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Teofimo Lopez: ‘Goodbye, Top Rank, hello, Triller

Teofimo Lopez

By Jeff Aronow: Teofimo Lopez says goodbye to his promoters at Top Rank and hello to Triller after the company came up with a winning bid of $6.02 million at Thursday’s purse bid for his mandatory defense against George Kambosos Jr.

The undisputed lightweight champion Teofimo (16-0, 12 KOs) insists Top Rank disrespected him by offering him his contract minimum of $1.25 million and then coming in last with a bid of $2.32 million at the purse bid.

Teofimo went into a long shpiel about knowing his worth, which isn’t quite accurate. It wasn’t so much his fight with Kambosos is worth $6 million.

That was a case of a company greatly overpaying for a fight that likely would do less than huge numbers if it were shown on ESPN.

Teofimo says Top Rank disrespected him

“My Team Lopez and the Takeover, we know what we’re worth, and obviously it was a big margin, a big gap in the purse bid,” said Teofimo in talking to the Pug and Copp Boxing Show about Triller winning the bid on Thursday.

Teofimo Lopez

“Obviously, Triller knows my worth, and for Top Rank, it was a wakeup fall for them. I love ESPN for the platform that they’ve done for myself and my team. I guess Top Rank, they’re stubborn on this one,” said Teofimo.

Triller clearly overpaid for the Teofimo vs. Kambosos fight, and their winning bid wasn’t an indication of the true worth of the match.

They paid because they got the money, and they obviously need a popular fighter like Teofimo for what they have in mind for him.

The Teofimo-Kamboso fight is likely worth what Top Rank and Matchroom were willing to offer for the fight, which considerably lower than Triller.

“I think it is for Top Rank [a wakeup call], but not for ESPN. They’re just doing their job.  I think this is more for Top Rank to realize how could you lose your best fighter in your stable?

“It’s a sign of disrespect to give me my minimum. I don’t have any animosity towards Top Rank, and I’m still signed with them for the next three years. I conduct myself as a businessman, and I’m not taking anything personal,” said Teofimo.

It’s going to be fun to see if Teofimo chooses to take his future fights to purse bids with Top Rank and whoever else promotes him in the future.

If this becomes the norm for Teofimo, that’ll be interesting. It could be a new thing for fighters. Let the free market decide the worth of the fights. One can’t imagine that Top Rank and ESPN won’t be happy if Teofimo feels his worth is more than what he’s offered.

It wouldn’t be so bad if Teofimo were facing one of the Four Kings or rematching Vasily Lomachenko. But Kambosos is a basic fighter who earned his IBF mandatory spot easily by beating Lee Selby.

“All I know is what everyone realized, Top Rank came in last in this bid. and I’m their fighter. It’s a damn shame to see that,” said Teofimo.

“They still have me at the moment, and I’m looking forward to going out there and showing why Triller was so confident putting it out there and bidding on Teofimo so high.

“1.25 [million] for Teofimo is a sign of disrespect. That’s what I take it as. So I had to go and see what the market looked at me as, and it showed today. $6 million was bid on this fight,” said Teofimo

The $1.25 million that Teofimo he was being offered by Top Rank is a sign of what they feel his fight was worth. But it’s Teofimo that is the one making a value judgment about Top Rank based on what they felt his fight was worth.

It’s “just business.”

“Congratulations, Todd Duboef, you just lost your best fighter from your stable,” said Teofimo.”From what I’m hearing from the resources, Bob Arum just announced not to expect the same pay after I come back [to Top Rank] after this fight [with Kambosos Jr], and if that’s the case, you might as well buy yourself out. It’s crazy. This is just business.

Teofimo Lopez

If they can’t take that and treat their fighters, at least me, in the way of respect, then I’ll find it somewhere else,” said Teofimo.

Top Rank didn’t view Teofimo’s fight against Kamboso as a big enough one for them to overpay for it. Matchroom Boxing bid just a little more than Top Rank at $3.51 million, and they obviously didn’t see it as a fighter that was worth a lot.

Teofimo is personalizing things by choosing to view Top Rank’s bid of $2.32 million as a sign of disrespect. They weren’t trying to devalue Teo by not giving him $5-6 million that he wanted. It was a fight that they didn’t feel would bring in huge value.

If Teofimo were facing Ryan Garcia, Devin Haney, Vasily Lomachenko, or Gervonta Davis, things would be different. Those are fights Top Rank would value because they know those matches would bring in fans.

Also, the pandemic is still going on, and Top Rank wouldn’t be able to stage the Teofimo vs. Kambosos fight in front of a large crowd. Even if there wasn’t a pandemic, it’s not a fight that would bring in a massive crowd in the U.S. Top Rank would have to take the match to Australia for it to attract a lot of fans.

Teofimo says Top Rank discredited Kambosos fight.

It’s a great fight [against Kambosos], and for them to discredit this fight and say that it’s not a marquee fight, it looks like Triller said otherwise,” continued Teofimo.

“It’s a great fight, and it’s a fight that everyone wants to see. Most likely, we’ll find out early next week,” Teofimo said about when he’ll be defending against Kambosos. “It could be sometime in May or sometime in June; we’ll find out,” said Teofimo.

From Top Rank’s perspective, they are obviously going by the Teofimo vs. Kambosos fight’s economics. It’s not a fight that would have fought in a lot of viewers.

It doesn’t matter that Teofimo personally rates Kambosos as a great fighter. What matters is he’s an unknown to the American boxing fans, and it’s not a marquee fight. Triller was willing to overpay for the Teofimo vs. Kambosos fight, but that’s not because of the match’s worth.

That’s more of a sign of the Triller company having money to burn right now, and they badly need a young popular fighter like Teofimo to bring attention. Chris Mannix of Sports Illustrated reports that Teofimo-Kambosos could be added to the Mike Tyson vs. Evander Holyfield exhibition card.

It’s wise of Triller to add Teofimo to that card because he’ll bring the younger fans to purchase the fight.

They’ll get the older fans paying to see Tyson battle Holyfield and the younger ones to see Teofimo. Kambosos might as well be a cardboard cutout because he’s not important.

Teofimo is obviously the reason Triller was willing to pay huge money to get this fight. It’s a nothing fight, but Teofimo will bring in the fans anyway with his trash talking.

“Triller, I saw what they did with Tyson and Jones, and I can’t wait to see what they do with Teofimo Lopez,” said Lopez

Right now, we have to go through our mandatory, and then we’ll go after those three queens [Ryan Garcia, Devin Haney, and Gervonta ‘Tank’ Davis]. Goodbye Top Rank, hello Triller,” said Teofimo.


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