The status of undisputed lightweight champion Teofimo Lopez’s mandatory defence against IBF No.1 George Kambosos remains uncertain after Triller officially withdrew as promoter from the seemingly cursed event.
After a series of date and venue changes, with Lopez pulling out on fight week in June following a positive Covid-19 test, Triller attempted to push its latest October 4 fight date in New York City to October 16 in Brooklyn, but Kambosos refused to agree.
Having bid over $6 million in winning the purse bid for Lopez-Kambosos in February, Triller tried to have the Australian replaced as the challenger whilst retrieving its deposit. Now it has officially ditched the bout altogether with the IBF yet to rule on the chaos and the lingering possibility that Matchroom, the second highest bidder in purse bids, promotes Lopez-Kambosos.
“[With] the advertising we’d lined up, the performance marketing we’d lined up, the radio spots, the television spots, all this stuff, quite frankly it’s fair to say that at the moment, we’re between $9 million to $10 million in promotional dollars, promotional money, that we’ve spent to promote this fight,” Triller COO Thorstein Meier told Kevin Iole of Yahoo Sports. “We’ve gotten nothing out of it and this is why we’re saying enough is enough.”
Triller will now proceed with its October 16 entertainment event without Lopez-Kambosos. Boxing will still feature, however, with New York 140-pounder Daniel Gonzalez facing Russian Petros Ananyan and ticket seller Cletus Seldin added to the show against Brazilian William Silva, according to Jake Donovan of BoxingScene.
With Kambosos having launched legal action, the story is set to rumble on even if the fighters do not.