Golden Boy and Hopkins File Suit Vs. Haymon, His Backers

WEDNESDAY EARLY PM UPDATE: NY based boxing promoter Lou DiBella didn’t hold fire when I asked for comment regarding the lawsuit lodged by Oscar De La Hoya, along with Bernard Hopkins, against Al Haymon and cohorts.

“Eff that,” he said, using more dismissive and pointed language in indicating his distaste for the Golden Boy suit, and he then pointed out that he was instrumental in helping draft the Muhammad Ali act, which the suit alleges is being trampled upon. That document seeks to help keep managers from acting on behalf of promoters–as it was alleged, say, Carl King might have been inclined to do when repping a fighter, but also doing a deal with his father, the promoter Don King–in order to insure fighters are being represented in good faith, and receiving fair market value compensation for their services

DiBella took issue with the characterization that Haymon is in fact the promoter for Premier Boxing Champions cards, and said, “Why don’t you ask Brett Yormark (CEO of Barclays Center) who promoted the April 11 card which drew about 12,000 people to the arena?”  DiBella also noted that he has some familiarity with miuch of the material within the suit, having graduated from Harvard Law School. Not to mention, as for the contention that Golden Boy is being harmed by Haymon’s supposed attempt at monopolization, DiBella pointed out that Golden Boy seems to be competed on an even playing field, being that they are putting on a high-profile card Saturday, in Texas, which will screen on HBO.

Laywers inside the pugilistic arena are getting workouts of late.

A suit was filed on Tuesday, in federal court, in California, by Golden Boy Promotions. Lawyer Bert Fields heads up a suit on behalf of Golden Boy Promotions and also Bernard Hopkins, alleging that mogul Al Haymon wishes to monopolize pro boxing “and drive out all competition.”

Haymon, the suit states, has violated the Ali Boxing Reform Act and the Sherman Act, which deals with antitrust issues.

The suit calls Haymon “predatory” and “the Rasputin of boxing.”

I reached out to a Haymon Boxing rep to get their take on the suit, and was told that Haymon, notable for his reclusiveness in dealing with media, is choosing at this time not to comment on the matter.

His money backers, funding his Premier Boxing Champions series, which rolled out amid massive fanfare earlier this year, are also named in the suit.

The suit further states that Haymon functions as both a promoter and manager, basically, and that he has engaged in “illegal conduct” which is “designed to eliminate all competition.” It is stated that Haymon has a “total domination of the market for managing of Championship-Caliber Boxers,” and thus he holds too much power, to an extent the courts must weigh in and decide the matter.

A promoter shouldn’t and can’t act as a manager of a boxer, and Haymon might, I believe, counter that he does not act as a promoter, and thus, there is no conflict. Further, he may put forth that the Ali act was put in place to benefit boxers, keep them from being exploited, and he might counter that boxers he advises are in fact being paid handsomely, and are not being exploited.

Further, the suit states that Haymon’s money backers, namely a NY-firm named “Waddell,” at one point offered to purchase Golden Boy, but asked that head of Golden Boy De La Hoya sign a non-compete agreement. That deal going unconsummated, the suit says, meant Haymon next tried to “drive Golden Boy from the boxing business.”

Haymon possesses an unlawful edge, Fields contends, because he acts as both manager and promoter to a parcel of fighters.

More allegations…Haymon fighters must sign “coercive contracts,” part of a play in “turning the model upside down.” Also, Fields accuses Haymon of “scalping” tickets to unnamed shows Haymon Boxing has helped put together, or he has a hand in arranging, and posits that proper taxes are not paid on that revenue. More material; the suit states that Haymon also functions as a sanctioning body and intend to have their own champions.

Expect said lawyers to engage most aggressively in what is sizing up to be a 15 round clash.

Here is the release sent out by Golden Boy on Wednesday morning:

LOS ANGELES (May 6): Golden Boy Promotions today filed a $300 million lawsuit against Al Haymon and his related companies and Waddell & Reed Financial, Inc. and its related hedge funds, alleging their repeated violation of the antitrust laws and the Muhammad Ali Boxing Reform Act. The case was filed in Federal Court in Los Angeles.

