By Rick Reeno
BoxingScene.com has been advised that WBC super middleweight champion David Benavidez (20-0, 17 KOs) is about to find himself in the middle of a legal battle between Sampson Boxing and Top Rank.
Benavidez has apparently signed a promotional agreement with Top Rank.
However, promoter Sampson Lewkowicz of Sampson Boxing is confident that he still holds a valid promotional agreement with the boxer.
Benavidez signed a new promotional contract with Lewkowicz in November of 2017 - and that contract, according to Lewkowicz, is valid until 2021.
Apparently there has already been communication between Lewkowicz and Top Rank's CEO Bob Arum - where the two executives had conflicting opinions regarding the validity of Benavidez's promotional pact with Sampson Boxing.
Lewkowicz is gearing up to legally ensure that his promotional agreement is honored by Benavidez and all parties involved.
"Bob Arum is 85-years-old. Does he want to be remembered for 'yesterday I was lying and today I'm telling the truth' and does he want to be remembered to damaging the career of a 21-year-old fighter? This is what I'm wondering," Lewkowicz told BoxingScene.com.
"I have a valid promotional contract with David Benavidez. And I will fight everyone, and when I say fight I mean in court, to make sure that my promotional contract is honored. Arum needs champions, young champions, because of those 16 dates [with ESPN+ app], so he's going around and taking fighters from other promoters. He says he has 16 dates and $30 million, but I don't think ESPN wants to be involved in a lawsuit.
"David is a young kid, and Arum is going to damage his career because the fighter will have to sit [while the legal suit plays out]. I hope that Arum lives to be 120-years-old, but people will remember him for things like this. I hope that David does the right thing and comes back home, because I will be waiting to continue promoting his career, making sure that he continues to receive the best opportunities available to take care of his family, and hopefully to guide him one day to the Hall of Fame."
Benavidez's discussions with Top Rank were first reported by Fighthype.com.
As BoxingScene reported on Monday, the World Boxing Council has ordered immediate negotiations between Benavidez and top contender Anthony Dirrell (32-1-1, 24 KOs). A purse bid has been set for Friday June 22.
Benavidez had been scheduled to face former Olympian Matt Korobov (28-1, 14 KOs) of Russia on July 28 in a Showtime televised bout from the Staples Center in Los Angeles.