By Luke Furman
A legal tussle is brewing over in Canada.
Top light heavyweight contender Artur Beterbiev (11-0, 11 KOs) has filed legal documents to break his promotional agreement with Yvon Michel of GYM.
Michel is also the promoter of WBC light heavyweight champion Adonis Stevenson and unbeaten contender Eleider Alvarez.
Beterbiev, Stevenson and Alvarez are all advised by Al Haymon.
Michel has confirmed that he was served with Beterbiev's documents, and the Canadian promoter has already filed opposition documents to prevent the promotional agreement from being terminated.
The unexpected turn of events takes place on the brink of Beterbiev finally locating an opponent, Enrico Koelling, to face him in an IBF final eliminator. The winner of that contest would be in line for a mandatory world title shot against the the winner of next month's rematch between champion Andre Ward and challenger Sergey Kovalev.
"Regardless of his recriminations at the moment, we still consider Artur to be a member of GYM and his proposed IBF title eliminator against German Enrico Koelling is still valid," said Michel to RDS.
Michel said he that learned of this news "with great disappointment" through a bailiff on Monday afternoon. He admitted, however, that Beterbiev had already informed him of his intention, first verbally and then through his lawyer.
GYM said these comments "will be the only ones to be published until there are other developments on the subject".
BoxingScene.com has obtained a copy of the legal documents that were filed by Beterbiev.
Some of the claims that he's alleging include - GYM failed to get him six fights during the first year of their deal, five fights during the second year, four fights during the third year. GYM failed to pay him his purses within 10 days of each fight.
Beterbiev claims in his papers that for his fight with Ezequiel Maderna from last June, he did not receive his full purse until August of the same year. Also, he says his fight with Ranoni Prieto from last December, was not paid out until March of this year.
He's also making a claim, that in the worst case scenario, to have his agreement with GYM expire on June 8 of this year.
Luke Furman covers boxing for bokser.org.