Undefeated WBO super featherweight champion Miguel Angel "Mikey" Garcia sued Top Rank on April 8, per multiple reports confirming the lawsuit a week later.
WBO super featherweight champion Miguel Angel "Mikey" Garcia has sued Top Rank.
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The lawsuit indicates Top Rank allegedly tried to exploit and control Garcia's career, per ESPN's Dan Rafael:
"Junior lightweight titleholder Miguel Angel 'Mikey' Garcia, declaring that his promotional agreement with Top Rank is illegal and also expired, sued the company in California State Court in Riverside County on April 8.
"The suit, a copy of which was obtained by ESPN.com, says that the reason for the action is because of 'Top Rank's unlawful attempt to exploit, own and permanently control' Garcia's boxing career 'as well as Top Rank's consistent violation of the Muhammad Ali Boxing Reform Act, a federal statute enacted for the express purpose of protecting professional boxers like Garcia from the exploitive practice of boxing promoters like Top Rank.'
"Further, the suit claims that his promotional agreement 'improperly provides Top Rank the ability to extend the agreement indefinitely, essentially rendering the contracting fighter an indentured servant of Top Rank."
Bryan Freedman, Garcia's lawyer, spoke with Rafael to explain their side.
"Mikey has no further obligation to Top Rank under the 2009 promotional rights agreement that he signed. It's very clear for a number of reasons, but that's our position. There are a number of reasons why it's invalid.
"Even if it hadn't expired under its own terms, Top Rank acted not only as a promoter but also as a manager under the definition of 'manager' in California and that is against the law. This is an absolute fairness issue.
"The (Muhammad Ali Boxing Reform Act) itself has rarely been litigated but it requires Top Rank to make disclosures to Mikey before his bouts on the amount of money they would be receiving from his bouts. He did not get those disclosures.
"There are a number of different illegalities in this agreement, including how it was extended under different scenarios. If you look at it you'd say he's done (with the contract) even without any violation of the law."
TheSweetScience.com's Michael Woods writes "a personal service contract is not supposed to go beyond seven years from the start of the contract."
Woods notes Garcia signed with Top Rank in 2006. However, Top Rank has the fighter locked in until 2015 -- two years beyond the seven-year maximum.
Garcia (34-0-0, 28 KOs) won the WBO super featherweight title on Nov. 9, 2013 with an eighth-round knockout of Puerto Rico's Roman Martinez.
His last fight came just two-and-a-half months later when he beat Juan Carlos Burgos of Mexico by unanimous decision at Madison Square Garden to retain his super featherweight title belt.
A PDF copy of Garcia's lawsuit against Top Rank was uploaded by BadCulture.net on April 15 and can be seen here.