Triller is in the middle of yet another controversy.
They’ve already had a terrible reputation due to issues such as blatant mismatches and dangerous bookings involving old retired boxers, dodging athletic commissions, and falsely advertising exhibition matches as professional bouts. Now they’re reportedly adding not paying their fighters to that list.
According to a report from veteran boxing insider Dan Rafael, Triller still owes money to boxers from their May 14 event, including both “TrillerVerz 5” headliners Sergey Kovalev and Tervel Pulev.
The four fighters on the top two bouts and their respective promoters reportedly weren’t paid by Triller on fight night. Triller Fight Club president David Tetreault was said to have asked for an extension, but still missed sending payment on the agreed May 31st deadline.
Pulev’s brother, Kubrat reportedly hasn’t been paid either for his co-headlining bout, with his opponent Jerry Forrest only being “partially paid.”
California State Athletic Commission purse figures have Kovalev at $500,000, Tervel Pulev at $195,454, Kubrat Pulev at $204,545 and Forrest at $140,000, but their actual contracts involve side deals and more money owed to them.
The promoters of Kovalev and Pulev are reportedly now seeking interest on the delayed payments.
According to Rafael’s report, the CSAC is aware of the issue and “could take measures to suspend Triller from putting on events in the state.” Other athletic commissions typically honor and follow suit on such sanctions, which could prove disastrous to Triller, which only entered boxing in 2020.
Former champ Kovalev returned from an almost three-year hiatus, moving up in weight and taking a unanimous decision over Tervel Pulev on the main event of TrillerVerz 5. Pulev’s older brother Kubrat beat Jerry Forrest by decision.
Also on the undercard was Evander Holyfield’s son Evan, who was upset and badly KO’d by a journeyman.
Apart from boxing matches, TrillerVerz 5 also featured rap battles and artists such as Cypress Hill and Onyx on the same evening.
UPDATE: According to promoter Lou DiBella, Triller has fully paid his fighter on June 2. Triller also sent Bloody Elbow a statement from Kovalev’s promoter Kathy Duva, saying they “have come to an agreement with Triller Fight Club that resolves any issues that may have existed.”
Duva also states that “the agreement paves the way for Sergey, Klimas and Main Events to continue working with Triller Fight Club going forward.”
“Main Events, Sergey Kovalev and Egis Klimas have come to an agreement with Triller Fight Club that resolves any issues that may have existed with regard to Triller’s promotion of Kovalev’s Cruiserweight debut held on Saturday, May 14th in Los Angeles. This agreement paves the way for Sergey, Klimas and Main Events to continue working with Triller Fight Club going forward. Our dealings with Triller Fight Club have all been handled in a most professional manner and we look forward to working with them in the future.”