Vasiliy Lomachenko vs Teofimo Lopez is a mouthwatering matchup for the unified world lightweight championship.
The showdown between the brilliant Ukrainian and the up-and-coming Honduran-American is the biggest fight Stateside since the sport came out of COVID-19 lockdown.
Superstar Lomachenko (14-1) puts his WBA, WBC franchise WBO titles on the line. Lopez (15-0) will bring his IBF belt to the party.
It could be an all-time classic and here is everything you need to know ahead of fight night. Including how to watch the fight live in the UK or the United States.
Lomachenko vs Lopez date, time and venue
Vasiliy Lomachenko vs Teofimo Lopez will take place on Saturday October 17 at the MGM Grand Conference Center in Las Vegas, Nevada.
Per COVID-19 restrictions, only 250 fans will be allowed into the arena. Some will be deserving people who have helped in the battle against the pandemic.
Promoter Bob Arum said: “Most of the people who will be admitted, under strict protocols, will be the so-called first responders.
“We’re looking to reward those people in Nevada who worked in the hospitals, taking care of the COVID patients.
“There will be some additional seats among the 250 given to the fight camps, so they could invite people who are near and dear to them, which wouldn’t have been allowed under the way the old protocol was.”
Ring walk times for the main event have not been officially announced. But they do not take place in Las Vegas before 2000 Pacific Time (2300 Eastern Time). So in the UK the bout will not begin before 0400 BST on Sunday October 18.
Lomachenko vs Lopez TV channel and live stream
Arum’s Top Rank is contracted to major cable broadcaster ESPN in the United States.ESPN will air the bout on Saturday October 17. It is available to all ESPN customers at no extra charge and will not be a pay-per-view fight.
In the UK there has been controversy around the rights for Lomachenko vs Lopez. Arum attempted to sell them to Sky Sports Boxing, but that came to nothing. He criticised the UK network for its upcoming string of pay-per-view bouts, claiming the strategy was immoral with so many people enduring hardship during the pandemic.
But now UK fight fans will be able to buy the fight on FITE TV, which has purchased the rights. The cost to live stream the show (which starts at 0200 BST on Sunday October 18) is £9.99.
Lomachenko vs Lopez weights
The official weigh-in for Lomachenko vs Lopez took place on Friday October 16 in Las Vegas.
Lomachenko weighed in right on the lightweight limit of 135lbs (9st 9lbs) for the huge unification showdown.
Lopez meanwhile also tipped the scales at exactly 135lbs to set the scene perfectly for Saturday’s fight.
Lomachenko vs Lopez odds
Despite the fact Lopez is a live contender in this huge unification match, the UK bookmakers favour Lomachenko strongly. The Ukrainian is 1/5 to add a fourth lightweight belt to his collection. Lopez meanwhile is 100/30 to score an upset victory. In the United States, Lomachenko is a -300 shot with Lopez +315.
Vasiliy Lomachenko record and profile
Vasiliy Lomachenko – known as ‘The Matrix’ – has fought 15 times as a professional and has a record of 14-1 (10 wins inside distance).
Born on February 17, 1988 in Ukraine, Lomachenko is now 32 years age. He stands 5ft 7ins tall and has a reach of 65½ ins. He fights out of a southpaw stance.
‘Loma’ enjoyed an incredible amateur career which brought him 396 victories and one defeat. His only loss came against Albert Selimov, which he later avenged twice. Lomachenko also won Olympic gold twice, at Beijing in 2008 and also at London 2012.
After turning professional in late 2013, Lomachenko fought for a world title in only his second bout. But he dropped a controversial split decision to Orlando Salido in San Antonio in March 2014.
The disappointment was brief though, and three months later Loma outpointed Gary Russell in Carson, California to take the WBO world featherweight title.
After three successful defences, ‘The Matrix’ moved up to win the WBO super-featherweight title. He knocked out Roman Martinez at Madison Square Garden in June 2016.
A world title in a third weight class arrived in May 2018 when Lomachenko stopped the game Jorge Linares with a vicious body shot in round 10. He was on the deck himself in the sixth.
Since that victory Lomachenko has added three more victories, culminating in his UK bow in August 2019. He easily outpointed Britain’s Luke Campbell.
Lomachenko, trained masterfully by father Anatoly, is a darling of boxing purists. He is a technically brilliant fighter whose style and talents are utterly bewitching when in full flow.
Teofimo Lopez record and profile
Teofimo Lopez, known as ‘El Brooklyn’, is a Honduran-American fighter from the New York district.
Born on July 30, 1997, Lopez is 23 years old. He is nine years junior to the vastly experienced Lomachenko.
His professional record is 15-0 (with 12 victories inside distance) and he fights from an orthodox stance. Lopez is 5ft 8ins tall and has a reach of 68½ ins.
The hard-punching Lopez made his professional bow in 2016 and won his first five bouts inside distance. He went to the scorecards for the first time against Christian Santibanez in July 2017.
He continued to impress in building his career, and his first world-title shot arrived in December 2019.
Lopez met Richard Commey for the IBF lightweight title at Madison Square Garden, and didn’t waste the opportunity. Teofimo was on top almost immediately and was impressive in delivering a brutal second-round stoppage.
Next is the biggest test of all, against the man acclaimed by many experts as the best P4P fighter in the world.
Lomachenko vs Lopez undercard
The undercard is headed by former world title challenger Alex Saucedo fighting unbeaten contender Arnold Barboza Jr.