By Luke Furman
After nearly a year of promotional confusion, IBF light heavyweight champion Artur Beterbiev has lost his legal case against promoter Yvon Michel of GYM.
Beterbiev has attempting to invalidate his promotional agreement with Michel - and then jump over to fight under the banner of Top Rank.
But earlier today in a Canadian courtroom, a judge ruled that Beterbiev is under a valid contract to Groupe Yvon Michel until 2021.
The boxer had asked the court in July of 2017 to invalidate the contract that bound him to the Montreal promoter. In his judgment issued Friday, judge Frederic Bachand ruled in favor of GYM.
Beterbiev argued that his contract, extended in 2015 following an initial agreement signed in 2013, was no longer valid, since it contravened the rules of the Liquor, Racing and Gaming Regime, which provide for agreements of two years between fighters and promoters.
Beterbiev argued that this contract ended in March 2017.
The boxer also claimed that GYM had not respected the terms of the contract, particularly following his fight in December 2015 against Isidro Prieto, because GYM had paid the entire promised purse the following March.
According to LA Presse, Judge Bachand ruled that "GYM is not in breach of the 2015 contract", since the promoter's payment terms did not "cause any prejudice" to the latter. Nor can the promoter be held responsible for failing to deliver four bouts per year due to an agreement between the two parties in 2017 and following the fact that Beterbiev had agreed to go through a process of elimination in order to secure a light heavyweight world championship bout from the International Boxing Federation.
Besides Beterbiev, Michel also promotes two other top light heavyweights - undefeated Eleider Alvarez - who challenges WBO champion Sergey Kovalev on August 4th on HBO, and WBC world champion Adonis Stevenson, who competes on Showtime.
Luke Furman covers boxing for bokser.org.