By Rick Reeno
After it was on, and then off, and then on and then off - but it now appears that WBA super bantamweight champion Guillermo "El Chacal" Rigondeaux (10-0, 8 KOs) will defend his title against Roberto Marroquin (22-1, 15 KOs) on the undercard of the Julio Cesar Chavez Jr.-Sergio Martinez HBO Pay-Per-View, taking place this Saturday at the Thomas & Mack Center in Las Vegas.
A few weeks ago, a Circuit Court in Miami enjoined Rigondeaux from engaging in any bout not approved by his manager, Gary Hyde, and also enjoined Rigondeaux from participating in the Marroquin fight. Rigondeaux's lawyer filed an emergency motion seeking a stay of the injunction - but that motion was denied on August 28th.
David Marroso, a senior attorney with the Los Angeles-based O'Melveny and Myers law firm, which represents the interests of Top Rank - has confirmed to BoxingScene that Hyde has approved the fight between Rigondeaux and Marroquin. The Nevada State Atheltic Commission has been notified.
"Gary Hyde has approved Guillermo Rigondeaux's participation in the bout against Marroquin on September 15th and that is all that is necessary for him to participate - so he is back on," Marroso said to BoxingScene.com.
Back when the case was first filed, Patrick English, who is Hyde's personal attorney, advised BoxingScene that Hyde's contract with Rigondeaux grants him the authority to approve and/or reject the Cuban fighter's opponents. Hyde alleged that Rigondeaux refused to communicate on the matter and went around his back to make a deal with Top Rank for the bout with Marroquin. Top Rank was never a party to the legal battle between Hyde and Rigondeaux.
However, as we previously reported, there were two separate lawsuits filed in connection to the Rigondeaux vs. Marroquin bout. Both cases were filed in the Miami-Dade County courthouse in Florida.
The second lawsuit was filed by Black, Srebnick, Kornspan & Stumpf on behalf of Boris Arencibia, owner of Caribe Promotions, against Rigondeaux and Top Rank.
Arencibia's case is being handled by Jared Lopez, a partner in Black, Srebnick, Kornspan & Stumpf.
Lopez has advised BoxingScene that Caribe has requested an emergency hearing, which the Circuit Court scheduled for September 12 in Miami, to prevent the Rigondeaux fight from moving forward. Lopez doesn't know the details of the agreement reached between Rigondeaux, Top Rank and Hyde - but states that there wasn't an agreement reached with Caribe. A subpoena has been served on Rigondeaux, directing him to testify at this hearing.
Marroso confirmed that Caribe is attempting to prevent the fight from moving forward, but the attorney appears confident that Rigondeaux will be allowed to move forward with his fight.
"Yes it's true that Caribe is now going to come in and try to stop the fight - not withstanding that Top Rank is promoting it, the fighter wants to participate in it and the manager has approved of the deal," Marroso said. "Caribe wants to step in and say 'no, I'm the promoter of Guillermo Rigondeaux and he may not participate.'"
"The facts are - we've got the fighter, the manager and the agreed, admitted promoter [Top Rank] - all agreeing to this fight - and a secondary promoter, who hasn't promoted any fights to my knowledge, ever, but certainly not in years for this kid - trying to stop it. We'll see what the court does. The former injunction which was preventing Rigondeaux from fighting is no longer prohibiting him, because the injunction said Rigondeaux could not participate unless Hyde approves - and Hyde has approved."
Back when this particular case was filed, Lopez advised BoxingScene that his client sued Rigondeaux for breach of contract, claiming the boxer is still bound to an existing agreement that makes Caribe Promotions the "exclusive worldwide promoter for Rigodeaux's fights," and that Rigondeaux went forward with a planned fight against Marroquin without their involvement. There is a claim of tortious interference against Top Rank because they allegedly signed Rigondeaux-Marroquin without the involvement of Caribe.
Top Rank signed Rigondeaux in 2010 to a two-year agreement. Caribe was involved in that deal as a co-promoter and receives monetary compensation in connection to Rigondeaux's fights. Caribe is claiming the agreement between Top Rank and Rigondeaux expired in July of 2012 and no extension had ever been agreed upon between the three parties. Caribe is making the claim for interference because they believe their company is the sole promoter of Rigondeaux because Top Rank's deal allegedly expired.
A source with knowledge of the contracts disagrees with Caribe's position, advising BoxingScene that Top Rank's agreement with Rigondeaux has not expired. The contract was indeed a two-year term, but the agreement was reportedly initiated by the date of Rigondeaux's first fight under the Top Rank banner - and not the July date when Rigondeaux signed the actual agreement. Rigondeaux's first fight under the Top Rank banner took place on either August 21 or November 13 in 2010 - but either way if those facts are correct then the interference claim would be fully ruled out.
Furthermore, based on the contract agreement between the three parties, Top Rank was made the lead promoter and they, along with Rigondeaux, were the only decision makers when it came to the opponents, fight dates, promotion, etc.