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Frank Smith reacts to Triller winning Teofimo purse bid with $6M

Teofimo Lopez boxing photo

By Barry Holbrook: Frank Smith of Matchroom Boxing is happy for undisputed lightweight champion Teofimo Lopez and George Kambosos Jr after Triller beat them and Top Rank out with the winning bid of $6.2 million last Thursday during the purse bid for this fight.

Smith views it as a positive that Triller entered the market and outbid everyone to stage IBF/WBA/WBC/WBO lightweight champion Teofimo’s title defense against mandatory Kambosos (19-0, 10 KOs).

Unlike some fans, Frank likes the idea of increased competition that comes with Triller winning the bid. It adds another player to the sport and could ultimately help boxing grow. Triller recently was the company that put on the Mike Tyson vs. Roy Jones Jr exhibition match on pay-per-view, and it was a huge success.

It’s unknown what Triller plans on doing with the Teofimo vs. Kambosos fight. Some believe they’ll add the fight to either the Mike Tyson vs. Evander Holyfield exhibition or the Jake Paul vs. Ben Askren card.

Smith happy for Teofimo & Kambosos

“It’s great for the sport. It shows that the sport is in a great place with new investment,” said Frank Smith of Matchroom to iFL TV on Triller, winning the purse bid for the Teofimo vs. Kambosos fight.

Teofimo Lopez boxing photo

“It’s great for the fighters as well. I said earlier; we’re in such a dangerous sport for the fighters. They get in there, and they risk their lives.

“They deserve every single penny they can get. So fair play to him. Fair play to Teofimo Lopez and George Kambosos.

“They got what they deserve, and congrats to Triller. Great competition is great for the sport, and I think new people that are going to be involved in the sport, new brands that are going to help elevate and build boxing is brilliant.

“Competition is great because it stops you from being complacent, but you need the right kind of competition, who aren’t at the same time just trying to put other businesses down but are trying to build the sport. If the sport gets bigger, it’s better for everyone involved.

“They’re [Triller] obviously looking at boxing as a sport and not as these one-off fights,” Smith continued. “Maybe at the start, a lot of people thought that was really their aim with it.

“But them winning the purse bid and the amount that they bid it really shows their intentions to actually be involved in the sport, as I say, great,” said Smith.

It’s refreshing that Frank has a positive view of Trillger winning the purse bid for the Teofimo – Kambosos fight rather than seeing it as a negative.

Frank: Who cares what Bob says?

“I can’t really believe it, I can’t believe the way he’s acting about it because surely his job is to represent his fighter, and do the best for his fighter just like we would,” said Smith in reacting to Bob Arum’s comments about Eddie Hearn with him bidding last Thursday at the Teofimo vs. Kambosos purse bid.

Teofimo Lopez boxing photo

“If someone had an opportunity to pay them two or three times as much than they were going to get paid, you’d snap their hand up for the fighter.

“So who really cares what Bob says, to be honest. He’s fine when he gets his own way, but when he loses. We lost a purse bid as well, but oh well, we lost against someone that bid a lot more, and the fighter is going to get paid a lot more money.

“Fair play to him. He’s just having a sulk because he couldn’t win. I think it’s a very strange move because Teofimo Lopez. I can understand for a business if the fighter doesn’t deliver.

“It’s like any business. There’s only so long that you can continue to pay them so much money. But Teofimo Lopez is a star that can become a superstar.

“He’s a great talent, a great talker. Why not invest in him rather than try and teach him a lesson because now, ultimately, Bob has been taught a lesson, not Teofimo Lopez,” said Smith.

It clearly bothers Arum that Teofimo chose to take his fight with his IBF mandatory Kambosos to a purse bid rather than agreeing to accept his contract minimum for the fight.

Ultimately, Teofimo came out a big winner getting $3.9 million for the Kambosos fight after Top Rank gets their 20% cut.

Joshua vs. Fury negotiations won’t be affected

“It’s not about us, is it?” said Smith about Arum not being happy over the purse bid possibly impacting the negotiations for the Anthony Joshua vs. Tyson Fury fight.

“It’s not about Bob Arum, Eddie Hearn, or anyone. It’s not about our businesses. That’s about Anthony Joshua and Tyson Fury.

“On the other hand, Teofimo Lopez and George Kambosos treat them as completely separate things. They’ve got to do their best for Tyson Fury.

“Their best isn’t, ‘I’m having a sulk because we lost the purse bid against us, we’re not doing the biggest fight in world boxing.’ That’s ridiculous.

“So if that’s the route that they’re going to take, I don’t think it’s a very good move for the fighters in their stable because they’re showing that they don’t actually give a s*** about boxing or the fighters in their stable. All they care about are themselves,” said Smith.

Frank doesn’t believe that Arum’s unhappiness about Eddie Hearn bidding on the Teofimo vs. Kamboso fight last Thursday will result in the negotiations for the Anthony Joshua vs. Tyson Fury fight being derailed.

As Smith says, these are two separate things, and they shouldn’t be affected because of Hearn putting in a bid for the Teofimo-Kambosos fight.

Julio Cesar Martinez off tonight’s card

“Unfortunately, you saw the hand; it was in quite bad shape,” said Smith about WBC flyweight champion Julio Cesar Martinez’s injured right hand.

“It’s a real shame because we’ve been trying to keep him active. He missed out on the August show; he boxed in October.

“And he was supposed to box in December and now here. We’re going to keep as soon as he’s fit and able to, and we’re going to get back out.

“And we’re trying to keep McWilliams Arroyo on the card as well. We’re working on another fight currently, and he’s obviously his WBC mandatory when he’s [Martinez] fit and ready,” said Smith.

It’s a disappointment that boxing fans won’t get a chance to see WBC flyweight champion Julio Cesar Martinez face his mandatory McWilliams Arroyo tonight on DAZN. This is the second time the Martinez vs. Arroyo fight has fallen through.

On a positive note, McWilliams Arroyo (20-4, 15 KOs) will be facing a replacement opponent Abraham Rodriguez (27-2, 12 KOs), on tonight’s Canelo Alvarez vs. Avni Yildirim card at the Hard Rock Stadium in Miami, Florida.

Unfortunately, the interim WBC flyweight title won’t be at stake for the fight.

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