Remember that time you said, “I’ve never seen that before” in boxing? Readers from all over, I present to you all what has been affectionately called “Curtis Harper Day.”
Curtis Harper was a heavyweight boxer with the record of 13-5 and scheduled to take on heavyweight prospect Efe Ajagba in a six-rounder contest. The bout was to showcase the up and coming Olympian from Nigeria on August 24, 2018, live on Fox Sports 1 from Minneapolis Armory in Minnesota.
What was supposed to transpire in the ring, however, turned out to be a viral video of a man touching gloves and Ray Flores and Jermall Charlo on the broadcast having to breakdown Harper’s footwork up the exit.
The story behind this ordeal reads that Harper claimed he didn’t sign the contract that would have gotten him $6,000 for that fight with Ajagba. He felt that he should’ve received more since the match was going to be televised and claimed he never received a copy of the signed contract.
— Jake Donován (@JakeNDaBox) August 25, 2018
Leon Margules, President of Warriors Boxing, stated to ESPN that Curtis Harper should have received a copy of the fight contract (Harper said there were supposed to be two separate contracts, including a “bout agreement”) that was signed by all parties at the weigh-in. But Harper said he did not get that document after he arrived in Minneapolis, even though he requested a copy of it.
“I didn’t know it was an issue until now because he never brought it up until after the fight,” Margules said to ESPN. “But of course he could have had it. Commission required it before weigh-in.”
Harper the day before made it to weigh-in, and from everyone involved from the reports, everything was ok.
It wasn’t on the side of Harper and his team.
Rick Glaser, who was the promoter working with Harper, confirms this side of it.
“You don’t treat people like dog-**** and lie to them, con them and treat them blatantly horrible,” Glaser said to ESPN. “I think if Curtis had to do it all over again, he’d do the same thing.”
Nate Campbell, trainer and former titleholder in his own right stated that Harper was never going to fight Ajagba.
For Harper himself, he stated it went beyond the money.
“It wasn’t about money. It was about the respect of the game,” Harper said in an interview to the Los Angeles Times.
“I touched gloves and in the bottom right corner over my opponent’s shoulder was the promoter and matchmaker all smiling and happy after I never signed a contract. … I never got a copy back [of the electronic contract]. It felt like I didn’t have a contract. I never saw a contract, so I never knew what they had. I wanted a bout contract, and a participant contract and [matchmaker] Chico Rivas told me, ‘Get in the ring or you won’t get paid.’”
“It was the hardest thing for me to do, to walk back to the dressing room,” Harper said to ESPN talking about walking out after the fight. I didn’t quit. It never started. However, people see it is really not my concern.”
Harper would later try to the bout ruled a disqualification loss for him overturned to no avail. This fight to date for Harper was his last as he was not in action so far since the walkout.
Ajagba is still undefeated and slowly climbing the ranks and was last in action winning on the Manny Pacquiao card.
Click below if you haven’t seen one of the most bizarre sequences in boxing history to date.