Less than 24 hours ago, the purse bid for Teofimo Lopez Jr. (16-0) vs. George Kambosos Jr. (19-0) concluded. As expected, Matchroom Boxing promoter Eddie Hearn ($3.5 million) outbid Bob Arum ($2.3 million) by $1.2 million. However, Triller crashed the party and made a massive bid of $6,018,000. That’s more than Matchroom and Top Rank’s bid combined!
As per IBF rules, Lopez will make $3,911,700 minus 20% (Top Rank’s cut), whereas Kambosos will get $2,106,300 minus his promoter’s cut (not known). The bid sent waves across the boxing world and got many reactions.
Bob Arum is Angry at Eddie Hearn
Before the bid, Arum — who promotes Lopez Jr. — warned Eddie Hearn about bidding. The American promoter said Hearn’s bid could affect the upcoming fight between Tyson Fury and Anthony Joshua. During a recent interaction with Manouk Akopyan, Arum blasted Hearn for bidding despite his warning.
“Hearn lost & pissed us off at the same time. He better watch out the next time he goes to purse bid when fighters have no connection to ESPN/Top Rank. We’ll jam a bid up his a**,” Arum said.
The 89-year-old also told Lopez Jr. not to expect Top Rank to match Triller’s money in his next fight. Besides that, he also had a message for Triller.
“If Lopez wins and comes back to us and wants the same money that he got before, the answer is ‘no.’ So he sits out for a while. You can’t pay what you don’t have … Maybe Triller is so happy with Lopez they’ll give us a big number and buy out our contract.”
Hearn Demands His Cut
Hearn admitted that the whole situation with Arum and the bid was a “mess.” Surprisingly, Hearn knew that he would not win the bid.
“Lopez is a big star. The fight’s not that big. But this whole situation has made it big, right? So I said to Mike Coppinger — ‘I promise you, we won’t win the bid.’ I went, ‘Someone will come in and do something stupid,’ and lo-and-behold – they did!” Hearn told iFL TV.
Hearn then congratulated both boxers and asked for his percentage. Why? Well, Hearn thinks he helped escalate the price. This may hold water to some extent, but we all know Eddie is getting nothing more than a “steak dinner.”
Ryan Kavanaugh is Not Competing with Arum
Following the bid, Triller’s Ryan Kavanaugh clarified his intentions were not to compete with top dogs like Bob Arum. He thinks the current situation is great for everyone, as they can market the athletes better with their immense reach.
“[Teofimo Lopez] won every top boxer of 2020 from you name the outlet… By bringing him onto a card where we have social media and celebrities and we hit this broad reach when we hand him back to his promoter he’s going to hopefully have three, four, five times the followers,” Ryan Kavanaugh told Marc Raimondi of ESPN.
This will be Triller’s second-ever boxing event. Their first one, Mike Tyson vs. Roy Jones Jr., generated over $1.6 million PPV buys. Many boxing pundits speculate Triller will attempt to club Lopez vs. Kambosos with Mike Tyson vs Evander Holyfield 3.
Moreover, Kavanaugh stated that Lopez vs. George Kambosos will take place in May, and it will be the headliner of the card. At least now we know the bout won’t take place on the undercard of Jake Paul vs. Ben Askren. Humor aside, Lopez Jr. was not pleased with the situation.
Teofimo Lopez lashes out at Todd duBoef, duBoef responds
In a statement to ESPN, Teofimo Lopez Jr. said Top Rank’s initial offer ($1.25 million) was disrespectful.
“We knew what we were being offered was disrespectful, and we expected the open market would value us differently. And it showed today. The $6 million from Triller, right there, says that Top Rank doesn’t value the best fighter on their roster. I look forward to my title defense against George Kambosos.”
Lopez also expressed his displeasure with the president of Top Rank Boxing, Todd duBoef, on The Pug and Copp Boxing Show.
“It sucks, it really does. It sucks to have it goes this way. You know, because of the relationship I’ve had with Top Rank, but it’s more so the relationship I had with ESPN. Not more so with Top Rank. But, you know, Todd duBoef is the man, he knows what he’s doing, right? So we gotta give kudos to Todd duBoef for distributing and working on his fighters very well. So, congratulations Todd duBoef, you just lost your best fighter from your stable,” Teofimo Lopez Jr. said.
Lopez Jr. also tweeted out a strong message to duBoef. He later deleted the tweet, but multiple sources captured it before he could do so.
“Todd Duboef, you won’t have me back,” said Teofimo. “Get ready because we going to war! You pr***. How dare you try to c*** block my purse bid with DAZN and whoever else. You’re done! Thank you, Triller, for letting the world know I’m next up.”
duBoef’s response was rather polite. Based on what he said, it seems like he is optimistic about continuing his relationship with Teofimo Lopez Jr.
“I think at the end of the day, everybody wins. If Teofimo [Lopez] comes out successful and has a successful defense against Kambosos, terrific. If they do a bunch of promotion and he gets bigger on the social platform, terrific, and we have a long career together going forward,” Todd duBoef told Ben Baby.
George Kambosos Jr. promises a Thriller while His Promoter is Thrilled
Kambosos’ promoter, Lou DiBella, welcomed Kavanaugh to the world of boxing and expressed his excitement to work with the new player.
“All I can do is congratulate Ryan and Fight Club. Obviously, they intend on being a player in boxing, not just celebrity boxing. I welcome them and I’m happy to work with them on this event,” DiBella said (via Dan Rafael).
Just like his upcoming opponent, Kambosos Jr. is undefeated. The IBF mandatory last fought and defeated Lee Selby on October 31, 2020. In a recent tweet, “Ferocious” promised to make a statement in his fight with Lopez Jr.
Lopez, on the other hand, outclassed Vasyl Lomachenko in his last fight to become the unified lightweight champion (sorry ESPN). What are your thoughts on the entire situation?