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Teofimo Lopez vs. George Kambosos Jr heading to U.S once IBF makes ruling

Teofimo Lopez

By Sean Jones: Teofimo Lopez’s title defense against George Kambosos Jr is on the verge of being ordered by the IBF to be staged in the U.S. Teofimo had been threatening to vacate his IBF title if he was forced to travel to Australia to defend it against Kambosos Jr.

If Teofimo vacated his IBF belt, he could face Vasily Lomachenko in December on pay-per-view rather than wait until 2022.

ESPN is reporting the International Boxing Federation is expected to order IBF/WBA/WBC/WBO 135-lb champion Teofimo (16-0, 12 KOs) vs. Kambosos Jr to take place in the U.S rather than in Australia, which is where Triller had hoped to stage it in October.

This Monday, the IBF could make their ruling on the location of the Teofimo-Kambosos fight on Triller PPV. If they order the fight to take place in the U.S, Triller will have to go along with it.

Triller will still have plenty of time to promote the Teofimo vs. Kambosos clash, considering the fight will occur later this year. However, the money that the fight would have made in Australia in front of a large crowd won’t be available in the U.S. Kambosos Jr isn’t a big enough name to attract a large crowd for this fight.

At best, Teofimo vs. Kambosos Jr might do reasonably well if Top Rank stages it at Madison Square Garden in New York, but it’s unlikely to sell out the 20,000 seat venue.

We’ve been open to working this out with [Triller] the whole time,” Teofimo’s manager, David McWater, said to ESPN. “They haven’t shown much interest in it. If that’s the ruling from the IBF, then we’ll abide by it as IBF champion.”

Triller surprisingly put in a colossal $6 million+ bid recently during the purse bid for the Teofimo vs. Kambosos Jr, and they won the bid. Initially, Triller scheduled the bout for June 5th, but they moved it to June 19th. After that, the fight was moved to August 14th after Teofimo tested positive for COVID-19.

What was also surprising is Triller’s decision to place the Teofimo-Kambosos Jr fight on PPV, even though it’s clearly NOT a pay-per-view worthy fight. Teofimo is a young fighter that still hasn’t been around long enough to make a name for himself.

The only big win on Teofimo’s resume came against an injured Vasily Lomachenko last October, and many believe he would have lost that had Loma been healthy.

Kamboso Jr is no name in the U.S, and he’s never beaten anyone of note to build his popularity. His best two wins over old faded veterans Mickey Bey and Lee Selby. Many boxing fans had Selby beating Kambosos.

Triller reportedly lost $5 million due to Teofimo coming down with COVID-19 and needing to postpone his fight with Kambosos Jr. This is why Triller wanted to stage the fight in Australia. Although Kambosos isn’t a big star in Australia, it was believed that a fight between him and Teofimo would have sold a lot of tickets.

Teofimo, 24, didn’t realize the huge mess he made when he decided to push his fight with the little-known Kambosos Jr to a purse bid process rather than letting his promoters at Top Rank show it on ESPN.

Teo wanted top dollar, which he’s getting from Triller, but he’s losing due to the glacial pace of getting this albatross fight out of the way.

In the time that Teofimo has WASTED with this mismatch against the obscure Kambosos, Teo could have fought twice and come out ahead.

There’s a lesson to be learned from this. When you got a non-marquee fight like Teofimo vs. Kambosos, you need to listen to your promoter Bob Arum.




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