By Mark Vester
Just when one fight appears to be a done deal in boxing, another fight comes out of left field. It was only a week ago that a fight between WBA welterweight champ Miguel Cotto and Antonio Margarito was announced for June 9 in New York's Madison Square Garden. A week later the fight is off, for the moment.
Also last week, the WBO held a purse bid for a bout between their welterweight champion Antonio Margarito (34-4, 24KOs) and the mandatory challenger, Paul "The Punisher" Williams (32-0, 24KOs). Dan Goossen of Goossen-Tutor Promotions beat out Golden Boy Promotions for the fight to promote the fight. Goossen bid $1.5 million to secure the promotional rights to stage the bout in either late May or early June, in either Las Vegas or Los Angeles.
Arum told scribe Robert Morales of the Press-Telegram , that he did not participate in the purse bid because Margarito and his team told him that he was going to fight Cotto in June.
Earlier this week it was revealed that Margarito signed to face Williams, instead of Cotto. Arum, who owns full promotional rights to Margarito, says that he never gave him permission to sign a contract for the fight.
"He has a contract with us, an exclusive contract with us," Arum said of Margarito. "We didn't participate in the purse bid because they (Margarito's co-managers) told us not to because they were fighting Cotto. It (Margarito-Williams) may be a done deal as far as (Goossen) is concerned, but these people have no authority to sign a contract because they're under an exclusive promotional agreement with us."
Sergio Diaz, who co-promotes Margarito with Francisco Espinosa, told Morales that the only reason they signed to fight Williams was because they could not come to terms with Arum for the Cotto fight. They made the fight with Williams in an effort to avoid Margarito being stripped by the WBO.
"We did what Bob told us to do, that was to take Paul Williams," Diaz said. "We weren't happy with the terms that we were getting for Cotto and he said to go fight Paul Williams, and that's what we did."
Arum plans to take legal action to prevent the Margarito-Williams bout from taking place. He will name Margarito, his managers and Goossen as defendants.
"There will be litigation filed by the end of the week against Margarito, Goossen, Sergio and Francisco," Arum said.
Goossen told Morales that he is not concerned with a possibly lawsuit because he is following the rules of the WBO. The position of Goossen-Tutor is simple. They won the purse bid to stage the fight, and now they are moving along with plans to stage it.
"All I can tell you is, Bob's entitled to do whatever he wants to do," Goossen said of Arum. "We're proceeding exactly per the WBO rules. Nothing more, nothing less."