top Rank.
Coppinger explained Lopez's manager, David McWater, negotiated with Top Rank "for weeks" when the fighter did not accept an initial offer of $1.25 million. He could make $1.5 million now after Lomachenko agreed to a reduced purse of $3.25 million from $3.5 million.
This is a highly anticipated bout, especially after an extended break because of the COVID-19 pandemic.
WBN noted Lomachenko has the WBC Franchise, WBA Super and WBO lightweight crowns, while Lopez holds the IBF lightweight crown.
It also shared comments Top Rank CEO Bob Arum made on The AK & Barak Show on SiriusXM explaining the lack of fans amid the pandemic changed the equation for the purses:
"Teofimo is a great guy and we will continue to promote his fights. But I think Teofimo is beginning to realize that his aspirations as far as how much his purse should be was based on selling tickets to an arena, to as much as two and a half or three million dollars. Plus the closed-circuit – another million dollars.
"Those revenue streams are gone. But that doesn't mean that he shouldn't get a big purse. And he is getting a big purse. But you obviously can't pay the man what you would be able to otherwise if you had a gate and closed-circuit revenue. It's as simple as that."
Lopez is 15-0 (12 KOs), and his last fight was a technical knockout win over Richard Commey in December.
Lomachenko is 14-1 (10 KOs), and his last fight was a unanimous-decision victory over Luke Campbell in August 2019.