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Bob Arum talks Teofimo vs. Kambosos fight

Teofimo Lopez

By Sean Jones: Bob Arum isn’t happy with how things have gone down with the negotiations with undisputed lightweight champion Teofimo Lopez and IBF mandatory George Kambosos Jr.

Arum says Teofimo Jr (16-0, 12 KOs) didn’t tell him how much he wanted for his title defense against Kambosos (19-0, 10 KOs).

Instead, Teofimo went straight to Kambosos and “colluded” with him to get more money, said Arum. He says not illegal what Teofimo did, but he doesn’t view it as a smart thing for him to do.

The Top Rank boss Arum said that when it comes time for Teofimo to face the winner of the Jose Ramirez vs. Josh Taylor fight, things will swing around.

IBF/WBA/WBC/WBO lightweight champion Teofimo has complained recently in interviews, saying that he was only being offered his contract minimum of a little over a million to defend against Kambosos Jr.

According to Lou DiBella, he heard that Teofimo wanted $5 million for the fight, which sounds like an absurd amount given the lack of interest. As Arum says, Kambosos isn’t an “elite-level” fighter, and he’s right.

Teofimo Lopez

He obviously would like more than that for the fight. Arum has made it clear that the Teofimo vs. Kambosos fight isn’t a huge fight. Even though Kambosos Jr is Teofimo’s IBF mandatory, he’s not well known in the U.S, and he’s not considered to have much chance of winning.

Top Rank hasn’t reached an agreement

“I think it’ll take place on Tuesday,” said Bob Arum to the Pug and Copp Boxing Show about the Teofimo vs. Kambosos purse bid. “So up to today, we hadn’t been able to reach an agreement with either fighter, and there’s no indication that we’re going to reach an agreement now.

“So it’ll go to a purse bid, and whoever puts the highest bid in will get the fight. You have to understand, Teofimo has a three and a half year contract with us, and if someone else outbids us and does the fight, it’s a one-off.

“It’s not the end of the world. Kambosos is a pretty good fighter, but he’s not elite. You talk about Berchelt and Valdez being a 3 to 1 fight. That’s probably a 30 to 1 fight,” Arum said about the Lopez vs. Kambosos Jr fight.

“So if it goes elsewhere it goes elsewhere. Afterward, Teofimo comes right back to us.

“So it is what it is, I’m not happy with the way it’s played out because my whole experience in boxing is the fighter deals with the fighter, and the other side is the adversary.

In this case for some reason, the fighter who is promoted by us [Teofimo] and the other fighter [Kambosos] colluded together to see if they could get the most money.

“They didn’t do anything illegal, but it wasn’t a wise thing, in my opinion, looking at the long picture for the Teofimo people to do.

“But they did it and now we’re in a purse bid, and there’s a way that gets resolved in a business-like manner,” said Arum.

It sounds like a bad situation with Teofimo potentially fighting on a different network if another promoter wins the purse bid next Tuesday.

What happens if Teofimo chooses to continue to fail to agree to negotiations in the future with Top Rank. Will we be seeing more purse bid situations with him?

What happens when Teofimo’s contract with Top Rank is up? Will other promoters be willing to sign him if they feel he’s difficult to deal with?

Teofimo never said how much he wanted

“He’s [Teofimo] not pissed because he never told us how much he wanted to get, right? We never had that conversation. They immediately ran off and colluded, which they’re entitled to do.

Teofimo Lopez

“They didn’t do anything illegal. So if anyone should be upset, it should be us because that’s not the way a fighter deals with his promoter.

“That will come about when we have a winner with [Jose] Ramirez and [Josh] Taylor, and we’re looking for an opponent for the winner. That’s when the chickens come home to roost.

“No, I’m not saying that at all. What happens if we’re the highest bid,” said Arum when asked if he’s not going to be promoting Teofimo’s match against Kambosos Jr.

“We’re going to put a bid in that’s not a ridiculous bid, a bid that I think what the fight is worth. If we’re outbid, we’re outbid. That is the way it works, right?

“Well, okay, but if he does he does,” said Arum when told that ESPN doesn’t want Teofimo to go to another network.

“”The world doesn’t end that way. That was a threat that they [Teofimo] had to get us to pay more money that we were willing to pay

“. We’ve talked to the ESPN people, we’ve explained the situation, and they’re 100% on board,” said Arum.

Well, if Teofimo wanted $5 million for the Kambosos Jr fight, he should have told Arum. Of course, if he did that, Teofimo might have been laughed out of the room.

Some boxing fans believe that Teofimo’s recent win over Vasily Lomachenko has gone to his head, making him believe he’s a superstar and is entitled to big money.

The problem is, Teofimo still isn’t well known to the casual boxing fans, and he can’t get 5 to 10 million for low-level fights against guys like Kambosos Jr.

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