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Triller pull the trigger

Teofimo Lopez Triller
Mikey Williams/Top Rank/Getty Images
Triller's latest date for Lopez-Kambosos Jnr is shot down by woeful planning from the controversial platform, writes George Gigney

WELL well well, Triller is up to no good again. For the past few weeks there have been fairly regular updates about the ongoing negotiations to stage a contracted fight between Teofimo Lopez and George Kambosos Jnr.

For those who need a reminder, Triller won the purse bids for the bout with an inexplicably high bid north of $6m, and were set to hold the fight earlier this year, however Lopez contracted Covid-19 and so it was postponed.

Triller then pencilled in October 4 as the new date for the fight, but then had to scramble to find a new one when they realised they’d be competing with Monday Night Football in the NFL for ratings. That is a fight they would have surely lost.

Triller COO Thorstein Meier told Yahoo! Sports that this was entirely his fault and that he originally thought October 4 would be ideal because there were no other events taking place. The NFL schedule has been public knowledge since May, so it beggars belief how Meier and everyone else at Triller didn’t know there was a major game taking place on that date.

Now, Triller has decided to pull out completely from the Lopez-Kambosos fight and will no longer promote it, according to the report. Meier claims they have lost $10m in trying, and failing, to stage this bout, though they provided no proof of where that number came from.

The Yahoo! report details how Kambosos and his team became quiet once news broke of Triller planning to move the date of the event to October 16. Apparently, Triller were trying to get Kambosos to remain in the US for the fight, however he had issues with how long that would keep him away from his family due to travel restrictions in his native Australia. Plus, his third child was born in late September.

There is also the added complication that Kambosos’ manager, Peter Kahn, was Triller’s head of boxing operations until very recently. While at Triller, he stepped away from his role as the fighter’s manager but, since leaving the company, resumed that position immediately.

The report also fails to mention how Lopez’s and Kambosos’ teams requested that Triller place the purse funds in escrow as proof of funds, but that Triller refused. Given how much they had already been moved around, this wasn’t an unreasonable request from the fighters.

The whole situation is a complete shambles and the only silver lining is that it now looks as though the fight will fall to DAZN and Eddie Hearn, who had the next-highest bid behind Triller. We at least know they are capable of staging a fight.

The issue now is that there isn’t much to stop Triller from doing this again. There are no protocols in place to prevent them swooping into another set of purse bids, outbidding everyone else with a ludicrous offer and then screwing the whole thing up.

It’s wholly unfair on Lopez and Kambosos, who have now wasted months and months of training and financial sacrifice. Hopefully this farce warns other fighters away from working with Triller, but it’s likely some will still be tempted by their siren songs of inflated purses and unsubstantiated viewing figures.

There was something of an issue raised by BoxingScene when they reported that Tyson Fury had not actually provided any official documentation to either Deontay Wilder’s team or the Nevada State Athletic Commission to prove he had contracted Covid-19.

The trilogy bout between the two, which will take place in Las Vegas this weekend, was originally booked for July 24 but had to be rescheduled after Fury tested positive for the virus.

Wilder has repeatedly stated that he does not believe Fury ever had Covid-19 and claims it was an excuse to push the fight back. However, BoxingScene confirmed that Wilder’s team did not request official proof of Fury’s positive test. The same can be said of the athletic commission, as Fury was not required to submit evidence of his PCR test.

So, really, it’s a nothing story, though it does raise questions about the confirmation process of when a fighter tests positive for Covid-19. In this instance, it appears there’s no reason to doubt that Fury and several members of his team picked up the virus, but perhaps there does need to be a more robust system in place to prevent athletes from saying they’ve tested positive without needing to provide evidence.

In a far more distressing story, Xeva.com unveiled that former lightweight belt-holder Miguel Gonzalez – who fought the likes of Oscar De La Hoya, Julio Cesar Chavez and Kostya Tszyu – is now homeless in his native Mexico.

According to the report, Gonzalez has been battling with addiction for several years now and has been offered support, even from Chavez himself, but turned it down, stating that he would prefer to live how he is now. Another sad story from the boxing afterlife.

Broadcasts

Sky Sports were set to launch their new partnership with BOXXER over the weekend with a bill topped by Chris Eubank Jnr, but the main event had to be scrapped at the last minute over concerns about his opponent’s medical screenings.

It was an unfortunate situation for all involved, and Sky adapted as best they could. It’s certainly not the start they had in mind for life beyond Matchroom Boxing but this, as all at Sky Sports admit, is a work in progress.

YouTube

Lance Pugmire sat down with Canelo Alvarez for Fighthype, conversing with the Mexican superstar entirely in English. This is a real rarity, and Canelo’s English was very good, adding yet another dimension to his overwhelming levels of marketability. It was also an interesting interview in that Canelo reflected on Anthony Joshua’s recent loss, his upcoming fight with Caleb Plant and – sigh – left the door open for a fight with YouTuber Jake Paul.

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