By Jake Donovan
Golden Boy Promotions managed to catch many in the industry off-guard with news of resigning featherweight contender Jonathan Oquendo.
Among those surprised by the announcement include Puerto Rico Best Boxing Promotions, the company who believes they still have him under contract. Such news now puts in jeopardy a proposed fight between Oquendo and featherweight titlist Jesus Cuellar.
“We learned of the news through the press and were actually surprised because we have been working with Jonathan for a while,” said PRBBP’s Ivan Rivera in a statement through the company’s press office. “In fact, he fought for us just 11 days ago (scoring an upset win over Jhonny Gonzalez on the undercard of Floyd Mayweather’s main event-headlining win over Andre Berto). We have a contract for a world title fight, which was scheduled for December 5 versus (Cuellar) in Brooklyn, New York.”
Oquendo (26-4, 16KOs) spent the early portion of his career splitting his time between Golden Boy Promotions, PRBBP and also occasionally appearing on Telemundo cards promoted by All-Star Boxing. The 32-year old from Vega Alta, Puerto Rico went seven years between appearances on Golden Boy shows, even with last July’s showdown with Abner Mares serving more as “opponent” status for Mares, at the time with Golden Boy but advised by Al Haymon now officially fighting under the Premier Boxing Champions banner as part of the messy divorce between the two.
It was believed that Oquendo would join several other PRBBP members in signing with Haymon and the PBC circuit, with PRBBP having been involved in several shows over the past couple of months.
For the moment, any plans Golden Boy has for Oquendo not only affect his future title fight with Cuellar, but any in-ring action in general. The only fighting the resurgent contender may see, in fact, could be limited to a courtroom.
“We do not know the details of the contract (Oquendo) signed with Golden Boy, but he has a valid contract with us,” Rivera notes. “We met with our lawyers and will take legal action versus the promoters, managers or anyone else who assisted (Oquendo) in signing this agreement. This will include an injunction and claim for damages filed in a Federal Court.”
As Golden Boy is making its best efforts to do business with all entities (at least everyone but those involved with the PBC movement, given its current $300 million lawsuit filed against Haymon and associates), it seems the brass at PRBBP are reminded of a similar occurrence involving the company. There exists another ongoing lawsuit involving Golden Boy and the manner in which it added Saul ‘Canelo’ Alvarez to its stable several years ago.
“I’m astonished that Golden Boy would do this, given they have an open court case involving Canelo Alvarez and Felix ‘Tutico’ Zabala of All-Star Boxing,” points out PRBBP Vice President Peter Rivera. “That case has not been resolved and now along comes this matter involving Jonathan. Aside from that, we’ve always had a good working relationship with (Golden Boy) in the past, and they should know Jonathan is still under contract with us.”
Messages seeking a response from Golden Boy brass went unreturned.
Jake Donovan is the managing editor of BoxingScene.com.
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