It is one of the most eagerly anticipated fights in boxing – the pound-for-pound No.1 fighter vs one of the sport’s rising stars.
Yet if a fight with IBF 135lbs champion Teofimo Lopez does not take place, it will not be the fault of WBC franchise, WBA Super and WBO title-holder Vasiliy Lomachenko.
The duo are tentatively scheduled to fight on October 3, but Lopez (15-0, 12 KOs) has so far been unwilling to budge on his purse demands with the Covid-19 Pandemic forcing all boxers to be more realistic about financial terms with no fans in attendance.
On the flipside, Ukrainian maestro Lomachenko (14-1, 10 KOs) has already taken a pay cut, according to Top Rank supremo Bob Arum.
“The contract we offered [Lopez] is already more than double his highest purse and they starting talking all this crazy stuff,” Arum told Yahoo Sports.
“They were talking numbers based on a $3 million live gate and close circuit. It’s crazy! They’re saying, why should they be affected by the coronavirus?
“Loma has a contract and he’s already given us relief. He’s fighting for less than his contract says because he gets it. I’m not in the business to lose money. If they turn down a record contract for him, nothing I can do. On to the next.”
The saga continues to rumble, hopefully the fighters will, too.
Main image: Lopez, Arum and Lomachenko assemble. Photo: Mikey Williams/Top Rank.