IBF ruling spoils Triller’s plans for Teofimo Lopez vs. George Kambosos Jr fight in Australia
By Sean Jones: Teofimo Lopez will no longer be defending his four lightweight titles against George Kambosos Jr in Australia as Triller had planned after Monday’s ruling by the IBF.
The contracts from Triller are due by August 24th, according to ESPN. If Triller fails to supply them by that date, the Teofimo vs. Kambosos Jr fight will fall to Matchroom Boxing, and if they fail to take it, Top Rank, Teofimo’s promoter, will be next in line.
Originally, Triller put in a whopping $6 million+ bid to win the rights to stage the Teofimo vs. Kambosos Jr.
It’s still mind-boggling why Triller bid so high for what is essentially a run-of-the-mill non-marquee fight involving Teofimo facing a guy unknown to U.S boxing fans in Kambosos Jr. For a fight like that, you can argue that $2 million would be pushing the envelope.
It’s good for Teofimo and Kambosos Jr that Triller put in such a massive bid, as they’re going to make a killing from this fight, but it’s doubtful the match will bring in more than a tiny dribble of pay-per-view buys.
The International Boxing Federation ruled that the Teofimo-Kamnbosos Jr fight must take place in a place that doesn’t involve a quarantine, which had been the case for Australia.
As such, Triller, the promoters for the event, will need to scrap their plans to stage IBF/WBA/WBC Franchise, WBO 135lb champion Teofimo’s title defense against Kambosos Jr on October 17th in Sydney, Australia.
Teofimo and his management had been deadset at fighting in Australia against the homegrown boy Kambosos Jr (19-0, 10 KOs) because of the quarantine issue.
Since early June, Triller has been trying to get the Teofimo vs. Kamnbosos Jr fight done, but things keep getting in the way of this less than desirable fight. It was originally set for June 5th but then was moved off that date to June 19th.
Next, Teofimo came down with COVID-19, which once again put the match in limbo.
In the meantime, Teofimo threatened to vacate his IBF strap to avoid the Kambosos Jr fight altogether, a move that would have made Triller unhappy given all the time and money they’d poured into making this fight a reality.
Teofimo’s team wanted the fight with the little-known Kambosos Jr to happen earlier than the October 17th date because they were hoping to set up a lucrative rematch with Vasily Lomachenko for December. As it is now, the IBF states the fight between Teofimo and Kambosos Jr must happen by October 17th.
That date means that Teofimo won’t be able to fight Lomachenko in December; that’s too bad because that’s a match-up that boxing much prefers to see than the Kambosos Jr clash.
If Kambosos Jr decides he doesn’t want to go through the ordeal of being away from his wife, who is about to have a baby, he can always bail on the fight and go back to Australia.
In that case, Kambosos Jr would be replaced by #2 IBF contender Isaac ‘Pitbull’ Cruz, a fighter that is an arguably far better fighter.
It will be a win-win for the boxing world if Kambosos Jr pulls out because they would see a better fight potentially between Teofimo and the tough-as-nails Isacc Cruz.
However, with Kambosos Jr staring at a massive payday of $2 million, it’s safe to say he won’t pull out of the fight. Let’s be real. Kambosos Jr will likely NEVER see that kind of money again in his career, so he’s got to grab while he can because this is probably as good as it gets for the obscure Australian fighter.
Whether the IBF wants to give Kambosos Jr a break by extending the time limit for the Teofimo fight to occur, if Team Kambosos Jr asks the IBF, perhaps they’ll give him a delay.
It’ll be good for the U.S boxing public once this fight is done and over with because they want to see Teofimo face former three-division world champion Vasily Lomachenko already.
The Kambosos fight is seen as an annoying irritant by some fans, who see it as a dreadful mismatch standing in the way of the more compelling Teofimo-Lomachenko rematch.
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