WBO super-featherweight titlist Mikey Garcia has filed lawsuit seeking to annul his current contract with Top Rank, citing violation of the Muhammad Ali Boxing Reform Act.
Per court documents obtained by Jeandra LeBeauf of BadCulture.net, Garcia claims that a “promotional rights agreement” he signed with Top Rank “improperly provides Top Rank the ability to extend the agreement indefinitely.” Garcia alleges the agreement is also a violation of California law and seeks to the freedom to schedule further fights “without interference” from Top Rank.
Starting in January 2013, Garcia has been featured heavily in HBO main events. He has made four successful title defenses over Orlando Salido, Juan Manuel Lopez, Roman Martinez and Juan Carlos Burgos.
At press time, Garcia nor Top Rank have made any official statements on the matter.
Somewhere, Al Haymon is smiling. First, I have to give a lot of respect to my colleague Jeandra LeBeauf for her excellent work breaking this story. On the surface, it looks like Top Rank has done a marvelous job in getting Garcia premium TV dates. He’s yet to face a really big name but has already notched purses of $750,000 and higher. In addition, he’s even been mentioned as a potential opponent for Manny Pacquiao. It’s unclear if this lawsuit is a response to the Gamboa fight falling apart, or Garcia being discontent for some time with his contract.
Like Stevenson before him, Garcia is likely being wooed by fight manager extraordinaire Al Haymon, and it must be quite lucrative to make Mikey want to leave. On the flip side, this could all be for naught, as Andre Ward and Nonito Donaire have failed with similar attempts to break their contractual arrangements. Don’t be surprised if this issue keeps Garcia on the shelf for most of this year.