MIAMI -- Teofimo Lopez has tested positive for COVID-19 and is symptomatic. His Saturday bout vs. George Kambosos that was scheduled to be in Miami, and the whole undercard has been moved to Aug. 14, Triller announced.
Lopez, the unified lightweight champion and No. 5 on ESPN's pound-for-pound list, told ESPN he tested positive for COVID-19 on Tuesday morning in Las Vegas before his scheduled flight to Miami for fight week. He decided to remain in town rather than travel with his diagnosis.
Lopez said he's running a high fever, has had trouble breathing and that his asthma makes dealing with COVID-19 more difficult. While the decision to postpone the fight was difficult, Lopez said, he could not recover in time for Saturday.
He also issued a statement on social media Tuesday night.
By now you've heard the news that I have had to withdraw from the fight due to COVID.— Teofimo Lopez (@TeofimoLopez) June 16, 2021
Being a champion means doing hard things. NO EXCEPTIONS. And I choose to keep my fellow athletes safe.
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! 🤍— Teofimo Lopez (@TeofimoLopez) June 16, 2021
The card was scheduled to be held at LoanDepot Park, where the Miami Marlins play, on Saturday, and Triller had begun heavy promotion of the bout.
The Marlins have a home game scheduled the night of Aug.14, so Triller will need to secure a new location for the rescheduled fight.
"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," Triller Fight Club co-founder Ryan Kavanaugh said.
Kambosos called Lopez irresponsible in a statement posted to Twitter.
"Your actions and decisions have affected not only our fight but everyone involved in this fight. Pure irresponsibility on your side. Our time will come and I promise you and the world that I'm going to take you out worse than ever for everything," he wrote.
Absolutely devastated. I will be Champion. Thank you to everyone for the support world wide. pic.twitter.com/rpMgcyodT8— George "Ferocious" Kambosos Jr (@georgekambosos) June 15, 2021
The 23-year-old Lopez (16-0, 12 KOs) is a rising star who just agreed to an amended deal with ESPN/Top Rank through 2023 that raised his minimum purses and secured his place in future ESPN PPV bouts once this fight is completed, sources told ESPN. This defused a dispute between Top Rank and Lopez that occurred after the Kambosos-Lopez bout went to purse bid and Triller bid over $6 million to secure the rights to it over ESPN/Top Rank and Matchroom.
Lopez, who holds the main WBA, WBO, IBF, WBC franchise and Ring Magazine lightweight titles, will be making his first title defense since his October 2020 upset over Vasiliy Lomachenko.