Word came out Thursday afternoon that Teofimo Lopez would do his next bout on the Triller platform, facing mandatory challenger George Kambosos Jr.
Lots of “Oh, shit” reactions came in, as folks tried to wrap their brains around the video sharing social network making the high bid on the purse bid for the lightweight title fight.
And despite early speculation, Triller’s Ryan Kavanaugh made clear his company didn’t spend over $6 million on the fight to have Teofimo Lopez (16-0, 12 KO) be a warm-up act for Jake Paul vs Ben Askren on April 17, or the next Mike Tyson exhibition, maybe against Evander Holyfield.
As of now, it looks like we could see Lopez in his first outing since besting Vasiliy Lomachenko last October fighting in May. Miami — where Canelo Alvarez is headlining Saturday night against Avni Yildirim on DAZN — may well be the location of the Lopez-Kambosos fight, which will be on pay-per-view.
I reached out Kavanaugh to ask if it may not be a big task to have Paul-Askren on April 17, then another show 4-to-6 weeks later. “It is a heavy lift, but doable,” Kavanaugh said.
Lopez is the main event draw, Kavanaugh said, and some social media talents and musical acts and filmed fare will be folded in to make Teofimo’s Triller debut a splashy one. You hear whispers of Kavanaugh trying to get some real outside the box content for the Paul-Askren, so I’d expect more than one eyebrow-raiser match to make the one night stand/union more buzz-y.
News also dropped on Thursday also that former light heavyweight champion Antonio Tarver, now 52, will be facing ex-UFC heavyweight champion Frank Mir on the April show. Mir, age 41, last engaged in combat in Oct. 2019, while Tarver hasn’t fought since 2015.
Kavanaugh is making his presence felt in a big way in the boxing space and it serves to remind you how things change so frequently in our sport, with its low barrier to entry. You only correlated Triller and boxing last July, and half a year later, Triller Fight Club and Kavanaugh are spreading their brand stamp hard and fast.
“We’ll have another Triller Fight Club in July, too,” Kavanaugh promised.