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Teofimo Lopez vs. George Kambosos Title Fight Formally Ordered By IBF

Teofimo Lopez Jr. is now pressed with a deadline to honor his next mandatory obligation.

The International Boxing Federation (IBF) has officially ordered a lightweight title fight between Lopez—as the defending champion—and unbeaten number-one contender George Kambosos Jr. The New Jersey-based sanctioning body notified both camps on Friday of a 30-day free negotiations period, during which time they are required to reach a deal to avoid a purse bid hearing.

“IBF Lightweight Champion Teofimo Lopez won the Title on December 14, 2019. His mandatory defense was due on or before September 14, 2020. The leading available number one contender is George Kambosos Jr. George Kambosos Jr.,” Carlos Ortiz, chairman of the IBF Championship Committee stated in an official notification to both parties, a copy of which has been obtained by “Negotiations should commence immediately and be concluded by February 6, 2021.

“If you are unable to come to an agreement for this bout within 30 days, the IBF will call for a purse bid.”

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The ruling puts Lopez (16-0, 12KOs) in an unavoidable bind to honor his overdue mandatory obligation, which would rule out any plans for an undisputed title fight showdown with WBC lightweight titlist Devin Haney (25-0, 15KOs). Exemptions are occasionally granted under such circumstances, though almost never once a fight is formally ordered.

Brooklyn’s Lopez entered the one-year anniversary of his IBF title reign by adding two more belts to his collection, claiming the WBA and WBO straps in a 12-round decision win over Ukraine’s Vasiliy Lomachenko last October 17th in Las Vegas. Two weeks later came the emergence of Australia’s Kambosos (19-0, 10KOs) as his mandatory challenger, by virtue of his unanimous decision win over Lee Selby in their final eliminator last Halloween on the road in England.

Penalties are in place should either side abandon the ordered title fight.

“A Champion’s failure to comply with this obligation will be sufficient cause to have the Championships Committee and Board of Directors consider withdrawing recognition of the title,” notes Ortiz. “If the mandatory challenger agrees to fight the Champion and they are unable to negotiate the terms of the bout within thirty (30) days, they have the obligation to proceed to a purse bid under the procedure set forth in Rule 10.

“The Challenger’s failure to comply with this rule will result in the Championships Committee recognizing the next leading available contender as the mandatory challenger and moving the challenger to a position below #10 in the rankings for at least 6 months.”

Lopez is represented by Top Rank and manager David McWater. Kambosos fights under the DiBella Entertainment banner and managed by Peter Kahn. All parties have been in talks for such a fight well before being ordered by the IBF. Tentative plans called for a springtime clash in Australia, to air on an ESPN platform. However, financial terms have not been agreed upon, despite false reports of either side being presented a contract for such a contest.

Either party can call for a purse bid at any time during negotiations.

Jake Donovan is a senior writer for Twitter: @JakeNDaBox

User Comments and Feedback
Comment by Fire4231 on 01-10-2021

Think the veil was already lifted on this one. Wonder how much a request for a specific mandatory costs a promoter these days?

Comment by Bain01D on 01-09-2021

[QUOTE=Mammoth;21008211]Right. Nobody is going to vacate a title for a soft touch and a big payday.[/QUOTE] Most wouldn’t! But you do get some who are all about legacy and paydays so he may have gone after Tank, Haney, Garcia etc…

Comment by Mammoth on 01-09-2021

[QUOTE=Bronx2245;21008172]Right again my friend! They're saying that they may have 50-65K asses in seats! Nobody is getting money like that during the pandemic! Fury and Joshua might want to consider Australia too![/QUOTE] [QUOTE=Bain01D;21008142]Suppose he deserves and easy fight after the…

Comment by tophat1 on 01-09-2021

No complaints from me, rankings may be suspect but the IBF rewarding mandatory challengers. Not exactly the fight I would like to see but you have to give lopez a pass on this fight if he takes it. Commey in…

Comment by Bronx2245 on 01-09-2021

[QUOTE=Mammoth;21007826]No way. He'll make good money in Australia from this fight.[/QUOTE]Right again my friend! They're saying that they may have 50-65K asses in seats! Nobody is getting money like that during the pandemic! Fury and Joshua might want to consider…

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