Matchroom Boxing very nearly swiped undisputed-ish lightweight champion Teofimo Lopez’s IBF mandatory clash with George Kambosos Jr out from under Top Rank’s noses this morning, bidding $3.5 million compared to the latter’s $2.3 million. Unfortunately for Eddie Hearn and Co., Triller’s Ryan Kavanaugh rendered their efforts moot with a jaw-dropping $6,018,000 offer. Per IBF regulations, that means just under $4 million for champion Lopez and just over $2 million for challenger Kambosos, minus promotional expenses.
Dan Rafael raised the possibility of the fight sharing a card with Jake Paul vs. Ben Askren, which goes down April 17th in Atlanta. Triller has staged just one boxing event thus far: Mike Tyson’s November exhibition match with Roy Jones Jr.
Lopez (16-0, 12 KO) and Kambosos (19-0, 10 KO) have to be feeling good about themselves; Bob Arum dismissed their purse demands as “crazy” earlier this month, repeatedly insisting that it wasn’t a major fight and offering Lopez the minimum allowed by his contract, but they appear to have gotten the massive payday they wanted. Assuming, of course, that Kavanaugh doesn’t default.
If he is, in fact, good for it, that means the first undisputed* title fight of 2021 will take place on pay-per-view alongside at least one YouTuber vs. Boxer matchup and, in all likelihood, some concerts. If Kavanaugh’s gambit pays off, that could potentially become part of boxing’s new normal.
What a world.