Bob Arum On Teofimo Lopez Mandatory Fight: “Somebody Will Buy It”

Teofimo Lopez – George Kambosos Bout Scheduled to Go to Purse Bid

Teofimo Lopez (top left), Bob Arum (right), George Kambosos Jr.
Teofimo Lopez (top left), Bob Arum (right), George Kambosos Jr.

Teofimo Lopez – George Kambosos Bout Scheduled to Go to Purse Bid

When young fighters attain so much success early in their career, it can result in an inflated sense of self. You start making exorbitant demands at the negotiation table. Ultimately, you become a nuisance to deal with. Could that be the case with unified IBF/WBA ‘super’/WBO World Lightweight champion Teofimo Lopez (16-0, 12 KOs)?

It is expected that Lopez’s next fight will be against IBF mandatory lightweight challenger George Kambosos Jr (19-0, 10 KOs). On February 8, the IBF informed the two camps it has scheduled a purse bid for the fight. The date and time of that bid is February 18 at 12 PM EST. This was due to a failure to reach a deal for the fight. According to the champion’s promoter, Bob Arum, the issue was not between him and Kambosos’s promoter, Lou DiBella. During an interview with Fight Freaks Unite, Arum explained that there was a stalemate between him and Lopez.

“We haven’t been able to reach a deal for whatever reason and this is not a marquee fight. If somebody outbids us it’s fine. I don’t care, it’s fine.

We get a percentage from Lopez depending on the bid. That’s the deal. Every promoter has that in their contract. And so be it. The fight will happen. Somebody will buy it (at the purse bid).”


Up to this point, the CEO of Top Rank promotions has done a terrific job of guiding Lopez’s career. The work has paid off with great success. On October 17, 2020, Lopez defeated Vasyl Lomachenko to become a unified lightweight world champion. Lopez was also the 2020 Fighter of The Year.

However, in the months since, some have argued he is getting a little full of himself. Lopez has been referring to himself as king of the division and the future of boxing. He insisted on a $10 million demand for a potential unification showdown against WBC World Lightweight champion Devin Haney.

There is nothing wrong with placing a high value on yourself. Boxing is a cutthroat sport, and all promoters are flaky in one sense or another. The problem is that you can outprice yourself in the process. While what you demand may sound perfectly reasonable, it does not always make business sense.

Arum initially wanted to stage the bout in the United States. Now, Lopez could be forced to make his first defense as unified champion on the road in Kambosos’ home country of Australia. Nothing has been finalized, but this is a story worth paying attention to.

By: Michael Wilson Jr.

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Mike is the host of boxing podcast "Pound 4 Pound Boxing Report" and is a Senior Writer for