By Bryanna Fissori
Saul “Canelo” Alvarez (43-1-1) and Golden Boy Promotions will face off against All-Star Boxing with a trial date set for October 13, 2014 in Dade County, Florida.
The case was filed by All-Star Boxing in January of 2011 alleging causes of action for breach of contract and unjust enrichment against Alvarez. It also asserts tortious interference against Golden Boy.
Alvarez signed a purported four year contract with All-Star Boxing in 2008 and had nine fights under the promotion, all of which were fought over a span of 13 months. All-Star Boxing claims to have invested more than $180,000 into Alvarez over the course of those nine fights.
Following the boxer’s December 2009 win over Lanardo Tyner, all of Alvarez’s bouts have involved Golden Boy Promotions in some capacity. The boxer fought five times in 2010, three of which were on HBO. Alvarez was slated for a title fight against Matthew Hatton in early 2011, and in January All-Star Boxing filed the suit in hopes of gaining an injunction to stop the fight and force Alvarez to honor the contract signed in 2008. Alvarez defeated Hatton in that fight and has since gone on to have eight additional fights, one of which included his first career loss, which was to Floyd Mayweather Jr.
After a year and a half motions filed back and forth between the parties All-Star Boxing will finally have their day in court.
On the charge of tortious interference All-Star Boxing is going to be seeking punitive damages. The claim is actionable when a person intentionally or negligently damages the plaintiffs contractual relationship. The Circuit court ruling on the request for punitive damages stated,
“The evidence presented to the Court as to the tortious interference with contractual relationship is sufficient to provide reasonable basis to conclude that Defendant Golden Boy Promotions, Inc. had actual knowledge of the wrongfulness of its conduct and the high probability that injury or damage to Plaintiff would result and, despite that knowledge, intentionally pursued that course of conduct, resulting in injury or damage.
Namely, Defendant Golden Boy Promotions, Inc. possessed knowledge of the Exclusive Promotional Agreement, and the relationship that existed, between Plaintiff and Defendant Saul Alvarez, interfered with that contract and relationship by signing Defendant Alvarez to a promotional agreement, knowing that such interference would result in injury or damage to Plaintiff. Despite such knowledge, Defendant Golden Boy Promotions, Inc. intentionally pursued its efforts in signing Defendant Alvarez to a contract, which resulted in Plaintiff suffering injury or damage.”
The most interesting assertion by the Circuit Court was that Golden Boy appears to have made the interference with contractual rights a regular business practice.
“In addition, the Court was presented with a proffer of evidence pertaining to other lawsuits involving Defendant Golden Boy Promotions, Inc. for the purpose of establishing that Defendant Golden Boy Promotions, Inc. has engaged in a pattern of course of conduct of interfering with contractual rights of other professional boxers or promoters sufficient to provide a reasonable basis to conclude that Defendant Golden Boy Promotions, Inc. was aware of the nature and consequences of its action in this case and, nevertheless, proceeded with its actions in this case.”
Similar cases of tortious interference by Golden Boy have involved boxers Adonis Stevenson, Manny Pacquiao, Nonito Donaire and Timothy Bradley to name a few.
The breach of contract and unjust enrichment claims against Alvarez, will be largely based on the terms of the express agreement between the boxer and All-Star Boxing to determine the extent of the breach. It is more than likely that Alvarez was fully aware of his contractual obligations. The unjust enrichment claim will likely assert that Alvarez received enrichment in his career because of the work done by All-Star to establish and promote the boxer.
Alvarez is scheduled to face Erislandy Lara (19-1-2) on July 7 at the MGM Grand in Las Vegas, Nevada. The trial date should not have any affect on the bout.