Teofimo Lopez Jr. says there's 'no going back' in Top Rank row, offers news on George Kambosos Jr. date
Teofimo Lopez will defend his unified lightweight championship against fellow unbeaten fighter and mandatory challenger George Kambosos Jr. on Triller this summer, but the lucrative title bout may have damaged his relationship with promoters Top Rank and their chief Bob Arum beyond repair.
Lopez cemented himself as one of the sport's newest stars when he defeated Vasiliy Lomachenko last October to unify his belts with those of the Ukrainian former Olympian. However, much like he has in recent months with undefeated welterweight king Terence Crawford, Arum has not provided the backing one would expect a matchmaker to give an elite champion on their books.
Arum's offer for the Lopez-Kambosos mandatory at purse bids did not impress his star, and Matchroom Boxing Eddie Hearn — who ultimately came second to Triller's massive offer in the bids — even accused Arum of trying to threaten the ongoing Anthony Joshua vs. Tyson Fury negotiations if Hearn were to try and outbid him on the lightweights.
Speaking to Fighthub recently, Lopez said the fight date for his first defence of his new collection of belts was close to being finalised, but admitted his Top Rank deal is strained, despite having three and a half years left to run.
“George Kambosos on May 29th or June 5th,” said Teofimo. “The commentators that will be on will be phenomenal, and it will definitely draw more eyes to the sport."
On the possibility of being 'frozen out' by his own promoter, he responded: “No, not at all. I know these things play out for some odd reason, and that odd reason is in my favor.
“It’s an even for me. There’s too much damage that has been done. We look forward to seeing what happens next. The damage has been done; there’s no way of going back."
Triller's bid, over $6 million, is unlikely to yield much of a return based on a fighter who has only just stamped his card as a member of the sport's current top fighters in a mandatory defence against a relative unknown.
However, many expect the streamers, who recently had great success promoting Mike Tyson's legends exhibition vs. Roy Jones Jr., to pair the high-end attraction for purists with a sideshow fight, such as a Logan Paul or Jake Paul bout, to draw in the casual viewers and ensure a profit, while at the same time boosting Teofimo's profile for superfights with the likes of Ryan Garcia, Gervonta Davis, Josh Taylor and Jose Ramirez down the line.