Vasiliy Lomacehenko will face Teofimo Lopez in a blockbuster Lightweight unification showdown on October 17 at the MGM Grand Conference Center in Las Vegas on ESPN.
Top Rank pair Lomachenko (14-1, 10 KOs) and Lopez (15-0, 12 KOs) both signed their contracts yesterday after months of negotiations, with the clash now official to take place inside ‘The Bubble.’
Lomachenko, considered by many as the pound-for-pound number one in boxing, will put his WBA ‘Super,’ and WBO belts on the line, whilst Lopez brings his IBF title, which he claimed after a devastating second round knockout of Richard Commey in December.
The Ukrainian three-weight world champion, who beat Luke Campbell last August, is the current WBC Franchise champion, whilst Devin Haney is full champion and the 32-year-old is confident of inflicting a first defeat on the Brooklynite.
“Teofimo Lopez can talk all he wants. He’s very good at talking,” Lomachenko said.
“He has done nothing but say my name for the past two years. I am a fighter, and my goal is to win another world title.
“Good for Teofimo. When we fight in Las Vegas, he will eat my punches and his words. I will be the better man, and four world titles will come home with me to Ukraine.”
Lopez is unbeaten in his professional careers thus far and the 23-year-old has vowed to beat Lomachenko in emphatic fashion.
👀 JUST 😮 ANNOUNCED 🤯
TR on ESPN & ESPN+ in October includes …
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— Top Rank Boxing (@trboxing) September 8, 2020
“I will beat up Lomachenko and take his belts. Simple as that,” Lopez said.
“I’m coming to Las Vegas to make history. I don’t like the guy, and I’m going to have fun as Lomachenko’s face is beaten and marked up by my hands.
“The Takeover is here, and the reign of Lomachenko, the little diva, is coming to an end.”
“Lomachenko-Lopez is the best fight that can be made in boxing, and we are delighted that it will be available to fans for no extra charge live on ESPN,” said Top Rank chairman Bob Arum.
“Teofimo and Vasiliy demanded the fight, and we are glad we could make it happen.
“Vasiliy has never backed down from a challenge since he turned pro under the Top Rank banner, and Teofimo is a fearless young champion daring to be great.
“This has all the makings of a modern boxing classic.”
Elsewhere in a packed Top Rank October schedule, undefeated Japanese star Naoya Inoue (19-0, 16 KOs) will defend his unified IBF and WBA Bantamweight titles against top Australian contender Jason Moloney (21-1, 18 KOs) on October 31 inside ‘The Bubble.’
The 27-year-old, widely considered another of the top pound-for-pound fighters claimed a unanimous decision over Nonito Donaire last November, whilst Moloney defeated Leonardo Baez, who retired after seven rounds in June and the 29-year-old is ranked in the top five by every governing body.
Unified WBC and IBF Light Heavyweight world champion Artur Beterbiev (15-0, 15 KOs) will meet Adam Deines (19-1-1, 10 KOs) in Moscow, in what will be his first professional fight in his native country on October 23.
The Russian has a 100% knockout record and returns almost a year after stopping then WBC titlist Oleksandr Gvozdyk in a unification in Philadelphia.
On the undercard, there is a WBO Light-Heavyweight title eliminator between number one rated contender Kevin Barry-trained, Umar Salamov (25-1, 19 KOs) and number two ranked Maxim Vlasov (45-3, 26 KOs), with the winner expected to face Joe Smith Jr, who halted Eleider Alvarez in the other eliminator.
Opening the Top Rank October schedule will be Jose Zepeda who faces Ivan Baranchyk in a rescheduled clash on October 3.
Former two-time world title challenger, Zepeda (32-2, 25 KOs) claimed a points win over Kendo Cataneda inside ‘The Bubble’ on July 7 instead.
Whilst former IBF 140lbs champion, Baranchyk (20-1, 13 KOs) bounced back from defeat to now unified titlist Josh Taylor with a fourth round TKO over Gabriel Bracero, almost a year to the day he fights Zepeda at the MGM Grand.
Emanuel Navarrete will look to become a two-weight world champion when he faces unbeaten Ruben Villa (18-0, 5 KOs) for the vacant WBO Featherweight title inside ‘The Bubble’ on October 9.
Navarette (31-1, 27 KOs) won his first bout at 126lbs with a sixth round TKO over Uriel Lopez in June in Mexico, after five defences of his WBO Super-Bantamweight world title, becoming boxing’s most active world champion at the time.
The pair will clash for the belt vacated by Shakur Stevenson, who moved up in weight to 130lbs.