Since the moment Al Haymon launched Premier Boxing Champions, he has repeatedly and brazenly broken the letter and spirit of the Muhammad Ali Boxing Reform Act that is meant to protect fighters from exploitation. As part of an anti-competitive conspiracy that includes financial backers from Waddell & Reed, Haymon has “entered into agreements to restrain trade in a substantial portion of the market for promotion of Championship-Caliber Boxers,” the bombshell new lawsuit claims.

“During my 25 years in boxing, I have watched far too many fighters be chewed up, spit out and left with nothing to sit idly by while Mr. Haymon flaunts a federal law meant to protect those who put everything on the line to entertain fans of our sport,” said Oscar De La Hoya, Founder and President of Golden Boy Promotions. “The Muhammad Ali Act was passed to help fighters avoid the fate that bedeviled so many of our predecessors; and I will do everything in my power to ensure this crucial piece of legislation is upheld and followed.”

The lawsuit alleges numerous violations of the Ali Act and antitrust statutes by Haymon, among the most glaring of which is that he routinely serves as both manager of his fighters and promoter of their fights, even though such a dual role is explicitly prohibited by the Ali Act in order to “protect boxers, the boxing industry, and the public from abusive, exploitive, and anticompetitive behavior.”

According to the lawsuit: “By ignoring the ‘firewall’ established by the Ali Act, the Haymon Defendants are essentially sitting on both sides of the bargaining table. While purporting to act in their clients’ best interests, the Haymon Defendants have obtained direct and indirect financial interests in promoting their boxers – thereby creating the very conflict of interest the Ali Act sought to remedy.”

Haymon calls himself a “manager” or an “advisor,” yet Haymon and his myriad of companies are well known to arrange and contract for the bouts, the arenas, the sponsors and the television time – all duties of a boxing promoter. Even Haymon-managed fighters themselves repeatedly refer to Haymon as their “promoter,” though he is well-known to manage more than 100 fighters.

Haymon is, not only pushing out other legitimate promoters in favor of ineffective puppets that he controls, but locking out top fighters who dare to not join his stable of boxers.

“At the age of 50 and after spending most of my adult life in boxing, I thought I’d seen every trick in the book aimed at undermining those who actually step into the ring,” said former middleweight and light heavyweight world champion Bernard Hopkins. “Having personally been refused a lucrative fight with a Haymon-managed fighter, I have felt first-hand the impact of Haymon’s attempt to form a monopoly. These practices are detrimental to boxers, fans and the sport as a whole,” added Hopkins, a co-owner of Golden Boy Promotions.

The complaint alleges that Waddell & Reed and related companies aided and abetted Haymon in his commission of the claimed violations of law.

The Golden Boy Suit comes days after the Association of Boxing Commissions called on newly confirmed U.S. Attorney General Loretta Lynch to investigate Haymon for many of the same infractions spelled out in today’s lawsuit.

As part of the lawsuit, Golden Boy is seeking damages of $300 million.

A copy of the lawsuit is available upon request.

Details of the Muhammad Ali Boxing Reform Act can be found at: https://www.govtrack.us/congress/bills/106/hr1832

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COMMENTS

-Pazuzu :

The suit calls Haymon "predatory" and
"the Rasputin of boxing."
This is an awesome handle and if anyone ever called me that, I would use it all the time. I guess we can forget about a Hopkins-Stevenson fight... Shadow, any thoughts?


-deepwater2 :

Shine some light on it and see what happens. Hopkins knows all the tricks and he is speaking out. It will be fun to see the curtain open up and the lil wizard of Oz pops out.


-Pazuzu :

Shine some light on it and see what happens. Hopkins knows all the tricks and he is speaking out. It will be fun to see the curtain open up and the lil wizard of Oz pops out.
Heh. Yup. "Sunlight is said to be the best of disinfectants."


