3 More Rounds

Mikey Garcia’s next opponent is Top Rank

Photo: Chris Farina / Top Rank

Photo: Chris Farina / Top Rank

Last week the junior-welterweight titlist filed suit in Riverside County Court in California, citing among many things, a violation of the Muhammad Ali Boxing Reform Act, a federal law that is supposed to protect fighters from being exploited, according to ESPN.

The suit filed contains the following:

“Top Rank’s unlawful attempt to exploit, own and permanently control” Garcia’s boxing career “as well as Top Rank’s consistent violation of the Muhammad Ali Boxing Reform Act, a federal statute enacted for the express purpose of protecting professional boxers like Garcia from the exploitative practice of boxing promoters like Top Rank.

The suit states that Top Rank’s promotional agreement provides them the ability to improperly extend their contract with Garcia and his attorney, (quoted in the paragraph above) Bryan Freedman, believes his client to be a free-agent at this time.

“Mikey has no further obligation to Top Rank under the 2009 promotional rights agreement that he signed,” “It’s very clear for a number of reasons, but that’s our position. There are a number of reasons why it’s invalid. Even if it hadn’t expired under its own terms, Top Rank acted not only as a promoter but also as a manager under the definition of manager in California and that is against the law. This is an absolute fairness issue,” said Freedman.

Freedman stated further that it is the plan to “seek a declaration from the court that he has no further obligations to Top Rank under the promotional rights agreement and, therefore, is free to schedule future fights without any interference from Top Rank and he is entitled to actual damages as a result of Top Rank’s violation of the Muhammad Ali Boxing Reform Act.”

Garcia (34-0, 28 KOs), has been on the Top Rank roster since he began punching for pay in 2006 and has become an HBO staple. Fight negotiations recently fell through for Garcia to face Yuriokis Gamboa, with Garcia reportedly out-pricing himself for the bout.

The Oxnard, California native adds himself to a growing list of boxers seeking court system assistance due to disputes with their promoters that includes Andre Ward (Goossen Tutor Promotions) and Robert Guerrero (Golden Boy Promotions).

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