By Sean Jones: Teofimo Lopez and Triller are in a disagreement about the new date and location for his title defense against George Kamnbosos Jr. ESPN is reporting that Teofimo (16-0, 12 KOs) may vacate his IBF 135-lb title if the fight against mandatory Kambosos Jr (19-0, 10 KOs) is moved off the August 14th date at the LoanDepot Park in Miami, Florida to Sydney, Australia.
It’s a lose-lose for Teofimo to move off the August 14th date to October 17th because his promoters at Top Rank want to match him against Vasily Lomachenko in a lucrative fight on ESPN PPV in December.
If Teofimo fights Kambosos Jr in October, he won’t be able to face Lomachenko in December. So instead of Teofimo getting two fights/paydays this year, he’ll be stuck getting just one. Teofimo will be losing out on millions if he can’t face Lomachenko in December.
Triller Fight Club, the company that won the winning bid to stage undisputed lightweight champion Teofimo’s fight with Kambosos, wants to move the match from the previously rescheduled August 14th date to October 17th in Sydney, Australia. That’s Kambosos’ home country.
Triller wants to place the fight in Australia because they reportedly $5 million with Teofimo coming down with COVID-19, resulting in his June 19th fight with Kambosos being postponed.
Teofimo’s manager Dave McWater isn’t on board with the change of date from August 14th to October 17th and the location change. McWater doesn’t like Australia’s 14-day quarantine rule and feels it’ll put Teofimo at a disadvantage to have to lose weight while in the 14-day quarantine.
If Teofimo vacates his IBF 135-lb title, the vacant belt will be fought over by #1 Kambosos and #2 contender Isaac ‘Pitbull’ Cruz (22-1-1, 15 KOs). Needless to say, the money won’t be as good for Kambosos fighting Cruz as it would fighting Teofimo.
Also, the risk of Kambosos losing to the tough-as-nails Cruz would be very high. Indeed, Cruz is arguably a better fighter than Kambosos Jr, and he’ll likely beat him. Kambosos Jr stands to lose a lot if Teofimo vacates his IBF belt. We could see Kambosos’ career sent down the tubs by Cruz in a fight that won’t be a huge payday for him.
“He is 100 percent ready to fight on Aug. 14 just like their announcement,” McWater said to ESPN about Teofimo.
Triller Fight Club co-founder Ryan Kavanaugh wants to stage the fight at the Bankwest Stadium in Sydney, Australia, seats 38,000 fans. That’s where Kambosos Jr lives.
McWater isn’t saying anything about him and Teofimo being upset about giving Kambosos Jr home country advantage. It’s more about the change of date from August 14th to October 17th, as well as the 14-day quarantine. Changing the date is a huge negative for Teofimo because he won’t fight Lomachenko this year.
Of course, if Teofimo vacates his IBF title, he can make a quick defense against another contender in August and then still take the fight with Lomachenko in December.
The drawback to Teofimo doing that is he won’t get the same 3.9 million paydays that he would if he were facing Kambosos. But he’ll still get an excellent payday, and he’ll be able to fight twice this year.
“I don’t think we’ll have to give up the title. I think if they want to move [the fight] that far back, the IBF will rule,” said McWater.
“But fine, if we have to, we’ll give up the title, and he [Kambosos Jr] can fight [#2 IBF contender] Isaac Cruz somewhere for $70,000.”
Mayweather Promotions CEO Leonard Ellerbe stated that the tickets weren’t selling for the previously scheduled June 19th fight between Teofimo and Kambosos Jr in Miami and that they had slashed prices. The next thing you hear is Teofimo has tested positive for COVID-19.
Some boxing fans believe that Teofimo was never sick at all, and this is about the tickets not selling for his fight against little-known Kambosos, who isn’t a household name in the U.S.
With Triller now looking to stage the Teofimo vs. Kambosos Jr fight in Sydney, Australia, it will affirm the suspicions that some boxing fans have that the fight wasn’t selling tickets in the U.S.
Teofimo, 24, isn’t a big-ticket seller in the U.S like Gervonta ‘Tank’ Davis, which is why it may have been a mistake for Triller to big $6 million+ for his non-marquee defense against Kambosos Jr.
Teo is still too young at this point for him to be a huge draw, and he’s only had that one fight against Vasily Lomachenko during his career that attracted a lot of attention. Before that match, Teofimo had recently fought these guys:
- Richard Commey
- Masayoshi Nakatani
- Edis Tatli
- Diego Magdaleno
- Mason Menard
“Lopez needs to go to Australia and should be bending over backward to make this right for Kambosos, for us, and for all others who lost out due to their irresponsibility,” said Ryan Kavanaugh of Triller.
“We have set the fight for October in Australia, which will be an even bigger draw. We truly hope Lopez and his camp do the right thing.”
If Teofimo chooses to vacate his IBF title, Kavanagh could be stuck with a low-level fight involving Kambosos and Cruz. What an eyesore that would be. The U.S boxing fans wouldn’t purchase that albatross on pay-per-view. As it is, they’re not interested in seeing Teofimo fight Kambosos. If Top Rank thought that was a great fight, they’d have never let it go a purse bid.