Lee Selby-George Kambosos: Matchroom Boxing wins purse bid, Eddie Hearn eyes fall date
Matchroom Boxing promoter Eddie Hearn won a purse bid on Tuesday to secure the promotional rights to the IBF lightweight title elimination fight between George Kambosos and Lee Selby, whom Hearn promotes.
Hearn’s representative bid $277,777 at the purse bid that took place at the IBF offices in Springfield, New Jersey, to top the only other offer, which came from Kambosos promoter Lou DiBella, whose rep bid $260,000.
Under the terms of the bid, Kambosos, who is ranked higher by the IBF, is entitled to 60 percent ($166,666.20) and Selby 40 percent ($111,110.80).
Under IBF rules, Hearn must provide the sanctioning body with signed contracts within two weeks and the fight must take place within 90 days. The winner will become the mandatory challenger for the 135-pound belt held by Teofimo Lopez Jr., although he first will face Vasiliy Lomachenko in a title unification bout on October 17.
Hearn told The Ring that he intends to put the fight on either in the final week of November or the first week of December.
What makes Hearn’s winning bid unusual is the fact that the camps had already signed for Kambosos-Selby to take place on October 3 – after being postponed due to the coronavirus pandemic from May 9 – in Cardiff, Wales, Selby’s home country. The Kambosos side agreed to a total package of $150,000.
Two weeks ago, Hearn went to DiBella and said that for the fight to still go on October 3, likely without spectators (and the accompanying ticket revenue), they would have to take a reduced package of $100,000.
DiBella rejected that and opted for a purse bid, reasoning that he could win it, pay out only 40 percent to Selby’s side and do the fight in Australia, a benefit for Kambosos, with an Aussie TV partner.
DiBella said he was surprised that Hearn bid an amount that requires him to pay their side more than the original deal.
“Explain the logic other than Eddie being an ass… He had us for a $150,000 package all in. Then he asks for a big cut. I said f— that, I’ll take it to purse bid and do the fight in Australia. I said to Eddie, ‘Why are you making us go to a bid, making me give the IBF (a non-refundable fee of) $5,000 and going through all this bulls—? He doesn’t answer and we go to bid. I bid $260,000, a man of my word, a figure that would have given George even more than we had signed for and he bids $277,777.
“It makes no sense. I guess this is what you do when you brag about being rich… you do stupid sh–. And we were not busting his balls about the (October 3) date. Now he has us for even more than the $150,000 we agreed to originally. Thank you. I congratulated him.”
Hearn rejected DiBella’s logic that the fight will now cost him more money than before because he can certainly make a side deal with Selby that would rein in costs with Selby still having home advantage.
“It doesn’t cost me more,” Hearn said. “Maybe I got [Selby] cheaper.”
Hearn also said under his deal for the fight on October 3 that Kambosos’ team was due to receive six airfares, including two in business class, and now, under the purse bid rules, he is only obligated to provide three coach tickets.
“It makes a big difference,” Hearn said.
Hearn is also hopeful that by having the fight later in the year than October 3 that there will be a good chance that they can have at least some spectators at the fight, which would generate additional revenue.
Kambosos (18-0, 10 KOs), 27, is coming off his biggest win, a 10-round decision over former lightweight titleholder Mickey Bey on December 14 at Madison Square Garden, on the Terence Crawford-Egidijus Kavaliauskas undercard.
In his last fight, former featherweight world titlist Selby (28-2, 9 KOs), 33, won a majority decision over former three-weight world titleholder Ricky Burns last October to remain in the title hunt.