George Kambosos still has not agreed to move his lightweight title fight with Teofimo Lopez to Oct. 16, Triller co-founder Ryan Kavanaugh told ESPN on Tuesday, jeopardizing the organization’s rights to the fight.
“The same contract that Teofimo signed is sitting in front of Kambosos to sign to fight on the 16th,” Kavanaugh said. “Our condolences to him on the passing of his grandfather — we understand this is a tough week for him as the funeral is tomorrow.
“Clearly given his family situation, it’s a better date for him. … Triller is not going to pay anything extra or make extra accommodations, as it didn’t for Teofimo. … Triller is already paying him close to 10 times what he’s made in the past. If he were for some reason to not do this deal with us, he would make significantly less. We are confident this fight is occurring and he’s going to sign the contract soon.”
Sources told ESPN that Kambosos was looking for more than $300,000 to sign the contract. Team Kambosos declined to comment.
Kambosos and Lopez, the undisputed 135-pound champion, signed contracts to stage the fight Oct. 4 at New York’s Hulu Theater at Madison Square Garden. Triller then decided to move the bout to Oct. 16, wishing to avoid competition with Monday Night Football. However, the organization needed both fighters to approve the date change since contracts were filed with the New York State Athletic Commission and the IBF, the sanctioning body that ordered the fight.
Lopez signed a contract allowing the fight to be moved last week, his father and trainer, Teofimo Lopez Sr., told ESPN. If Kambosos (19-0, 16 KOs) doesn’t budge, he could then force the IBF to find Triller in default, and the rights to the bout would revert to Eddie Hearn’s Matchroom Sport, which would be expected to stage the fight on DAZN.
Triller won February’s purse bid with a commitment of $6.018 million, beating out Hearn ($3.506 million) and Top Rank ($2.315 million). Lopez, the champion, is entitled to 65% percent and is set to earn $3.9117 million; Kambosos is due to make $2,106,300. Both would be career-high paydays. If Triller defaults and Hearn chooses to exercise his rights to the bout, Lopez’s payday would shrink to $2.2789 million, with Kambosos’ earnings falling to $1.2271 million.
Of course, Lopez and Kambosos could seek to recoup that money in a lawsuit against Triller if the contract to fight on Oct. 4 is breached.
Triller already canceled its reservation with Madison Square Garden and forfeited a $100,000 deposit.
“I want the best for my son and I think this is the big stage for him. Fighting Oct. 4 would have f—ing killed us,” Lopez Sr., said last week, referring to the rare move to stage a fight on a Monday night. “Everyone would have been laughing at us. I think this is the right thing to do.
“Money is not everything,” he added. “The money will come. Exposure is more important than everything in the world right now.”
Lopez (16-0, 12 KOs) hasn’t fought since a career-best performance in October, a decision victory over pound-for-pound great Vasiliy Lomachenko to capture all four belts at 135 pounds. The 24-year-old Brooklyn native, who would enjoy a homecoming bout at Barclays Center, is ESPN’s No. 1 lightweight and No. 5 pound-for-pound boxer.
Kambosos, who resides in Sydney, Australia, is ESPN’s No. 9 lightweight. He won a title eliminator against Lee Selby in October to become the mandatory challenger.
Lopez is in the midst of a multiyear deal with Top Rank, which has an exclusive deal with ESPN. After failed negotiations between the boxer and his promoter, the rights to the fight headed to a purse bid. The fight was set for June 19 in Miami before Lopez tested positive for COVID-19 days before the bout.
If the fight indeed moves to Oct. 16, it would be at least the fifth date change for the event.