Frank Warren Battling James DeGale on Departure, Contract Valid Until April 2013

Frank Warren's contract with James DeGale runs through April 2013. (Photo by Scott Heavey/Getty Images)

Frank Warren isn't going to just roll over and let James DeGale leave him -- especially not when he has a contract with him that is valid through April 2013.

Here's what Warren's press statement said:

"We have seen the press reports today (Friday) in which James DeGale states that he is to split from his manager Frank Warren. This is not true; James DeGale is in fact under contract until 14 April 2013."

The purposely tricky wording here is fun, but let's not confuse anything: DeGale being under contract doesn't mean that it's "not true" that DeGale is leaving. All it means is that it's not a clean split, and DeGale won't be fighting under a new promoter any time soon.

DeGale's team will likely have something more to say about this sooner than later, but Warren has the financial means to take this to court and force DeGale to the sidelines at a critical juncture in his career. You can't unring the bell, and DeGale has publicly stated he's leaving. With over a year left on his contract, that makes things messy. He could potentially buy himself out of the deal, if he's got someone backing that, or if he can prove that Warren breached the terms of the contract, he can go that way, but either way he's in a spot right now.

Right now, though, this hasn't gotten extremely ugly, and we've seen promoters and fighters come through these issues in recent times to reunite and move forward. Just last year, Nonito Donaire signed a deal with Golden Boy while under Top Rank contract, which went to an arbitrator who ruled that Donaire's deal was still valid. Eventually, after a lot of grief that included Bob Arum insulting Donaire's wife, the Filipino signed a new deal.

Right now, the DeGale-Warren split is in stage one. A lot is left to be said and alleged. This is just beginning.

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