By Miguel Rivera
Golden Boy Promotions is preparing to fight tooth and nail to overturn last week's court ruling in Miami, which directs former two-division world champion Saul 'Canelo' Alvarez to pay $8.5 million to promoter Felix 'Tutico' Zabala of All Star Boxing
Last Monday, a jury made several decisions pertaining to his ongoing lawsuit between Zabala and Golden Boy/Canelo.
Zabala claimed that Canelo signed a four year contract in 2008, but then violated that contract when he signed with Golden Boy in 2011. The jury exonerated Golden Boy, but ordered Canelo to pay $8.5 million to Zabala - ruling that the Puerto Rican promoter introduced Canelo to Golden Boy and helped jump start his career in the United States.
A few days ago, Zabala lashed out at Golden Boy CEO Oscar De La Hoya, and said the company executive was only looking out for himself and not the interests of Canelo. Zabala claims that he tried to avoid a legal war, which it turned out to be, and because of that Canelo was hit with an multi-million dollar judgement.
"I think his actions were to protect him and not his boy," said Zabala to El Vocero. "If I were him I would have gone all the way with my boxer. This is a case that could have been resolved six years ago with $250,000 through an arrangement in which we let would have released him. But they chose the hard road. De La Hoya was thinking of himself and allowed the fighter to get hurt."
"He hurt the boxer. Here, the important thing for us is that my work was recognized. It was a matter of dignity and not about more money. I have nothing against 'Canelo' Alvarez. I just think he was wrong and I advised that these things could have been avoided. De La Hoya chose the rocky road."
Golden Boy, which plans to appeal the order, rejects the accusations being made by Zabala.
"We will be behind Canelo until the very end. Over here there is no Team Golden Boy Team and Team Canelo - we're all Golden Boy Promotions and as a team we will continue to fight this until it is fixed for everyone," ESPN Deportes was told by a representative of Golden Boy on the condition of anonymity because the legal process is still playing out.