By Rick Reeno
BoxingScene.com has been advised that two separate lawsuits have been filed in connection to the Guillermo Rigondeaux (10-0, 8KOs) vs. Roberto Marroquin (22-1, 15KOs) bout, which takes place on the Julio Cesar Chavez Jr.-Sergio Martinez HBO pay-per-view undercard on September 15th at the Thomas & Mack Center in Las Vegas.
Both cases were filed earlier this week in the Miami-Dade County courthouse in Florida.
The first lawsuit was filed by Black, Srebnick, Kornspan & Stumpf on behalf of Boris Arencibia, owner of Caribe Promotions, against Rigodeaux and Top Rank.
Arencibia's case is being handled by Jared Lopez, a partner in Black, Srebnick, Kornspan & Stumpf.
Lopez advised BoxingScene that his client sued Rigondeaux for breach of contract, claiming the boxer is still bound to an existing agreement that makes Caribe Promotions the "exclusive worldwide promoter for Rigodeaux's fights," and that Rigondeaux went forward with a planned fight against Marroquin without their involvement. There is a claim of tortious interference against Top Rank because they allegedly signed Rigondeaux-Marroquin without the involvement of Caribe.
Top Rank signed Rigondeaux in 2010 to a two-year agreement. Caribe was involved in that deal as a co-promoter and receives monetary compensation in connection to Rigondeaux's fights. Caribe is claiming the agreement between Top Rank and Rigondeaux expired in July of 2012 and no extension had ever been agreed upon between the three parties. Caribe is making the claim for interference because they believe their company is the sole promoter of Rigondeaux because Top Rank's deal allegedly expired.
A source with knowledge of the contracts disagrees with Caribe's position, advising BoxingScene that Top Rank's agreement with Rigondeaux has not expired. The contract was indeed a two-year term, but the agreement was reportedly initiated by the date of Rigondeaux's first fight under the Top Rank banner - and not the July date when Rigondeaux signed the actual agreement. Rigondeaux's first fight under the Top Rank banner took place on either August 21 or November 13 in 2010 - but either way if those facts are correct then the interference claim would be fully ruled out.
Furthermore, based on the contract agreement between the three parties, Top Rank was made the lead promoter and they, along with Rigondeaux, were the only decision makers when it came to the opponents, fight dates, promotion, etc.
Caribe is going to move for an order to prevent Rigondeaux-Marroquin from taking place, but that likely won't happen. There is also some confusion on whether or not Caribe is a licensed promoter.
The second case was filed by Miami based attorney William J. Brown on behalf of Gary Hyde, manager of Rigondeaux. Hyde is making several claims against Rigondeaux, but it hasn't been determined if Top Rank is an actual party to that complaint.
In relation to Hyde's lawsuit, the manager is claiming that Rigondeaux has been uncooperative and went around him to sign an agreement to face Marroquin. However, BoxingScene has not confirmed the exact outline of the managerial terms, so at the moment it's not clear whether he has a valid case.
David Marroso, a senior attorney with the Los Angeles-based O'Melveny and Myers law firm, will be handling the defense, along with his partner Daniel Petrocelli, for Top Rank.
Marroso had no comment on the lawsuit involving Hyde, because at the moment it appears that Top Rank is not involved in that particular case.
In connection to the lawsuit brought on by Caribe, Maroso told BoxingScene the following:
"Top Rank just learned of the lawsuit filed by Caribe. We're looking into the allegations. At this point we believe they lack merit and we will defend Top Rank to the fullest extent permitted by law."
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