After England’s Daniel Dubois came to the United States and knocked out Trevor Bryan to win the WBA “regular” heavyweight title on June 11, he left with the belt but without the purse money promoter Don King owed him for the fight, he alleged in lawsuit.
Dubois on Monday night sued Don King Productions in circuit court in Broward County, Florida, alleging breach of contract because King’s company has failed to pay him for the bout, which he won by one-sided fourth-round knockout at the Casino Miami Jai-Alai in Miami.
“The fighter hasn’t gotten paid and when boxers get in the ring and risk their lives the most important obligation of the promoter, the sanctioning body and the commission is to see that they are paid, and that hasn’t been done here,” Leon Margules, Dubois’ attorney, told Big Fight Weekend on Tuesday.
King, Bryan’s promoter, won the right to promote the fight at a WBA purse bid on March 21 with an offer of $3,116,001 to beat a bid of $2,503,000 from Dubois promoter Frank Warren’s Queensberry Promotions. Under the terms of the purse bid, Bryan (22-1, 15 KOs), was entitled to 55 percent ($1,713,800.55) and Dubois (18-1, 17 KOs), 24, was due 45 percent ($1,402,200.45).
According to the lawsuit, a copy of which was obtained by Big Fight Weekend, Dubois is suing for somewhere between $938,274.32 and $463,274.32.
The reason for the discrepancy, as outlined in the brief six-page suit (not including various exhibits), is because Dubois is unsure whether King paid the sanctioning fees to the WBA or what was to be paid of his purse to IRS to cover his bill as a foreign boxer.
“The parties also entered into a WBA Championship Bout Contract which indicates that Three percent (3%) of the Dubois Purse or $42,066.01 was supposed to be paid to the WBA for sanction fees for the Bout form his purse,” the said. “Pursuant to US Federal Law, because Dubois was a foreign national, 30% or $420,660.12 was supposed to be deducted from Dubois’ purse on his behalf as income withholding tax due to the United States Internal Revenue Services upon payment of the purse. Lastly, the sum of $1,200 was also supposed to be paid from the Dubois Purse as a WBA Manager License Fee for his Manager (Martin Bowers).
“Assuming all of these payments were made (which proof has not been provided, nor has the WBA acknowledged receipt of these funds), the net purse of $938,274.32 was to be paid to Dubois by DKP immediately after the Bout in accordance with the Florida State Boxing Commission Letter of Agreement between Promoter and Participant.
“Additionally, $475,000.00 was to be paid (by) Queensberry Promotions to DKP as a license fee for the right to broadcast the event on live television in the United Kingdom, which Dubois agreed to credit DKP, leaving the amount of 463,274.32 as the total net amount Dubois was supposed to receive immediately after the Bout was completed.
“To date, DKP has yet to pay any purse monies due Dubois despite demand, and despite the State of Florida Department of Business and Professional Regulation opening an investigation of DKP.”
The suit also said that the British Boxing Board of Control, which regulates boxing in the United Kingdom, has tried to assist in getting Dubois his money.
“On both June 23, 2022, and July 6, 2022, Robert Smith, the President of the British Board of Boxing Control, emailed Patrick Cunningham, the Executive Director of the Florida Athletic Commission, to put it on notice that he was aware of DKP failing to pay Dubois his purse monies and requesting the Commission’s assistance in helping to secure Dubois’ full purse.”
The suit also said that it sent letters on July 18 to DKP, the WBA, and the investigator appointed by Florida demanding that Dubois’ purse be paid in full.
“To date, DKP has still yet to provide payment of any purse monies to Dubois. … DKP’s failure to pay Dubois constitutes a breach of its obligations under the Bout Agreement and is a violation of Florida Law.”
Margules also wrote letters, which were exhibits attached to the suit, to King attorney Tony Gonzalez seeking payment to Dubois and seeking proof that payments were made to the IRS and WBA on Dubois’ behalf. A similar letter was sent to WBA president Gilberto Mendoza seeking money from King’s deposit from when he won the purse bid.
In a statement, Gonzalez told Big Fight Weekend on Tuesday afternoon that King has paid Dubois other than a small amount he has yet to claim.
“DKP has made all requisite payments towards Mr. Dubois’ purse,” Gonzalez said in the statement. “Pursuant to Florida State Athletic Commission Director Patrick Cunningham’s instructions, proof of payment in the form of the payment for the 30% IRS backup withholding was provided along with $475,000 setoff towards Mr. Dubois’ purse at the instruction of Mr. Dubois’ promoter, Queensbury. Additionally, and at the instruction of Mr. Cunningham, an escrow deposit was made in the amount of $134,000.00 representing a final balance due Mr. Dubois after applying a setoff of $319,000 for outstanding monies owed DKP by Mr. Warren. Also, all sanction fees owed by Mr. Dubois were paid in full to the WBA.”