Sources: Triller Fails To Pay Kovalev/Pulev Brothers For May 14 Fights
Triller, which has been beset by problems since it entered the boxing business in November 2020, has another one to add to the list: the company still has not paid Sergey Kovalev and brothers Tervel and Kubrat Pulev for the featured bouts they had on a Triller Fight Club pay-per-view card on May 14, multiple sources told Big Fight Weekend.
The money owed to heavyweight Jerry Forrest, who lost a unanimous decision to Kubrat Pulev in the 10-round co-feature at The Forum in Inglewood, California, and his promoter, DiBella Entertainment, has only been partially paid, according to sources.
Kovalev, a former three-time light heavyweight world titlist, returned from a 2½-year layoff, moved up to cruiserweight and won a 10-round unanimous decision over Tervel Pulev in the main event of TrillerVerz 5, which had a full card of boxing matches and performances by various rap acts, including Cypress Hill and Onyx in the featured “rap battle.”
Unexpectedly, the four featured fighters and their promoters, who had entered into provision of service agreements with Triller for the bouts, were not paid on fight night or by wire transfers in the days following the event, sources said.
According to sources, new Triller Fight Club president David Tetreault asked representatives for the fighters to allow the payments to be delayed for as long as 75 days until eventually settling on a deadline of May 31, but the money still had not been paid by Tuesday’s deadline.
When Triller did not pay DiBella Entertainment its fee or for Forrest’s services in the days following his fight, DBE paid Forrest and his manager. Triller has since paid back most of the money it owed to DBE but it missed the deadline for the rest, one of the sources said.
According to one source, the California State Athletic Commission is aware of the issue and could take measures to suspend Triller from putting on events in the state, which could lead other commissions to follow suit.
Main Events, the promoter for Kovalev, and Epic Sports, which promotes the Pulev brothers, have been in discussions with Triller in an effort to settle the issue as well as seeking interest payments on the money.
According to the California State Athletic Commission contracts, Kovalev was due $500,000, Tervel Pulev $195,454, Kubrat Pulev $204,545 and Jerry Forrest $140,000. However, the fighters were also to receive additional money toward such things as training expenses.
Triller has had various other issues, including with Mike Tyson over money he has claimed he is owed in relation to his November 2020 pay-per-view exhibition bout with Roy Jones Jr.
Triller also received heavy criticism for its handling of a pay-per-view card it put on Sept. 11 that was headlined by an exhibition bout between Evander Holyfield, filling in for the ill Oscar De La Hoya, against former top MMA fighter Vitor Belfort. Triller falsely marketed the fight – which Belfort won by first-round knockout of the 58-year-old Holyfield — and others on the card involving MMA star Anderson Silva and former heavyweight and cruiserweight titlist David Haye as official fights when they were exhibitions.
Also, after a variety of attempts to schedule the fight between then-unified lightweight world champion Teofimo Lopez and George Kambosos Jr. failed, the IBF declared Triller in default of its winning purse bid for the right to promote the fight and instead second-place bidder Matchroom Boxing put on the bout in November.
On Thursday morning, Tetreault responded to Big Fight Weekend’s request for comment and denied Triller failed to pay the fighters.
“The information in this article from various sources are erroneous and non-factual,” Tetreault said in a statement provided to Big Fight Weekend by his spokesman. “We maintain excellent relationships with Team Kovalev, Team Pulev and all the fighters that took part in the May 14th event.
We look forward to platforming game changing events in the near future.”