What had been weebling and wobbling, finally fell down (for good) as it was reported first by Kevin Iole of Yahoo Sports that Triller -- which had won the right to promote the lightweight title bout between undisputed champion, Teofimo Lopez, and his IBF mandatory challenger, George Kambosos -- would no longer be staging this bout.
(Here is a full link to the story from Iole: https://sports.yahoo.com/triller-throws-in-the-towel-on-lopez-kambosos-bout-after-racking-up-10-m-in-promotional-costs-001549463.html)
At this point you've probably heard ad nauseam about the issues that have riddled this promotion. From dates being switched (a few times), to covid induced cancellations and a battle over where this fight card should take place.
You could say that the Fyre Festival had less issues.... ehhh OK, maybe that's pushing it.
Regardless, bottom line is that this marriage between the talented Lopez and the nascent streaming platform was about as short-lived as the one between Jennifer Lopez and Cris Judd. Here, were not even sure they got to the honeymoon.
Plenty of fingers are being pointed in every direction. The reality is that everybody involved deserves a bit of the blame, here. Greed, hubris and recklessness was in great abundance. Logic and reason were thrown out from the very beginning. But this has truly been an object lesson on how not to capitalize on a huge triumph.
Last October, Lopez defeated the highly regarded Vasiliy Lomachenko, in what was an early career-defining victory.
He hasn't fought since.
Photo Credit: Mikey Williams/Top Rank
And instead of embarking on a campaign where they built upon that achievement, he's been sidelined. 2021 will mark the second consecutive year where he will have fought just once in a calendar year. Last year there was a valid excuse with the world-wide pandemic. This year has been more or less self-inflicted wounds.
The biggest mistake that Lopez and his team made was believing that a victory over Lomachenko meant that they had become a star, and while it was a remarkable achievement for a fighter of his experience (just 16 bouts), it should not have been treated as the lunar landing but the launching pad to stardom. 2021 has been a giant leap backward for 'the Takeover'.
To be fair, Lopez, hasn't been all that less active than most of his other colleagues in the sport. But you get the sense that he has squandered much of the momentum from that huge victory. Fortunately he is still just 24 years old.
There has to be this realization that the process of becoming a star is still very much in the beginning stages no matter what his pom pom wavers and sycophants claim.
It says here that where Lopez actually fights or not in the upcoming years, should work out a detailed plan with Top Rank (with whom they signed an amended deal with a few months back) where he fights more than just two times in '22. And if performing five times like Oscar De La Hoya did in 1997 is unrealistic, they should follow the blueprint of another boxer developed into a star by the company.
One Miguel Cotto.
The same Cotto who when he was 24 years old in 2004 boxed four times, and then followed that up in 2005. 2006 and 2007 where he performed three times in each subsequent year. During this stretch he built a steady foundation where he became a bona-fide draw on the east coast (specifically Madison Square Garden in New York), a Puerto Rican fan-favorite and a pay-per-view franchise.
If you look at the arc of Cotto's career and where the real big money was made, it was in the back half when he was matched with the likes of Manny Pacquiao and Floyd Mayweather, where he was able to truly cash in on his high profile. Cotto had become a recognizable figure, despite a rather dour personality, because there was a consistent commitment to his craft.
He didn't tweet his way to stardom.
Time has been squandered, but time is still on Lopez's side.
Many in the boxing community were stunned to hear of the passing of Antonio 'Tony' Curtis last week.
Curtis was the long-time matchmaker for Forum Boxing, and this news really struck a nerve with those who knew him.
I will always have fond memories of breaking into the boxing beat in the mid-to-late 90's as the host of 'the Main Event' radio show, where I attended many of the monthly cards that took place at the Great Western Forum that were televised by Fox Sports West( before it was 'Prime Ticket') -- alongside some guy named Doug Fischer, who was doing some thing called 'the internet' had this website called 'House of Boxing' - and while their glory days were a bit behind them, they were still a significant factor in the sport.
The last truly great night for boxing at this building on Manchester Blvd. was on February 3, 1996, when they hosted the first broadcast of HBO's 'Boxing After Dark', where Marco Antonio Barrera and Kennedy McKinney engaged in a memorable battle, where Barrera scored an 12th round stoppage.
The late, great Dr. Jerry Buss finally pulled the plug on Forum Boxing a few years later, but there were still able to develop the likes of Juan Manuel and Rafael Marquez, Mark 'Too Sharp' Johnson, while promoting Barrera.
Curtis was a matchmaker who didn't believe in coddling his boxers. He wanted to see what you had relatively quickly. It wasn't unusual to see Forum fighters get beat on their way up the ladder. They weren't just building up records, but real fighters with some substance.
It was truly a special and memorable night for the Forum Boxing crew (and admittedly west coast guys like myself and Dougie) when Barrera upset Naseem Hamed in April of 2001 at the MGM Grand in Las Vegas. For them it was validation of their own efforts in their roles in Barrera's Hall-of-Fame career.
Yeah, whatever money that company made that night was great -- but the feeling from the victory was truly priceless.
Rest in peace to Tony Curtis, and my condolences to his loved ones.
Mike Coppinger of ESPN is reporting that WBO middleweight belt-holder, Demetrius Andrade, will be facing Jason Quigley on November 19 in the New England area. Also on that card, unified 122 pound champion, Murodjon Akhmadaliev....It's basically Alabama, Georgia, and basically everyone else in college football....After one month of the NFL season, is Kyler Murray the (much-too-early) front-runner for MVP?....So the new version of 'the Wonder Years' on ABC has made my rotation....I can be reached at email@example.com....