Everything that surrounds the first defense of Teófimo López (16-0, 12 KO) has been very strange from the beginning. The 24-year-old American beat Vasyl Lomachenko in October 2020 to become the undisputed lightweight. López came to that lawsuit as IBF monarch, so that body had the right to impose the first mandatory challenger. He did it with George Kambosos Jr. (19-0, 10 KO). The Australian was number one in the ranking and an auction was declared. Triller, promoter with whom Mike Tyson started doing different events that included bouts of retired fighters or important personalities, broke the bench. He put more than six million dollars on the table and won the auction.
The first date they were marked was June 19, but na week before, López was infected with coronavirus and had to be postponed. At first they bet on August, but the champion was not prepared. The IBF gave a margin until October 17 (just one year after Teofimo’s triumph). Triller set the fight again for October 5, Tuesday. The possibility of the Yankees (baseball) playing a play-off game at home. For that reason, and as the chosen place was Madison Square Garden decided to move it to a day earlier: October 4. When everything seemed to be going ahead, ten days before they realized that on Monday there was NFL (Charges vs Raiders). They also didn’t want to compete and Triller spoke to the Garden (paid $ 150,000) and announced that the fight would move to October 16 and would be at the Barclays Center in Brooklyn. That’s where the mess began.
López first refused, but in the end he reached an agreement. Kambosos didn’t want the change first. Then he asked for $ 400,000 in compensation (López even offered him 150,000 of his bag) and then he did not take the flight he should (September 30th) to travel to the United States. He wanted them to put his entire bag on deposit. Before that ordeal, Triller had sent a letter to the IBF to mediate. He gave the date that September 30. There was no answer and Triller took another step. According to journalist Dan Rafael (World Boxing News), who accessed the letter that the promoter’s lawyer sent to the agency, Triller has dropped out of the fight. He will have an event on October 16 in Brooklyn. He will keep the entire billboard, add a rap concert, but there will be no Teofimo vs Kambosos.
Triller, in that communication, asks the IBF to remove Kambosos from his position as official aspirant, understanding that he “refused to fight.”. He also demands that the Australian return the money they have already advanced and that they order a new challenger for López and a new auction (Triller could attend or not). The promoter also assures that she has lost around 1.5 million dollars in this fight.Despite this, it does not provide any corroborating documentation. Therefore, now the ball is on the IBF court. The agency can do as Triller asks or punish Triller for breaching the contract. In that case, Teófimo and Kambosos would share the advance money (the 20% that would be distributed like the bag, 65-35%) and Matchroom, which was second in the auction (3.5M), I’d get the rights to the fight and set a new date. In the event that the English were no longer interested, Top Rank, which is López’s promoter, would do the fight as it was the last one to bid (2.3M). The dispatches are keeping one of the boxers who most want to see away from the ring. Teófimo López and the fans will have to keep waiting. The IBF must speak.