Teofimo Lopez’s promoter has a contingency plan in place in the event Triller Fight Club doesn’t move forward with promoting and televising the Lopez-George Kambosos fight on pay-per-view.
Bob Arum informed BoxingScene.com that Top Rank has reserved an undisclosed date in September for ESPN to televise the Lopez-Kambosos bout if the IBF rules that Triller Fight Club has defaulted on its winning bid for their lightweight title fight. Triller Fight Club stunningly won a purse bid February 25 to earn the right to promote the 12-round, 135-pound championship bout between Las Vegas’ Lopez (16-0, 12 KOs) and Australia’s Kambosos (19-0, 10 KOs), the mandatory challenger for Lopez’s IBF lightweight title.
Triller Fight Club’s whopping winning bid was $6,018,000. Matchroom Boxing submitted the second-highest bid, which was $3,506,000.
Arum’s Top Rank offered the third-highest amount to promote Lopez-Kambosos ($2,315,000).
Two weeks ago, Patrick English, an attorney for Lopez, requested a resolution regarding Triller Fight Club’s winning bid. In paperwork submitted to the IBF on Lopez’s behalf, Lopez’s team asked the IBF to make Triller Fight Club reschedule the Kambosos bout by the end of September or declare that Triller defaulted on its winning bid.
“If the first bidder defaults, then it goes to the second bidder, and that’s Matchroom,” Arum told BoxingScene.com. “And they don’t have to do it. There’s no consequences for them passing. And then it’s up to us, if we wanna do it. And the answer is we most definitely wanna do it. We’ll do that fight in September. But again, we might not have the opportunity.
“One, the IBF may decide in favor of Triller and Triller makes everything right and does the fight on an appropriate date in the United States in September. A lot of things can happen. But as Teo’s promoter, besides signing a [new] contract with him, we’re obligated to do the fight if the other arrangements fall through.”
Triller Fight Club postponed Lopez-Kambosos in mid-May from June 5 to June 19 at loanDepot Park, the home stadium of Major League Baseball’s Miami Marlins. Their fight was postponed again June 15, the day Lopez tested positive for COVID-19.
Triller Fight Club announced June 15 that Lopez-Kambosos would be rescheduled for August 14. A venue was not secured, however, and nothing more regarding rescheduling Lopez-Kambosos for August 14 was officially announced.
Triller Fight Club later petitioned the IBF to allow the company to reschedule Lopez-Kambosos for October 17 at Bankwest Stadium in Sydney, Kambosos’ hometown. Lopez does not want to fight Kambosos in Australia primarily because COVID-19 restrictions in Australia would require him to be quarantined in a hotel room for two weeks, which would prohibit Lopez from preparing properly to box Kambosos.
Once Lopez tested positive for the coronavirus, Kambosos returned to Sydney. He remains there and would not be subjected to another two-week quarantine if his fight with Lopez were brought to Australia.
If the IBF determines Triller Fight Club defaulted on its bold bid, Lopez and Kambosos would be entitled to a 65-35 split of the $1,203,600 deposit Triller Fight Club was required to make after winning the purse bid. In addition, Lopez and Kambosos would divide either the bid made by Matchroom or Top Rank’s offer 65-35.
The IBF’s ruling regarding Lopez-Kambosos could come as soon as the end of next week.
Keith Idec is a senior writer/columnist for BoxingScene.com. He can be reached on Twitter @Idecboxing.