A federal judge in Los Angeles on Wednesday threw out powerful boxing manager Al Haymon’s attempt to dismiss the lawsuit filed against him by veteran fight promoter Bob Arum.
Arum is suing Haymon for violating anti-trust laws.
Haymon, after receiving an estimated $500 million in venture capital from a Kansas firm last year, staged more than 40 fight cards on NBC, CBS, ABC/ESPN and other cable networks while beefing up his stable of fighters to about 200.
On Wednesday, U.S. District Judge John F. Walter denied Haymon’s motion to dismiss the lawsuit that is seeking hundreds of millions of dollars in damages, citing a rule that read, “dismissal is proper only where there is either a ‘lack of a cognizable legal theory’ or ‘the absence of sufficient facts alleged under a cognizable legal theory.’”
Walter’s opinion also vacated a stay of discovery in the case, empowering Arum’s attorneys to now pursue needed documents from Haymon, and to call Floyd Mayweather Jr.’s reclusive manager to deposition.
“Discovery will now begin,” said Daniel Petrocelli, Arum’s attorney. “That will entail the parties exchanging relevant documents and other records, that will involve third-party witnesses, having to provide evidence and deposition testimony. There will be depositions, certainly of Mr. Haymon and others.”
Haymon doesn't speak to reporters and attempts to reach his attorney were not immediately successful.
In his order, Judge Walter wrote, “Although the Haymon defendants’ arguments are very persuasive, in light of the legal standard governing motions to dismiss … , the court concludes that the issues raised by the Haymon defendants with respect to Top Rank’s federal antitrust claims are more appropriately resolved on a motion for summary judgment.”
“The case is going forward, to discovery, with a process of gathering evidence,” Petrocelli said.
Petrocelli said there are “a number of salient accusations against Haymon and what he’s doing. We’re going to be seeking evidence on all of it.”
Haymon is also being sued for more than $300 million by Oscar De La Hoya’s Golden Boy Promotions for engaging in monopolistic practices.
The lawsuits claim Haymon is violating the federal Muhammad Ali Act that forbids a manager from operating jointly as a promoter. Haymon retains such promoters as Sherman Oaks-based TGB Promotions and Lou DiBella on the East Coast to promote his cards, but both Arum and De La Hoya allege Haymon is calling all the shots.
Petrocelli said Arum’s lawsuit claims Haymon is “engaging in exclusionary conduct … part of that process involves violations of the Ali Act, but it’s certainly not limited to that.”
Arum is separately suing his unbeaten fighter Mikey Garcia of Ventura County in Nevada.
“There will certainly be inquiries about [Haymon’s] relationship with Mr. Garcia, and that’s in the Garcia case, as well,” Petrocelli said.
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