By T.K. Stewart
Former World Boxing Council heavyweight titlist Samuel “The Nigerian Nightmare” Peter has filed a lawsuit in Clark County District Court in Nevada against former promoters Don King and Dino Duva.
Peter claims he is still owed more than $400,000 for his Oct. 2008 bout vs. Vitali Klitschko which took place in Berlin, Germany. Peter was the holder of the WBC belt at the time and his contracted purse was $4 million.
Peter alleges that King and Duva have withheld monies owed to him and he is suing for punitive damages in excess of $1 million. The lawsuit alleges that both Duva and King conspired to steal, commit fraud, misrepresented their intentions and were in breach of contract.
Peter, 29, held the WBC belt for seven months before he lost to Klitschko. During the time that he was co-promoted by Duva and King it was a triumvirate that was characterized by bickering, internal squabbles and allegations of backstabbing.
In the months leading up to his ill-fated bout against Klitschko, Peter had been so distracted by the situation with his promoters, manager and trainers that he allowed his weight to balloon to over 300-pounds. As a result, he was not mentally or physically prepared to meet Klitschko who beat him easily and forced him to surrender after eight rounds.
Peter has suffered through a series of messy relationships over the past few years. His manager, Ivaylo Gotzev, who was credited with maneuvering him through the heavyweight minefield and ultimately to a world title, filed for bankruptcy protection in December.
Dino Duva, in an effort to promote Peter into a heavyweight title fight spent most of his time, energy and money on the Nigerian. He eventually had to sell half of his promotional company, Duva Boxing, as well as his interest in Peter, to King in order to remain solvent. But not long after Peter lost the heavyweight belt, Duva abandoned professional boxing altogether to focus on bringing Chinese Olympians to America. He formed a new company called D & D Global with partner Richard Davimos.
Peter is suing the pair for a series of reasons that include everything from advance payments, unauthorized training expenses and other alleged financial improprieties.
After getting clear of King and Duva, Peter signed a promotional agreement with Bob Arum’s Top Rank, Inc. in July 2009. He has scored three straight knockouts against non-descript opposition and has weighed as low as 239, which was his lightest in the past seven years.
Peter, 33-3, 26 KOs is slated to face 23-year-old prospect Nagy Aguilera, 15-2, 10 KOs on March 12 in an IBF heavyweight title eliminator in Dallas, Texas. The winner would be in line for a title shot later this year versus champion Wladimir Klitschko.