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Federal judge dismisses Golden Boy lawsuit against Al Haymon

Score one for Premier Boxing Champions.

Amir Khan Media Workout Photo by Alexis Cuarezma/Getty Images
Wil Esco is an assistant editor of Bad Left Hook and has been covering boxing for SB Nation since 2014.

And the hits keep comin’ for Oscar De La Hoya. On the heels of the Golden Boy promoter’s arrest for DUI, today a federal judge dismissed Golden Boy’s $300M lawsuit against Al Haymon without prejudice, as reported by the LA Times.

Golden Boy filed the lawsuit last year which accused Haymon and his Premier Boxing Champions’ operation of monopolistic practices while also accusing Haymon of violating the Muhammad Ali Act by acting as a manager and de facto promoter.

The court saw differently, however, saying that Golden Boy only provided evidence of Haymon’s operation causing harm to themselves, and not competition in general which disrupts a free market.

“Plaintiffs have been unable to present any evidence of harm to competition,” U.S. District Judge John F. Walter wrote at the close of his 24-page decision. “Instead, plaintiffs have merely presented evidence of harm to themselves.”

To that point the federal judge also made note that Golden Boy was able to stage a big, successful event between Canelo Alvarez and Amir Khan last year while also succesfully negotiating an upcoming fight between Canelo and Julio Cesar Chavez Jr., two Al Haymon clients.

Additionally the judge noted that Al Haymon’s network deals with companies like ABC and Fox didn’t preclude Golden Boy from doing the same, as evidence by Golden Boy’s recent 42-show deal with ESPN.

As far as Golden Boy’s assertion that Haymon only uses ‘sham promoters’ to put on his cards, the federal judge wrote:

“Notwithstanding plaintiffs’ pejorative label, the promoters that work with the PBC vehemently disagree that they are ‘sham’ promoters,” Walter wrote.

“They have testified that their duties are substantially the same as their duties for non-PBC events, which include, for example: maximizing event revenues and generating media attention for the event; coordinating with the pertinent state boxing commission regarding the promoter’s various safety, financial, and technical obligations, including by ensuring the presence of medical personnel and safety equipment; executing bout agreements with the boxer, negotiating and entering into the venue agreement and pertinent sponsorship agreements, selling tickets, assisting with television production elements, and collecting the proceeds from ticket sales, gate revenue, and local sponsorship sales.”

So ultimately the court found that Golden Boy was unable to provide sufficent evidence that proves that Haymon’s operations provides significant barriers to entry into the marketplace. And in summarizing the entirety of the situation, Judge Walters stated that U.S. antitrust laws are designed to protect competition in a market, not specific competitors.

“When a producer is shielded from competition, he is likely to provide lesser service at a higher price; the victim is the consumer who gets a raw deal. This is the evil the antitrust laws are meant to avert. But when a producer deters competitors by supplying a better product at a lower price, when he eschews monopoly profits, when he operates his business so as to meet consumer demand and increase consumer satisfaction, the goals of competition are served...While the successful competitor should not be raised above the law, neither should he be held down by the law.”

In layman's terms this basically means that the U.S. court wasn’t at all satisfied with Golden Boy coming to court with a bunch of ‘alternative facts,’ as it were.

Bob Arum’s Top Rank promotional company filed a similar lawsuit against Haymon, but the sides would end up settling out of court last year which has appeared to pave for the sides to work together moving foward. One of Haymon’s fighters, John Molina Jr., even recently appeared on a Top Rank card featuring Terence Crawford last December.

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