The battle between Oscar De La Hoya’s Golden Boy Promotions and Al Haymon is now officially getting into the legal ring. Golden Boy is suing for $300 million against Haymon and affiliated companies claiming multiple violations of the antitrust laws and the Muhammad Ali Boxing Reform Act. The charges stem from Haymon’s launch of Premier Boxing Champions, signing deals to bring boxing back to primetime network television with the likes of NBC, CBS, ESPN and Spike TV, with the lawsuit claiming that Haymon has acted as both a manager and a promoter for his fighters, which is prohibited. The case was filed in Federal Court in Los Angeles.
“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 in a statement to media outlets. “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 LA Times, however, interviewed Lou DiBella, a former HBO executive who said he helped write the Ali Act, who said that Haymon had not broken the principals of the Ali Act, stating, ““What is being done is fine. The Ali Act is supposed to be protecting fighters. The idea is that managers aren’t supposed to be co-opted by promoters. I’m humored by the whole thing. Do you believe any of these fighters promoted by the PBC aren’t getting the best money in the industry? They’re not complaining.”