-stormcentre :

Whoah . . . it's all happening. PacTeam are being sued by joint action, and also possibly NSAC. Haymon is being sued by Oscar. Scheaffer (spelling) was (kinda) sued by Oscar. Floyd is being sued by a few people. Heck . . . I might just go and sue someone for the sake of it. Just MethKidding. :) I should have been a lawyer; instead of a . . . chronically unemployable, Meth addicted, "AlienAlphaCenturiHi-MenMermaid" fantasizing, lazy, know no iota of boxing, SuperStantiating, 67 paragraph a (bad Amaysengramma) day, circumlocution, FloydHugging, junk science, non reality of the actuality, Snoop Doggy Dog, Hee-Hawing, pretender, TSS poster. That way - as a lawyer - I'd be "richerer". Particularly with all this writ and suit throwing going on. Sorry guys, when I next astral travel to planet reincarnation I will ask to come back to earth as one of the more trustworthy, sensible, and reliable meth addicted human models possible; say like a keep it real TSS PacQueen. :) Sorry . . . I know that's a little naughty. I will try and never do it again. PacPromise.


-deepwater2 :

This is an awesome handle and if anyone ever called me that, I would use it all the time. I guess we can forget about a Hopkins-Stevenson fight... Shadow, any thoughts?
Wasn't Rasputin assassinated ? At least ole Hopkins wanted the fight. Shadow is busy shredding documents,wiping hard drives and making travel arrangements under false identities.


-SouthPawFlo :

With no major backing from network TV sponsor, his roster looking really slim, Oscar had to do something to be able to stay in the game... Especially seeing how the most lucrative fight in boxing happened without any Golden Boy assistance, Oscar is feeling the pressure that he could be on his way out as a promoter....


-The Shadow :

This is an awesome handle and if anyone ever called me that, I would use it all the time. I guess we can forget about a Hopkins-Stevenson fight... Shadow, any thoughts?
So let me get this straight. He's suing Al Haymon for trying to beat out the competition? Wasn't that what he was aiming to do himself? Isn't that the point of competition... to beat your competitors? What's next, is Manny Pacquiao going to sue Floyd Mayweather for not standing still in the ring? Yeah, I think about as much of it as I think of that lawsuit against Manny Pacquiao. It reeks of desperation, which is what he is. Listen, if he has a problem with it, raise the money just like Al Haymon did and deliver a better product. Your product sucks, bro. Why? Because you were busy snorting coke and living it up while totally neglecting your business. One thing I can help but wonder... If Oscar De La Hoya is truly about what's best for fans, why does he want to stop the best thing that's happened to boxing in ages? Boxing is about to go mainstream, it's on mainstream TV, in prime time at that. For someone claiming to be pro-fans, who's really the obstructionist here? Looking at it a little differently, I can also understand. What else can they do? They could lose their biggest star in the lawsuit with Tutico Zabala, the second-biggest star is 50, and the third-biggest is....Who? Soto Karass? The whole thing reads like sour grapes and dry snitching. "Waaaaaaa, they have more money than me!" Let's not forget De La Hoya initially accepted the offer, only to turn it down. Had he not been a liability to his company with his public exploits, the whole thing wouldn't have happened in the first place. And suing because they wanted a no-compete clause? Ummmm, that's standard practice in business. Doesn't Richard Schaefer have one? That's what I thought. To sum it up, Pazuzu, it's just a few mom and pop shops upset that Walmart is coming to town.
"I'm loyal to Showtime, I'm loyal to Richard Schaefer, I'm
loyal to Al Haymon." Desperate times call for desperate measures. That's what I think.


-deepwater2 :

Whoah . . . it's all happening. PacTeam are being sued by joint action, and also possibly NSAC. Haymon is being sued by Oscar. Scheaffer (spelling) was (kinda) sued by Oscar. Floyd is being sued by a few people. Heck . . . I might just go and sue someone for the sake of it. Just MethKidding. :) I should have been a lawyer; instead of a . . . chronically unemployable, Meth addicted, "AlienAlphaCenturiHi-MenMermaid" fantasizing, lazy, know no iota of boxing, SuperStantiating, 67 paragraph a (bad Amaysengramma) day, circumlocution, FloydHugging, junk science, non reality of the actuality, Snoop Doggy Dog, Hee-Hawing, pretender, TSS poster. That way - as a lawyer - I'd be "richerer". Particularly with all this writ and suit throwing going on. Sorry guys, when I next astral travel to planet reincarnation I will ask to come back to earth as one of the more trustworthy, sensible, and reliable meth addicted human models possible; say like a keep it real TSS PacQueen. :) Sorry . . . I know that's a little naughty. I will try and never do it again. PacPromise.
Are the suits class action? Maybe I will get in on it to recoup some bets. 2 guys at work tried to refuse their winnings due to the fight being a piece of junk. A bet is a bet. Thank God for the nice derby picks I got on here. American pharaoh and Dortmund payed out for me. Will someone sue Floyd for preventing a fight from breaking out.


