After Teofimo Lopez (15-0; 12 KOs) defeats Richard Commey and took his IBF Lightweight belt on December 14th, the coveted match can finally take place and unify the titles with Ukrainian phenomen Vasyl Lomachenko. Lomachenko (14-1; 10 KOs) is currently the WBO / WBA Super World Champion and WBC Franchise Champion in Lightweight. Thus, only the IBF belt is missing to become the undisputed champion of its division. (According to WBC, he can be the undisputed champion if he owns the Franchise Belt if he has the belts of other big organizations.) Lopez has been talking about a match against Loma for quite some time, but Loma hasn’t dealt with him before, but now he does.
Both of them are in a contract with Top Rank, so they can easily agree. Bob Arum says there will be a Lomachenko – Lopez fight, but the venue and date are still to be determined. The timing depends on the location, as Saudi Arabia has signed up to host this match. And because of the Ramadan celebration, if there is a match in the Middle East, then it will be after May 23rd. But Arum says if they can fight in the US (at Madison Square Garden in New York or at Barclays Center) in April.
Saudi Arabia is now very interested into boxing, trying to get bigger and bigger events. The biggest one the Ruiz – Joshua rematch in December, but before that the WBSS super middleweight final was held and there was a WWE event. For example, Eddie Hearn mentioned after the Ruiz-Joshua rematch that he will be hosting at least two big event to Saudi Arabia in 2020, because they has enough money and wants to get the events there, so why not? There is obviously a lot of money involved if Hearn is so interested in, and Arum hasn’t explicitly rejected it either, even though the time zone is not the best for the American market.