Golden Boy Lawsuit Against Al Haymon Dismissed

U.S. District Judge John F. Walter dismissed a lawsuit by Golden Boy Promotions against Al Haymon in federal court Thursday. “Plaintiffs have been unable to present any evidence of harm to competition,” Walter said, per the Los Angeles TimesLance Pugmire. “Instead, plaintiffs have merely presented evidence of harm to themselves.”

Golden Boy spokesman Stefan Friedman said, “We are obviously disappointed with the judge’s ruling. However, our top priority at Golden Boy is putting on the best fights for the fans and promoting the best shows in the business. We will continue to focus our energies on working with anyone and everyone to make the best fights happen.”

Golden Boy first brought the lawsuit in May 2015. The company was seeking $300 million from Haymon. Golden Boy alleged Haymon operated as both a promoter and manager to certain fighters, which would’ve run afoul of the Muhammad Ali Boxing Reform Act. Walter addressed the Ali Act violation claims and Golden Boy claims that Haymon manipulated “sham promoters.”

“Notwithstanding plaintiffs’ pejorative label, the promoters that work with the PBC vehemently disagree that they are ‘sham’ promoters,” Walter wrote. The suit also accused Haymon of attempting to monopolize the sport by signing fighters to contracts in which they were precluded from aligning with other promoters. Walter disagreed with Golden Boy’s arguments.

“They have testified that their duties are substantially the same as their duties for non-PBC events, which include, for example: maximizing event revenues and generating media attention for the event; coordinating with the pertinent state boxing commission regarding the promoter’s various safety, financial, and technical obligations, including by ensuring the presence of medical personnel and safety equipment; executing bout agreements with the boxer, negotiating and entering into the venue agreement and pertinent sponsorship agreements, selling tickets, assisting with television production elements, and collecting the proceeds from ticket sales, gate revenue, and local sponsorship sales.

“In the cases where the television networks pay a license fee, the promoters collect those fees as well. The so-called ‘sham’ promoters are also responsible for overseeing the creation of advertising for the event and purchasing targeted advertising in various forms of the media.  In addition, the promoters for PBC events handle event logistics, including travel, accommodations, and on-site coordination with the fighters, their camps, the media, and all other stakeholders.”

Top Rank promoter Bob Arum filed a similar antitrust lawsuit against Haymon and was seeking $100 million. The two parties settled the case for an undisclosed amount last May. In January 2015, Golden Boy settled a lawsuit with former CEO Richard Schaefer, which resulted in a handful of fighters, including Danny Garcia and Adrien Broner, leaving Golden Boy Promotions to work under Haymon.