-The Shadow :

Are the suits class action? Maybe I will get in on it to recoup some bets. 2 guys at work tried to refuse their winnings due to the fight being a piece of junk. A bet is a bet. Thank God for the nice derby picks I got on here. American pharaoh and Dortmund payed out for me. Will someone sue Floyd for preventing a fight from breaking out.
Speaking of bets, you owe me $20, brother. A bet is a bet.


-stormcentre :

With no major backing from network TV sponsor, his roster looking really slim, Oscar had to do something to be able to stay in the game... Especially seeing how the most lucrative fight in boxing happened without any Golden Boy assistance, Oscar is feeling the pressure that he could be on his way out as a promoter....
You know what SPF? I thought that too - but stopped short of saying it just incase there was something I overlooked. It sure seems that way at this point. I wouldn't be surprised to see Arum in and/or behind this in some way too. Not sure how well the alleged violation of the Ali act will stick though. Would love to see the court documents on this. Faaaaaaar Out. The boxing world was exploding a few months back and still - to some extent- still is now, and now it's imploding; at the same time. We're a happy bunch of collective tree hugging boxing possums, aren't we? :)


-deepwater2 :

Speaking of bets, you owe me $20, brother. A bet is a bet.
You got it. I will meet you in the city one of these weekends.


-deepwater2 :

You know what SPF? I thought that too - but stopped short of saying it just incase there was something I overlooked. It sure seems that way at this point. I wouldn't be surprised to see Arum in and/or behind this in some way too. Not sure how well the alleged violation of the Ali act will stick though. Would love to see the court documents on this. Faaaaaaar Out. The boxing world was exploding a few months back and still - to some extent- still is now, and now it's imploding; at the same time. We're a happy bunch of collective tree hugging boxing possums, aren't we? :)
I would think the WBO,WBA ,WBC and the rest might join with DLH. PBC is trying to do an end around and make their own league with belts.


-stormcentre :

Are the suits class action? Maybe I will get in on it to recoup some bets. 2 guys at work tried to refuse their winnings due to the fight being a piece of junk. A bet is a bet. Thank God for the nice derby picks I got on here. American pharaoh and Dortmund payed out for me.
Will someone sue Floyd for preventing a fight from breaking out.
Love it !!!! Floyd will have no MoneyMay left after everyone finishes suing him. Someone sue Floyd for not fighting Manny's fight, and not having a spare prosthetic arm to graft onto his chest on fight night. Whooooo Hooooo It's al happening now. Truck, what (boxing) world are we living in? Talk about going nuts. Everyone's fighting and suing everyone. I want in. D2 . . yes it is a class action . . . looky here.
->http://www.bbc.com/sport/0/boxing/32594782
->http://www.cnbc.com/id/102651414 :)


-stormcentre :

I would think the WBO,WBA ,WBC and the rest might join with DLH. PBC is trying to do an end around and make their own league with belts.
It's going to be a scream to watch the WBC squirm if all that (PBC and/or significant others makes their own belts) happens. The WBC will be like . . . ""hey, what about us . . we matter too . . . we have belts for boxers going real cheap . . . stay with us"", and (if there's a real choice) other fighters and promoters will just walk from them as if they're a streetwalker publicly trying to get their attention based on previous service.


-Radam G :

Shine some light on it and see what happens. Hopkins knows all the tricks and he is speaking out. It will be fun to see the curtain open up and the lil wizard of Oz pops out.
Hehehehehehehe! You beat me to saying that. Funny as heck. On the run now is that behind-the-curtain jerk. Holla!


