Triller quits on its stool after failing to deliver Lopez vs. Kambosos
After accruing more than $10 million in promotional costs, Triller has thrown in the towel on promoting the IBF mandatory title defense between unified and The Ring Magazine lightweight world champion Teofimo Lopez and George Kambosos.
In the wake of the appalling Vitor Belfort-Evander Holyfield exhibition, Triller COO Thorsten Meier confirmed to Yahoo Sports that the company would no longer promote “freakshow” or “carnival act” fights featuring long-retired boxers and celebrities. They are instead promising to invest their money in competitive boxing matches, although their attempts to stage Lopez-Kambosos, to say the least, failed miserably.
After Triller won the purse bid, the original plan was to stage the fight, on June 5, at LoanDepot Park in Miami, the home stadium of the Miami Marlins. Then Floyd Mayweather stepped in and announced his exhibition against YouTuber Logan Paul for the following day at Hard Rock Stadium, which hosts the Miami Dolphins. The unexpected announcement forced Triller to call an audible. They moved the fight to June 19 but were hit by another unexpected, yet unsurprising, turn of events in the COVID world.
On June 15, it was revealed that Lopez tested positive for COVID-19 and the fight was moved to October 4 at Madison Square Garden’s Hulu Theater, in New York, which turned out to be a fatal error.
The fight would have gone up against a “Monday Night Football” game between the Las Vegas Raiders and the Los Angeles Chargers. Furthermore the event would have been staged less than a week before the third bout between WBC and The Ring Magazine heavyweight champion Tyson Fury and Deontay Wilder.
Meier explained that if there is anyone to blame, it’s him.
“That was totally my mistake,” he told Yahoo Sports. “Put that totally on me. I thought that October 4 would be a great date for the venue and for a pay-per-view because nothing else was happening. Something was happening: a very big NFL game. Everybody started yelling at me and telling me we should do it on a day where there is nothing else happening. And quite frankly, I started freaking out because I knew the IBF’s cut-off date [to stage the fight] was October 17.”
Lopez (16-0, 12 knockouts) agreed to move the fight to Brooklyn’s Barclays Center on October 16 but under the condition of a purse advance, while The Ring’s No. 8-rated lightweight Kambosos (19-0 10 KOs) demanded a $400,000 raise, and understandably so, to switch the date for a fourth time. Ultimately Triller turned the ball over too many times to recover and subsequently ran it back into its own endzone for a game-ending safety.
However plans are still in place to host a boxing card on October 16 at the Barclays, just without its original main event.
On the previously planned undercard, junior welterweight Daniel Gonzalez (20-2-1, 7 KOs) fronted the bill alongside Petros Ananyan (15-2-2, 7 KOs) in a scheduled 10-round contest. The 31-year-old Gonzalez, of Queens, New York, is riding a three-bout win streak following his unanimous decision loss to former 140-pound titleholder Chris Algieri in January 2019. Ananyan, 32, a Brooklyn-based Armenian journeyman, has lost two of his last four fights. However he is fresh off a February 2020 unanimous decision triumph against previously unbeaten and current Ring No.7-ranked junior welterweight Subriel Matias.
It is also being reported that popular 140-pounder, Brooklyn’s own Cletus Seldin (25-1, 21 KOs), will end a 19-month layoff on the card when he squares off against Brazil’s William Silva (28-3, 16 KOs). “The Hebrew Hammer” has scored four straight stoppage victories, including an 11th-round knockout over former two-division and undisputed welterweight champion Zab Judah.
Silva has suffered two knockout defeats in his past five fights, one against Teofimo Lopez and a second time by Arnold Barboza Jr. He returned to the winner’s circle on July 24 when he earned a second round stoppage over Erenilson Oliveira Santos in his native homeland.
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