By Keith Idec
A lawsuit filed by Caribe Promotions against Roc Nation Sports was dismissed Friday in federal court in New York.
Caribe, which co-promotes Guillermo Rigondeaux, filed the lawsuit in Manhattan Supreme Court because it claimed Roc Nation froze the Miami-based company out of the promotion of Rigondeaux’s high-profile fight Saturday night against Vasyl Lomachenko. Among other things, Caribe claimed Roc Nation made a deal with Top Rank Inc., Lomachenko’s promoter, without its consent.
Caribe has promoted Rigondeaux, a two-time Olympic gold medalist from Cuba, since he turned pro in May 2009. Jay Z’s Roc Nation Sports became Rigondeaux’s co-promoter after finalizing a deal with Caribe in November 2015.
Caribe sought an emergency court order that would’ve allowed the company to become actively involved as a co-promoter of Saturday night’s card.
Luis Fonseca, Caribe’s vice president, contended in the lawsuit that the disconnect between Rigondeaux’s co-promoters during the buildup toward his biggest fight in nearly five years stems from his company’s refusal to pay $108,000 in expenses related to Rigondeaux’s last fight.
That bout, a mandatory defense of Rigondeaux’s WBA super bantamweight championship, resulted in a no-contest because the Nevada State Athletic Commission ruled Rigondeaux punched Mexico’s Moises Flores following the bell to end the first round. Flores said he couldn’t continue after Rigondeaux fouled him June 17 in Las Vegas.
The lawsuit Caribe filed indicated it is already in arbitration with Roc Nation Sports regarding a breach of their agreement. Fonseca said Caribe sued Roc Nation Sports because arbitration won’t be resolved until after the Lomachenko-Rigondeaux fight.
The 12-round bout between Ukraine’s Lomachenko (9-1, 7 KOs) and Miami’s Rigondeaux (17-0, 11 KOs, 1 NC) will be the main event of a four-fight broadcast by ESPN (9 p.m. EST/6 p.m. PST). Lomachenko is a 3-1 favorite in advance of the first fight in boxing history that’ll pit a pair of two-time Olympic gold medalists against each other.
Rigondeaux, 37, has moved up to weight classes to challenge Lomachenko, 29, for his WBO 130-pound championship.
Keith Idec is a senior writer/columnist for BoxingScene.com. He can be reached on Twitter @Idecboxing.