An overloaded weekend of boxing just got a bit less crowded, as Triller headliner Teofimo Lopez tested positive for COVID, rendering him unavailable to defend his lightweight crowns against George Kambosos in Miami on Saturday night, as was scheduled.
The Athletic and Mike Coppinger dropped the bombshell at 1:30 PM ET, that Lopez, the 23 year old Brooklyn product who proved his skills match his mouth when he bested Vasiliy Lomachenko in their October 17, 2020 showdown, has COVID symptoms.
Triller boxing boss Ryan Kavanaugh decided the show couldn't go on without the featured performer, even though a festival of music and pugilism has been in the works for several months. The pay per view event will be shifted to August 14, so that means that only Top Rank, PBC, DAZN and the fighting Chavez family will be plying their trade this weekend.
And more important than the loss of the entertainment option is the health and well being of Lopez. The fighter has asthma, and in fact moved from New York to Arkansas, to get out of the COVID cluster zone in NYC last March.
He and the Ukrainian technical master Lomachenko were slated to tango May 30, but that got pushed when COVID started roaming and wreaking havoc in America.
Lopez has been getting ready to put belts on the line against Australian native Kambosos, the IBF's top challenger in the lightweight division, in Las Vegas.
The entire card at LoanDepot Park in Miami, all the musical acts, and whatever surprises team Triller was planning are for nought as of now.
Here is the release sent out by Team Triller this afternoon:
Miami, FL (June 15, 2021) Undisputed Lightweight World Champion, Teofimo Lopez has tested positive for symptomatic COVID-19 and his highly anticipated defense against Mandatory Challenger George Kambosos has been rescheduled for August 14, 2021 at a location to be determined. Presented by Triller Fight Club, the boxing and music pay-per-view extravaganza was set to emanate this Saturday, June 19 from loanDepot Park, home of the Miami Marlins. Lopez’s diagnosis was confirmed this morning.
‘We send our best to Teofimo and his family and hope they get well soon, and look forward to seeing this epic battle on August 14, 2021,” said Triller Fight Club co-founder Ryan Kavanaugh.
Additional information on the rescheduled date including all musical acts and ticketing will be announced shortly.
A couple hours after the news hit the wire, Kambosos posted to his Instagram his reaction and thoughts:
Hours after that, Teofimo posted his own message on Instagram: