By Rick Reeno
BoxingScene.com has received a copy of federal court order from the Central District of California, and Judge Margaret M. Morrow voided James Kirkland's promotional agreement, and his extension, with Golden Boy Promotions.
On August 16, 2012, Kirkland commenced this action against Golden Boy, claiming his contract was illegal. Golden Boy Promotions counter-sued for breach of contract. On February 5, 2013, Kirkland filed a motion for judgment on the pleadings.
The judge agreed with Kirkland's papers, partially granting his attorney's motion for Summary Judgement. Kirkland is represented by Sekou Gary.
The judge felt Kirkland's contract was illegal because the extensions bound him to Golden Boy beyond the allowed contractual period of five years. Kirkland signed an extension in 2011, after serving some time in prison for a firearm - but the judge deemed the extension invalid.
Two paragraphs of language were cited in the order.
Contracts between boxers and managers and between boxers or managers and licensed clubs shall be executed on printed forms approved by the commission. The commission may recognize or enforce a contract not on its printed form if entered into in another jurisdiction. No other contract or agreement may be recognized or enforced by the commission.” 4 CAL. CODE REGS. § 220.
Unless otherwise directed by the commission, a contract between a boxer and a manager or a boxer and a promoter is not valid unless both parties appear at the same time before the commission or a commission representative and it receives written approval. No contract shall be approved between a manager and a boxer or a promoter and a boxer for a period exceeding five years. No option to extend the initial period shall be permitted.” 4 CAL. CODE REGS. § 222.
It was interesting that the judge used Oscar De la Hoya's contractual lawsuit against Top Rank, as part of several cases reviewed to render his decision in favor of Kirkland. De La Hoya is the President of Golden Boy.
In closing, the judge stated that portions of paragraphs 5 and 7 of the Promoter Agreement between Kirkland and Golden Boy are now void "for illegality" and the contract extension itself was voided. Kirkland's other requests in his motion were otherwise denied.
Instead of having him under contract through October of 2015, Kirkland will be free from Golden Boy on October 15, 2013. Trial is still set for October 8, 2013 to resolve the remaining issues. Kirkland is suing Golden Boy with allegations that he was paid less than his contracted minimum on three ocassions. Golden Boy has pending counter-claims against Kirkland.
Kirkland (31-1, 27KOs), who recently went through some more legal trouble, has not fought since last March, when he grabbed a controversial disqualification win over Carlos Molina.