-Pazuzu :


To sum it up, Pazuzu, it's just a few mom and pop shops upset that Walmart is coming to town. ... Desperate times call for desperate measures. That's what I think.
Love it. I'm still new round these parts...but glad to have you back in the mix. Still, I'd be more comfortable about PBC's power moves if there were "some" transparency. But that will never be our sport, will it? Pazuzu has spent enough time in the wilds of Arabia to develop a healthy skepticism towards behind-the-scenes power moves. From Mesopotamia to Madison Square Garden, it's all the same. Hustler's a hustler.


-Radam G :

Sorry! But tsAH is a snake hiding in a cake. That sucka, it is time to bake. Or let hi swim down the lake. He knows that the hammer and hatchet are coming. Holla!


-deepwater2 :

TsAH better give an interview soon.


-oubobcat :

TsAH better give an interview soon.
What will be interesting if Haymon has to make statements at some point under oath (deposition, testimony). I am sure his lawyers will try to avoid that at all costs but if Golden Boy moves forward without settling then Haymon may have to finally talk and do so under oath. That could be very interesting. As for the lawsuit, the Ali act was created to assist boxers. To date, I have not heard any of Haymon's boxers speak badly of him. If they have, its been at the very least rare. I am not a legal expert but its going to be difficult for this suit to gain any credence if his fighters are all happy and particularly ecstatic over the purses they are making working with him. The Ali act was meant to protect boxers but if they are thrilled with what Haymon is doing for them then its going to be hard to say what he is doing is hurting the fighters the law sought out to protect. I do hope though as pointed out above Golden Boy does not settle and we get to see what Haymon has to say under oath.


-deepwater2 :

I will try and look at details of the suit later if I can. I am sure most of tsAH's fighters are happy right now,getting paid large purses while taking on stiffs. What about other boxers who can't fight those guys?certain mandatories rather fight than take away step aside money. I remember tsAH's contract give him all the power of choosing an opponent and the boxer has no choice and can not ever criticize tsAH. TsAH must approve every endorsement deal a fighter gets. What if a boxer really wants to take on another boxer and tsAH says no. It will just be a matter of time before a boxer cares more about his legacy and freedom , more than easy money and when that time comes they will breach the contract and voice displeasure.


-deepwater2 :

Will the lawsuit ask about tsAH's alias: Brian K. Pitts ?


-Radam G :

What will be interesting if Haymon has to make statements at some point under oath (deposition, testimony). I am sure his lawyers will try to avoid that at all costs but if Golden Boy moves forward without settling then Haymon may have to finally talk and do so under oath. That could be very interesting. As for the lawsuit, the Ali act was created to assist boxers. To date, I have not heard any of Haymon's boxers speak badly of him. If they have, its been at the very least rare. I am not a legal expert but its going to be difficult for this suit to gain any credence if his fighters are all happy and particularly ecstatic over the purses they are making working with him. The Ali act was meant to protect boxers but if they are thrilled with what Haymon is doing for them then its going to be hard to say what he is doing is hurting the fighters the law sought out to protect. I do hope though as pointed out above Golden Boy does not settle and we get to see what Haymon has to say under oath.
That is where you are wrong. There have been several pugs who tsAH dropped all at once, they have been speaking bad against him for a while and a minute. The fanboys of the media fade to black on them. But what is in the dark always come to the light. I could pull up some hardcore syet on pugs being played by tsAH? But I won't. The bytch-arse sAH has dropped more than you can imagine. It will now come back to haunt him big time -- the BIG PAY, BABEEEEE!
->https://m.youtube.com/watch?v=IST6qRfVqwY. Stay tune -- biting off 3G -- "for da drama show." Holla!


-The Shadow :

