Teofimo Lopez Jr. and George Kambosos Jr. have waited all year and through several postponements for their fight to finally materialize.
Their fathers nearly beat them to the punch—literally.
Teofimo Lopez Sr. and George Kambosos Sr. had to be physically restrained during a media workout Tuesday afternoon in New York City, just five days prior to their sons’ upcoming World lightweight championship showdown. A brief shove and a lot of harsh words were exchanged between camps, with little love lost ahead of the DAZN headliner Saturday evening at Madison Square Garden’s Hulu Theater.
“Kambosos, you’re gonna get your ass kicked,” Teofimo Sr. shouted upon entering the gym, where his son was being interviewed by DAZN and Matchroom Boxing’s social media teams while Kambosos was winding down his open workout. “First round, baby.”
“F--- off, motherf-----,” replied George Sr., followed by a brief shove as Teoflmo Sr. rapidly approached him.
The two were immediately separated by Matchroom security, with the elder Lopez being ushered away while Frank Smith, CEO of Matchroom Boxing did his best to calm down the elder Kambosos or at least prevent him from retaliation.
“C’mon you big mouth. Come over here,” George Sr. shouted as Teofimo Sr. repeated that his son would win by first-round knockout on Saturday. “You wanna walk across this f----in’ line? Alright. I’m gonna f--- you up first.”
“F---in’ chicken,” replied Teofimo Sr before turning his attention to George Jr. who was standing in the ring, leaning on the top rope and staring down his opponent’s hostile father. “F--- you, motherf-----. F--- you and your coach, you f---in’ pussies. You got an MMA coach. You got an MMA coach, bitch.
“F--- you, bitch, First round knockout, bitch. What are you gonna do when my son whips you down?”
Brooklyn’s Lopez (16-0, 12KOs) attempts the second defense of his IBF lightweight title and first as the lineal/WBA/WBO champion in Saturday’s main event, which has been rescheduled at least six times since it was first ordered earlier this year. The two were due to collide this past June 5 in Miami, with the announcement presser in April seeing the pair of unbeaten lightweights nearly come to blows on stage.
The event was being promoted at the time by Triller Fight Club, who pushed back plans by two weeks to avoid a separate Pay-Per-View event topped by an exhibition bout between Floyd Mayweather Jr. and Logan Paul the following evening, also in the greater Miami area. The rescheduled June 19 event was scrapped at the start of fight week after it was learned that Lopez tested positive for Covid.
Dates of August 14 and September 11 were announced before landing on October 4 at Hulu Theater. Less than a month prior to the October date, Triller once again flipped the script, relocating the show to October 16 at Barclays Center in Brooklyn. Lopez and his father agreed to the switch, though it was rightly met with resistance by Kambosos (19-0, 10KOs) who refused to budge after already waiting nearly a year since becoming IBF mandatory challenger following a twelve-round decision win over Lee Selby last Halloween on the road in London.
Triller Fight Club was found to have defaulted on the purse bid, more than seven months after securing the rights to the fight with a bid of $6,018,000. Matchroom was the next highest bidder, agreeing to move forward with its submitted offer of $3,506,000 and immediately scheduling the bout for November 27 at Hulu Theater.
Neither side has toned down their disdain for one another, though with matters clearly reaching a boiling point on Tuesday. Teofimo Sr. has never been shy about riling up the other side and having his son finish the job in the ring.
It worked to perfection in Lopez’s last fight, a career-defining (to date) twelve-round, unanimous decision victory over Vasiliy Lomachenko in their unification bout last October 17. The seeds were planted some two years prior, with Lopez backing up his father’s claims.
The same marching orders are now in place for Saturday.
“You better f--- this motherf----- up, bro,” Teofimo Sr. demanded of his son.
“That’s a given,” Lopez replied, laughing through the sequence if only to otherwise focus on an interview and photo shoot in progress.
“Take him out of the arena and f--- up his father, too,” Teofimo Sr. suggested.
Jake Donovan is a senior writer for BoxingScene.com. Twitter: @JakeNDaBox