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Joseph Agbeko Sues Don King, Alleges Short Payment on Seven Fights

Two-time former bantamweight titlist Joseph Agbeko has filed a lawsuit in New Jersey against promoter Don King, alleging that he was shortchanged on payments in seven fights.

The suit also says King and his company, Don King Productions, violated the federal Muhammad Ali Boxing Reform Act, which was enacted in 2000 partially to protect boxers from exploitation. ... In one fight in Newark’s Prudential Center on Dec. 11, 2008, Agbeko successfully defended his championship title, was paid $4,000 and had $21,000 taken from him in the form of deductions, the suit alleges. ... According to the suit, King and his company failed to prove the deductions were legitimate or document their compensation following that fight. The court papers also allege King and his company failed to pay the Internal Revenue Service all the taxes owed on what they took from Agbeko’s winnings.

This move is, one presumes, something Agbeko absolutely had to do at this point, because this could play out for long enough that what's left of Agbeko's prime could go by the wayside.

On the boxing side of things, since I don't feel qualified to discuss the lawsuit really, Agbeko (28-4, 22 KO) had one of those dates in May, scheduled to be against Michael Domingo, that no one really thought was going to happen, and then didn't. He hasn't fought since December, when he lost in a competitive rematch with Abner Mares in California.

Right now, he's still one of the premier bantamweights in the sport -- I've got him ranked No. 2, behind only Anselmo Moreno -- but if he loses a year or so, who knows? He's lost three of four, but his last four fights have only been with Mares and Yonnhy Perez, too, and before that, it was Vic Darchinyan. He's kept a tough schedule to say the least.

Hopefully this will get cleared up sooner than later, but I wouldn't count on that.

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