By Miguel Rivera, photos by Roberto Koltun
The second day of testimony was not very favorable to former two-division world champion Saul 'Canelo' Alvarez and his promoter, Oscar De La Hoya of Golden Boy Promotions.
All Star Boxing President Felix 'Tutico' Zabala has sued both parties in Miami, Florida - and they are currently engaged in an ongoing trial. In the legal documents, Zabala claims to have signed Canelo to a four-year promotional agreement in 2008. There was a clause that extending that agreement if Canelo became world champion during the time frame of the deal - but Zabala claims the Mexican superstar violated the terms of that contract by signing with Golden Boy Promotions the following year.
Zabala filed the lawsuit in 2010 and the trial finally started. Canelo captured his first world title when became the super welterweight champion of the World Boxing Council (WBC) in 2011 after beating Matthew Hatton by decision.
Zabala's lawyer, Alejandro Brito, said the breach by Canelo and the contract interference by Golden Boy head Oscar De La Hoya has caused $27 million in damages to his client. This figure does not include punitive damages, which under the laws of Florida, could triple the amount originally claimed.
Brito presented a copy of the promotional contract signed by Canelo and manager Jose 'Chepo' Reynoso for four years dated September 15, 2008. He also presented photos of the work visa that Zabala obtained for Canelo so the boxer could travel and fight in the United States and a copy his passport.
Canelo nine fights under the promotion of All Star Boxing. The first on the 24th of November 2008 and the last on December 5, 2009 against Lanardo Tyner. For these fights in a span of 13 months, Canelo pocketed about $180,000. Canelo then accepted an offer from De La Hoya and signed with Golden Boy Promotions. Since leaving Zabala, he's had 17 fights.
On Monday, Canelo acknowledged his signature on the promotional contract, but claimed that he thought it was some type of document requesting an entry visa to the United States and said that he was unaware of the language contained in the documents, because they were written in English.
On Tuesday, Zabala's lawyer pound on Canelo and Golden Boy with evidence.
Golden Boy's financial figures as a company were discussed, and how much of that revenue was attributed to Canelo, to determine potential damages.
As part of the discovery of evidence, a letter was presented by Golden Boy matchmaker Robert Diaz dated July 23, 2010 and sent to the Department of Homeland Security in the United States, admitting that Canelo was previously promoted by All Star Boxing.
At the sitting of Tuesday, also it was read to the jury the written deposition of Rafael Mendoza of Mexico, star witness in the case with 55 years in the boxing business, and who was present at the time when Canelo was signed by All Star in 2008 .
Mendoza has had under his tutelage about 26 world champions. In his statement he let the court know that he was advisor to Jose "Chepo" Reynoso, the current manager of Canelo. He rejected the claim that the contract Canelo signed was only to obtain a work visa.
"Golden Boy Promotions and Oscar de la Hoya were aware that Saul 'Canelo' Alvarez was under contract with All Star Boxing," was part of the written statement submitted by Mendoza, according to El Vocero.
It was also said that Canelo was given a million dollar bonus to sign with Godlen Boy. Mendoza mentioned in his declaration that the vice president of Golden Boy, Eric Gomez, declined to pay $250,000 to All Star for the rights to use Canelo, before falling into unlawful interference, suggesting that the company itself had foreknowledge of the previous contract .
It was further learned that the renewal of contract between Golden Boy and Canelo in January 2015 included a bonus of $15 million to the Mexican star.
"I am satisfied with the way the process is going. I trust in the jury and justice of the United States, especially the Judicial Center of Miami Dade-County," said Zabala briefly as he left the court.