Tarnished Twenty- The FindLaw Sports Law Blog

Trading Legal Punches: Boxing Promoters Duke It out in Court

The seedy underworld of fight promotion has always been legally murky. After all, the most visible face of boxing promotion, Don King, once pistol-whipped and stomped a former employee to death over $600. So it's no surprise that one promotion company would accuse another of shady dealings, and it's also no surprise that teasing the facts out of so much bluster would be difficult, if not impossible.

And so it is now that "Sugar" Shane Mosley's promotional company, Pound for Pound Promotions, is suing Oscar De La Hoya's promotional company, Golden Boy Promotions, asking for $15 million in back pay, breach of contract, and bad faith damages. Let's take a look at the CompuBox numbers:

Round by Round

Pound for Pound, which says it began representing Mosley in 2005, claims it entered into a contract with Golden Boy to promote five of Mosley's fights. After that, Mosley would have a five percent stake in Golden Boy and be a "free agent," able to promote his own fights. Mosley also agreed to be Golden Boy's president of fighter relations and make public appearances, support events, and help with publicity, all in exchange for a separate fixed and contingent income.

As Pound for Pound tells it, Mosley fought in nine bouts for Golden Boy before he wanted to self-promote a fight with Manny Pacquiao. Golden Boy quashed that, allegedly refused to release Mosley from his contract, bought back his five percent stake for a measly $1,000, and never paid him for his role as president of fighter relations. Pound for Pound estimates that five percent stake alone would be worth tens of millions of dollars.

Stick and Move

In its defense, Golden Boy said simply, "Six years ago Shane Mosley made a decision to sever ties with Golden Boy Promotions, and now he apparently regrets that decision. This is nothing more than a nuisance suit and we expect a quick dismissal."

Will this be a tentative legal bout between two cagey veterans? Or will Golden Boy try to land the knockout blow in its motion to dismiss?

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