Teofimo Lopez Jr has been forced to withdraw from the first defence of his titles against George Kambosos Jr after the American tested positive for coronavirus and was put in isolation.
Unified lightweight world champion Lopez Jr (16-0, 12 KOs) was set to face Kambosos Jr on Saturday night but the fight was called off just days before the two were due to meet in the ring. It will now take place at the LoanDepot Park in Florida in August.
A statement from Triller Fight Club confirmed Lopez Jr returned a positive COVID-19 test resulting in the entire card being rescheduled for August 14 despite Evander Holyfield’s attempts to step in on short notice.
“Teofimo Lopez has symptomatic COVID-19, which was confirmed this morning after testing,” Triller CEO Ryan Kavanaugh said in a statement. “The entire Triller Fight Club card, including the main event, is being rescheduled for Aug. 14. We send our best to Teofimo Lopez and his family and hope they get better soon. We can’t wait to see this epic battle on Aug. 14.”
Lopez Jr’s opponent Kambosos Jr flew into a bitter rage upon hearing the news as he expressed immediate concern for his wife and children.
“Pure irresponsibility on your whole side,” Kambosos wrote on Twitter. “Your actions and decisions have affected not only our fight but everyone involved in this fight.
“I’ve been away from my kids for 13 weeks. I flew my pregnant wife over to be by my side. I put every bit of my life into this camp with my team.
“Our time will come and I promise you and the world that I’m going to take you out worse than ever for everything.
“You can run but you can’t hide!
“As hard as it is to comprehend this right now, I remain focused on the end goal. I will be Champion [sic] of the world.
“Thank you to every for the support world wide [sic].”
However, Lopez immediately denied any wrongdoing, as he insisted he had done everything in his power to keep everyone safe.
The 23-year-old prides himself on being a consummate professional who has previously beaten the likes of Vasyl Lomachenko and Richard Commey on his way to world domination.
He tweeted: “By now you’ve heard the news that I have had to withdraw from the fight due to COVID. Being a champion means doing hard things. NO EXCEPTIONS [sic]. And I choose to keep my fellow athletes safe.
“I am devastated to disappoint so many people. I know the sacrifices we have all made to get here. I believe I am doing the right thing. I don’t want to infect anybody. Sport has power. I choose to use my power to be a good example.
“The most powerful thing I can do is protect those I love – and I love the sport of boxing and all of the athletes, fans, trainers, my sponsors and promoters. Thank you everyone for your well wishes. I appreciate your support!”