Lou DiBella, the Harvard lawyer who helped draft the act upon which this lawsuit was formed, pretty much sums it up here: ""I'm asking you this question and I'm asking all your readers. Who was the first company that was the promoter for hire for Haymon? Golden Boy. So [De La Hoya is] now pissed off now because his company is not making the money. I'm promoting shows for PBC and I'm promoting shows with fighters managed by Haymon, but I'm not the only promoter doing it. There are a bunch of other promotional companies promoting shows [with Haymon fighters]. Algieri, who fights Khan, is with Star Boxing. Sampson Boxing has a kid fighting Edwin Rodriguez. Murphy's Boxing has Danny O'Connor who is fighting Malignaggi. Eddie Hearn has a few fighters [facing Haymon fighters]," DiBella said. "When Oscar was the only game in town promoting for Haymon. Where was Oscar's complaining? Where was Oscar and Bernard complaining then? Where were these great saviors for the fighters? And now they are getting exploited because they are making more money and being shown to more people. How dare these clowns call me an ineffective puppet under Haymon's control. How dare they. If I'm ineffective then they must really be ineffective because I just promoted a show on April 11th that set a record for the gate at the Barclays Center, it set the record for number of people who bought tickets, it set the record a for the number of people at a boxing show in Brooklyn." "And they had an exclusive with the Barclays Center for three years. An exclusive. They shut out every promoter in the United States and every promoter in New York couldn't promote at the Barclays Center because Golden Boy had an exclusive - but I guess that was okay for Bernard and Oscar - because they were the ones benefiting from it. And even with that giant advantage, that great promotional company never did a million dollar gate, never put more than 10,000 people in the arena. I did on my first try." "
And I got damaged, every promoter in the business got damaged, when HBO's budget was totally co-opted by Golden Boy because they had an output deal with HBO. But these holier than thou assh**es are suing everybody for non-competitive behavior and all of this other crap when they were the kings of it. And I'm not going to get into Oscar's personal life, but what's he going to claim that he was just screwed up and had no idea what was going on - or maybe he was just enjoying the money." "They got millions of dollars to release these fighters. But now they send out this press release that they want to protect these fighters. They have never been out to protect anyone but themselves. The whole thing, there is line after line in here [in the press release] that is complete horse sh*t. And I'm not responding on behalf of PBC or on behalf of Haymon. I'm responding because they are going to make reference to ineffective puppets. I'm not controlled by anybody. I work for me. I'm not controlled by any network, any individual. And if I'm infective then they are totally incompetent." "
Maybe these holier than thou guys should be paying more attention to the Canelo Alvarez lawsuit, where you have a small promotional company [All Star Boxing] and they stole a fighter and now they are in court being sued [in Florida], and in my opinion they are probably going to have to ante up quite a bit of money...in my opinion. But I guess that's good competition, when you steal a fighter from other people. I think its fair competition when you sign an exclusive deal with the Barclays Center. I guess its fair competition when you have an output deal with HBO. The hypocrisy is mind blowing." "No one stopped me, no one stopped Kathy [Duva], no one stopped Bob Arum and Top Rank, and certainly no one stopped Golden Boy from going out and buying time on TV networks. There is money raised and time buys being purchased on networks. Nobody is being exploited. Why doesn't Oscar produce the numbers if he wants to protect all of these guys that he released - which by the way, from what I read and I don't know this, Oscar got millions of dollars to release these fighters and now he files a lawsuit because he and Bernard are so troubled that they want to protect these fighters?" "Show me numbers of what Oscar was giving them when they were promoted by Golden Boy compared to what they are getting now. There is nothing worse than hypocrisy combined with stupidity and this press release is a monument to hypocrisy combined with stupidity.""


-stormcentre :

Rome is on fire.


-SuperLight :

That is a right caning from DiBella! So, alleged exploitation and anti-competitive behaviour aside, are we really looking at more belts in pro boxing? Undisputed champs a thing of the past?


-stormcentre :

Hard to argue with big Lou; who, I think - whilst not a "silk" - is still a man of law. Until we hear more in this I have to ride along with DiBella. Gonna be interesting to see if Oscar can make this stick. Not just cause of the Ali act, but also he's playing with the big cashed up dawgs now, and I doubt Oscar can afford to lose a real big dust up. And, I can't see Haymon letting Oscar kick him around for too long without firing back in some way, shape, or form. I might become a promoter, not only sounds like fun - also sound a lot less dangerous than being a fighter. :) Anyone notice how bothered, tired, and unpleased Arum looked towards the end of the pre-fight MayPac festivities? Poor dude. I think being the "B" side to, Floyd, Haymon, and all the others was really too much for him. Either that or the cork was in too tight. :) At times, particularly when Bob was walking around but not in charge, it looked like he was going to explode and/or spontaneously combust. Dude really needs a holiday after all this. Probably not best to expect Floyd to offer his couch to Arum either, after all this. Love it !!!!