Golden Boy filed Monday To Make Canelo Go To Arbitration
In the latest move in the Canelo Alvarez-Golden Boy Promotions-DAZN streaming “soap opera triangle” that has kept the fighter out the ring for this entire calendar year, Oscar De La Hoya’s lawyers filed a motion back in California Federal Court Monday formally asking to have the lawsuit dismissed and the dispute go to arbitration.
Jake Donovan of Boxingscene.com received the legal filing and wrote about the first legal response that Golden Boy has made against the suit Canelo filed in early September seeking $280 million for breach of his contracts with them and DAZN,
— BoxingScene.com (@boxingscene) October 27, 2020
De La Hoya/Golden Boy counsel, Ricardo Cestero of Greenberg, Glusker, Fields, Claman and Machtinger LLP, wrote to the Federal Judge,
“The arbitration clause in that agreement (with Alvarez) is broad, covering “[a]ny claim, controversy or dispute arising out of or related to this agreement.
Because each of Plaintiffs’ claims against Golden Boy arise directly out of the rights and obligations contained within the Promotional Contract, Golden Boy is entitled to have all such claims resolved through binding arbitration. Accordingly, Golden Boy intends to seek to enforce its right to arbitration pursuant to the Promotional Contract and to stay or dismiss this action to allow the arbitration to proceed.”
Alvarez originally sued both Golden Boy and DAZN on September 8th in Federal Court. However, the judge in the case very quickly dismissed the claims based on incorrect filing of the long list of defendants and entities that Canelo was suing. The judge did, however, give Canelo’s lawyers a deadline to amend (re-do) their filing and they met that deadline.
In the meantime, as we wrote late in September, there was a mediation session that reportedly lasted some 10 hours trying to get Alvarez, Golden Boy and DAZN to settle their differences out of court.
According to The Athletic, Alvarez was reportedly offered an amended new contract, guaranteeing him significantly less than the $35 million per fight on his original DAZN 11 fight contract signed in October of 2018. However, the offer included an incentive for DAZN subscribers added, in exchange for him being willing to get back in the ring before the end of this year.
The four division World Champ Canelo was reportedly in attendance via Zoom along with DAZN Chief Operating Officer Ed McCarthy, Golden Boy owner and Boxing Hall of Famer, De La Hoya and their chief matchmaker, Eric Gomez.
Further the Athletic reported that the mediator was given both Alvarez’s contract with Golden Boy, as well as the promotion’s deal with DAZN, and in the Athletic’s terminology- the two offers “do not mesh,” when it comes to who gets to dictate what opponents Alvarez fights.
The site went on to say that Alvarez was given an offer in the mediation of $20 million per fight moving forward for the eight fights remaining on the deal.
It’s an important distinction that a mediator is someone who is simply trying to get all parties to resolve their differences and agree to move forward together.
The arbitration process, which is standard in most high profile deals, is a legally binding process that is much faster than the civil court. The sides would in theory present their arguments with witness testimony and evidence (the contracts signed) and the arbitrators decision would be legally final.
That’s why Golden Boy’s lawyer formally filed for it.
The Southern California Federal Judge, who now has all the information and contracts, must rule on Golden Boy’s request to again dismiss the lawsuit and order arbitration for Alvarez.
It’s well known that the biggest part of the dispute is that DAZN has been seeking for Canelo to take a significant pay cut. This is not only due to the Covid 19 pandemic this year and DAZN’s inability to maintain subscribers / revenue with its U.S. streaming service, but also the inability to have fans present for one of boxing’s most popular fighters to create a multi-million dollar “live gate” revenue for Golden Boy/DAZN.
Further, Canelo’s suit made clear that DAZN was not only rejecting his opponent list, but trying to force Alvarez to fight former Undisputed Middleweight champion, Gennady Golovkin, for a third time. Alvarez continues to maintain, now in his legal filings, that he has every right to rebuff that third fight.
That part of his suit read partially,
“Prior to these discussions with Defendants, Alvarez was unaware that DAZN believed Golden Boy Promotions had promised that he would fight Golovkin, unaware that the DAZN Contract gave DAZN the right to reject the opponents he selected, and was unaware that the DAZN Contract contained clauses potentially inconsistent with those of the Alvarez Contract.”
Alvarez, Golden Boy and DAZN have been in a “standoff,” as to who his next fight would be against? This had included the possibility of Canelo fighting British unbeaten Super Middleweight and WBA champ, Callum Smith this Fall.
But, despite media reports from all sides that there were serious discussions, that fight never formally materialized
Canelo has not been in the ring for nearly a year, since he competed for the first time as a Light Heavyweight, beating WBO champ Sergey Kovalev by 11th round TKO last November. And that’s also his only fight in the last 18 months with the now continued squabbling over the Golden Boy/DAZN deal.
Canelo reportedly wants to fight Turkish Super Middleweight contender, Avni Yildirim, but that was apparently rejected by DAZN as not being a “premium opponent” per their deal with Golden Boy.
So, now, Alvarez took the blockbuster legal move to try to end his deal with Golden Boy and DAZN.