IBF Defaults Triller- Matchroom Will Promote Lopez-Kambosos
The soap opera of the Undisputed Lightweight title fight between champion Teofimo Lopez and IBF #1 challenger, George Kambosos took the expected turn Wednesday of the world organization officially defaulting Triller on their seven figure down payment to promote the fight. This, for failing, one last time, to stage the bout on the re-schedule date (October 4th) that all parties had agreed to in writing.
ESPN’s Mike Coppinger reported first on social media Wednesday that the IBF notified Triller officially in writing that they were in default of the $1.2 million down payment on their winning purse bid of just over $6 million,
Breaking: The IBF, in a ruling obtained by ESPN, finds Triller in default after it attempted to move the Teofimo Lopez-George Kambosos lightweight title fight from Oct. 4 to Oct. 16 without challenger's approval. Eddie Hearn now has the rights to the fight. Story coming to ESPN.
— Mike Coppinger (@MikeCoppinger) October 6, 2021
Eddie Hearn and Matchroom Boxing, the second highest bidder for Lopez-Kambosos back in February, wasted no time to confirm that they will step in a promote the bout. And, it will be on yet another new date to be determined later this year.
Delighted to confirm that @matchroomboxing will be promoting the big @TeofimoLopez v @georgekambosos unified match up live on @daznboxing. Date and venue announced shortly. Let’s get this show on the road 🔥🇺🇸 🌍
— Eddie Hearn (@EddieHearn) October 6, 2021
As we have written repeatedly, the saga of this bout has seemingly been endless with Triller floundering to try to reschedule it all Summer and eventually settling on the first week of October for the Hulu Theater adjacent to Madison Square Garden in New York. However, that was even switched again, when the broadcaster/promotion realized that their first date of October 5th would conflict with the American League Wildcard baseball playoff game involving the New York Yankees.
So, the new date became Monday night, the 4th of October. And Triller, Lopez, and Kambosos all agreed contractually to the switch and date.
However, when Triller wanted to move the fight (and New York location) again, that’s when Kambosos balked. And, the IBF sent Triller a legally threatening letter that they had to honor the agreement or would lose their down payment. The letter read in part,
“We expect no additional postponements and the fight to take place on October 4, 2021 as per the contracts,” Linda Torres, lead counsel for the IBF informed the attorneys for Lopez, Kambosos and Triller via official letter, a copy of which has been obtained by BoxingScene.com. “Mr. Kambosos has clearly expressed that he is unwilling to fly around the world until Triller has complied with its obligations to provide a plan to get him home in a reasonable time and manner.
“Given that Mr. Kambosos is scheduled to depart Australia on September 25, the IBF agrees that Triller must fulfill its obligations to secure round-trip travel no later than September 23, 2021. Mr. Kambosos should be able to undertake his final preparations for the fight knowing that plans have been confirmed to get him home after the event.
Two weeks ago, Triller CEO Ryan Kavanaugh told the “MMA Hour” video show/podcast that he wanted to move the bout by 12 days to October 16th and to Brooklyn’s Barclays Center, a bigger venue. This would be the fifth different time that the bout originally scheduled for June 5th in Miami would have moved dates or suggested locations.
“We’re trying to put it on the 16th…for one reason. We just realized the Raiders game was that Monday night…I don’t think we want to go against. And we started looking at what else is that week? You got the (MLB Wildcard) playoffs the next night (Tuesday October 5th). And you’ve got a big fight (Fury-Wilder III) for that weekend,” Kavanaugh told the show.
“What we really want to do is the 16th (Saturday) at Barclays with a Verzuz (music) connected to it. It’s not official…The IBF already said ‘Ok’ as long as the fighters approve it, obviously…. To be able to bring that audience (Verzuz) to the Teofimo fight and pair them together…especially since he’s from Brooklyn. From all the dates we’re seeing, it’s the one that makes sense…without pushing it out too far.”
The IBF didn’t buy it and has defaulted them keeping the deposit.
As for Matchroom, their runner-up bid for the bout was just over $3.5 million, of which 75% will go to Lopez and the other portion to Kambosos.
The Honduran born, New York raised star Lopez scored an impressive upset decision win his last time out last October 17th beating one of the top pound for pounder fighters in Vasiliy Lomachenko in Las Vegas. That pushed his career record to 16 – 0, 12 KOs, and, it made him the man to beat at 135 lb. with all the major titles.
As for Kambosos, he was last in action a couple of weeks after that on Halloween winning a hard-fought, split-decision over Britain’s Lee Selby. That made the Australian 19 – 0 with 10 KOs and put him #1 with the IBF.
All of this comes on the heels of Triller’s disastrous Evander Holyfield-Vitor Belfort PPV, patched together on 8 days notice for September 11th in South Florida. This after reports that fewer than 2,000 tickets had been sold for Oscar De La Hoya to fight Belfort at L.A.’s Staples Center. De La Hoya then claimed to be positive for Covid 19 and couldn’t fight in the fight.
The “fight” lasted less than two minutes with Belfort overwhelming the 58 year old Holyfield. And, worse for Triller, they reportedly had fewer than 150k PPV buys for a massive loss.
Now, we wait to see where/when Matchroom puts the show on, likely in late November or December.