Kambosos-Selby hits hurdle after ‘bad faith’ move by Matchroom

THE plot continues to thicken for the lightweight title eliminator between George Kambosos and Lee Selby.

Three weeks removed from a second purse bid, the representatives of Kambosos (18-0, 10 KOs) have called for the IBF to invalidate the winning bid from Matchroom Boxing, allowing DiBella Entertainment to instead promote the high-stakes clash between the unbeaten Australian and former featherweight titleholder Selby.

In an article originally published by BoxingScene, American sportswriter Dan Rafael details the ongoing dispute between Lou DiBella, who promotes Kambosos, and Eddie Hearn, who promotes Selby (28-2, 9 KOs), and won both purse bids.

“The IBF has not ruled on the issue but instead held a conference call on Monday with representatives of DiBella Entertainment and Matchroom Boxing to try to get them to work things out,” wrote Rafael.

“Progress was made during Monday’s conference call with Hearn saying he would consider moving the fight from October 3 to October 31 in order to allow Kambosos the necessary time to finish training, travel to the United Kingdom and go through a quarantine period, although nothing was finalised.

“DiBella was seeking to have the purse bid result thrown out for various reasons outlined in a letter his lawyer, Alex Dombroff, sent to the sanctioning body last week.”

In a letter sent to the New Jersey‎-based organisation from lawyer Alex Dombroff, a litany of details, including the limited time to make travel arrangements for Kambosos and his team for an initial October date, were highlighted.

“Providing less than three weeks’ notice for a bout of this magnitude would almost always be considered an exercise in bad faith,” penned Dombroff, representing DiBella Entertainment.

“However, the specific facts of this instance exasperate the matter. Predominantly, as a resident of Australia and immigrant to the United Kingdom, Mr. Kambosos is subject to stringent quarantine requirements in both jurisdictions as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic.

“At the moment, the Australian government requires a 14-day quarantine for residents to leave the country, which would occupy more than 2/3 of the time until the contemplated date and is to say nothing of requirements he would face in the United Kingdom.

“Quite frankly, it would be unsafe for Mr. Kambosos to compete on October 3 given the blunted training schedule he would face as a result of COVID-19 quarantines.”

The document, which goes on to question the sincerity of Matchroom Boxing’s proposed date, also includes an offer to promote the lightweight title eliminator on the terms presented earlier this month.

“What the conduct of Matchroom suggests is that it has never intended to do the elimination bout on October 3, nor any date,” continued Dombroff.

“Instead, Matchroom has attempted to create a context whereby Mr. Kambosos would be deemed unavailable by the IBF. This is, of course, counter to the principles of fairness that are at the foundation of the IBF Rules and the implied duty of good faith and fair dealing necessitated in all matters of contract.

“To be clear, DBE and Mr. Kambosos still desire to move forward with an elimination bout versus Mr. Selby as soon as is both (practical) and fair. Further, DBE remains prepared to promote the bout on the same terms as its bid on September 1.”

The 27-year-old Kambosos last fought in December, outscoring former IBF lightweight champion Mickey Bey in New York.

Photos: Betelgeuse Films/Provided