It looks like there might be some trouble in paradise between Top Rank and one its young stars in Teofimo Lopez.
With Lopez due to make an IBF mandatory title defense against little known George Kambosos, Top Rank would offer Lopez his minimum purse of $1.25 million for the bout. Lopez, however, rejected the offer, believing that his value was much greater, telling ESPN:
“We knew what we were being offered was disrespectful, and we expected the open market would value us differently. And it showed today. The $6 million from Triller, right there, says that Top Rank doesn’t value the best fighter on their roster.”
That impasse between Lopez and his promoter forced the Kambosos fight to head to purse bid, where Top Rank would bid $2.3 million for the fight, Matchroom offering $3.6 million, and Triller threw out a whopping $6 million bid that no one really saw coming. With Triller winning the bid, it’s expected that they will put Lopez-Kambosos on as a co-main event with a celebrity-type match to top the bill, but Lopez will clearly be making a nice payday anyway.
Even still, Lopez has publicly expressed his displeasure with his Top Rank promoter, believing the fight should’ve never went to purse bid anyway if he was properly valued by his promoter — a feeling now bolstered by the bid Triller placed on the fight.
Behind the scenes, leading up to the purse bid, there was also some turmoil as Top Rank was upset that Matchroom was planning to bid on the fight. Lopez, however, saw Top Rank’s effort to thwart a Matchroom bid as a move to undermine his potential earnings.
It’s ugly between Teofimo Lopez and Top Rank, and the road to the purse bid includes an email (obtained by @TheAthletic) from Todd duBoef where he tells DAZN brass it’s a “brazen act” to allow Eddie Hearn to bid after moving Ramirez-Taylor. Inside story:https://t.co/gHyFDW6yTd pic.twitter.com/06OljnHn0v— Mike Coppinger (@MikeCoppinger) February 26, 2021
And even though Matchroom didn’t ultimately win the purse bid, there is clearly a strained relationship, as further evidenced by Lopez’s manager David McWater:
“I don’t know that you’ll ever see him on Top Rank or an ESPN card again. There’s a lot of damage done here.”
For what it’s worth, Top Rank doesn’t seem to be getting riled up about the current situation as they still have Lopez under contract for the foreseeable future. That said, things could potentially take a turn for the worse between the two parties going forward.