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Vasiliy Lomachenko and Teofimo Lopez set to clash in September

Anthony Cocks

Australian-based boxing journalist Anthony Cocks has been covering the sport for over 15 years for various print and online publications. He refuses to believe that Roberto Duran ever lost to Tommy Hearns and says that Jeff Fenech would destroy Chuck Norris, Bruce Lee and Muhammad Ali on the same night.

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Unified lightweight champion Vasiliy Lomachenko 14-1 (10) and IBF titleholder Teofimo Lopez 15-0 (12) look set for a September clash for all four major world championship belts.

Top Rank’s Bob Arum says he has spoken to both camps and neither wants a tune-up before facing each other.

“In talking with Lomachenko and Lopez, neither of them want an interim fight,” Arum said to ESPN. “So we would plan to do that in September, with or without an audience.”

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Ukrainian southpaw Lomachenko, 32, holds the WBA, WBC and WBO 135-pound titles. In his most recent outing he defeated Britain’s Luke Campbell by 12-round unanimous decision in London in August.

Lomachenko’s manager Egis Klimas confirmed they wouldn’t be looking for an interim fight before facing Lopez despite the year-long gap between bouts and said the prospect of fighting without a live audience wouldn’t be an issue.

“Nothing matters, as long as Lopez is coming in the ring with Lomachenko,” Klimas told ESPN.

Lopez, 22, impressed with his second-round destruction of hard-hitting IBF lightweight champion Richard Commey at Madison Square Garden in New York last December.

The ambitious Lopez wants the fight with Lomachenko sooner rather than later.

“One-hundred percent,” said his father, Teofimo Lopez Sr. “We don’t need no tune-ups. We are focused with Lomachenko. That’s all we want is Lomachenko.”

With the likelihood of no crowds, the fight will land on pay-per-view.

“It certainly would be a pay-per-view,” Arum said. “…It’s a big fight that we can do something spectacular in conjunction with the Las Vegas Convention [and Visitors] Authority.

“Do a big outdoor event. There’s a lot of innovative stuff you can do and still adhering to the mandate of social distancing.”

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