By Jake Donovan
More than three years after initially filing its lawsuit against Golden Boy Promotions and Saul ‘Canelo’ Alvarez, Florida-based promoter All-Star Boxing will finally have its day in court.
The aforementioned case has been approved to appear before a jury trial in Dade County, Florida. The official jury date is set for October 13, 2014, with legal representation for all parties required to participate in a pre-trial hearing on October 2, 2014, according to a court order issued on June 12 by the Circuit Court of the 11th Judicial Circuit in Dade County.
The order was received by all parties by close of business on Monday, June 16. Both court sessions are scheduled to be held at the Dade County Courthouse.
All-Star Boxing filed a lawsuit against Alvarez and Golden Boy Promotions in January ’11, alleging breach of contract and unjust enrichment against the boxer and tortious interference against the promoter.
The confirmation of a court date is just the latest piece of unfavorable news for Golden Boy Promotions. The California-based company continues to undergo a major facelift following the departure of several key players, including longtime CEO Richard Schaefer and COO Bruce Binkow.
Alvarez was first signed by All-Star Boxing in September ’08, at age 18 and already three years into his pro career. The two sides were introduced by Rafael Mendoza, Alvarez’ manager and also a promoter in Mexico at the time.
Ironically, Alvarez’ first fight under a reported four-year contract with All-Star Boxing came on a show promoted by Golden Boy Promotions, when he defeated Larry Mosley in Oct. ’08.
The bout also served as Alvarez’ stateside debut and his first appearance on U.S. television, with the bout airing live from California on Telefutura (now UniMas). Two months later, the red-headed boxer fought in Florida as part of a card televised on Telemundo, with whom Felix ‘Tuto’ Zabala, head of All-Star Boxing, has an exclusive relationship.
In all, Alvarez fought under the All-Star Boxing banner for nine fights, all coming in a span of just over 13 months. The final fight in which All-Star Boxing remained a part of Alvarez’ career came in the boxer’s 12-round points win over Lanardo Tyner in Dec. ’09.
It was that point when All-Star Boxing – which claims to have invested more than $180,000 into Alvarez’ career over the course of those nine bouts – believes Golden Boy entered the picture and “induced Alvarez to breach his agreement and enter a separate multi-year promotional contract for the promotion of Alvarez’ future fights.”
All of Alvarez’ bouts from that point onward - beginning with a 3rd round knockout of Brian Camechis in March ’10 – involved Golden Boy Promotions in some capacity or another. Alvarez fought five times on the year, including two appearances on HBO Pay-Per-View undercards and by year’s end his debut on HBO Latino.
All-Star Boxing formally filed a lawsuit in Jan. ’11, by which point Alvarez was being steered towards his first title fight, challenging Matthew Hatton for a vacant 154 lb. title. The lawsuit was filed in an attempt to block the fight and have Alvarez “return home” but the young superstar hasn’t missed a beat in his career. He went on to beat Hatton and become one of the most popular fighters from Mexico in recent history.
The lawsuit gained traction last year, although it didn’t prevent Alvarez from enjoying the most lucrative year of his career to date. His 2013 campaign included the biggest win of his career – a 12-round decision over Austin Trout in a battle of unbeaten 154 lb. titlists – and the richest prize fight in boxing history.
The latter also resulted in his first career loss, coming up short versus Floyd Mayweather in their blockbuster clash in Las Vegas. The event went on to set records at the live gate, the pay-per-view box office and a slew of other revenue streams.
Alvarez has since rebounded with a 10th round stoppage of Alfredo Angulo in March and is currently scheduled to face Erislandy Lara in a non-title fight next month in Las Vegas. The bout figures to still play out despite the recent development in this ongoing lawsuit.
Jake Donovan is the Managing Editor of BoxingScene.com, as well as a member of Transnational Boxing Ratings Board and the Boxing Writers Association of America. Twitter: @JakeNDaBox