Don King Productions filed for injunctive relief against MMA promotion Shine Fight Promotions on Friday, asking a Broward County Court to prevent boxer Ricardo Mayorga’s participation in Shine Fights 3 “World Collide” this Saturday at the Crown Coliseum in Fayetteville, N.C. DKP has also filed a separate complaint seeking a jury trial on the matter.
According to the legal documents obtained by Sherdog.com, DKP claims Mayorga is in violation of an exclusive contract it has with the boxer, who is scheduled to face former UFC lightweight contender Din Thomas in Saturday’s headlining MMA bout.
In its filings, DKP cites excerpts taken from Mayorga’s promotional agreement with the organization dated October 1, 2009, which states: “Fighter shall not participate in any bouts other than bouts promoted or co-promoted by Promoter or for which Promoter has granted Fighter prior written permission.”
Additional excerpts provided in the motion state Mayorga and his staff may not attend or participate in any “shows, interviews, programs, special events” or any related print, television, and Internet advertising opportunities without DKP’s approval.
In a copy of Mayorga’s promotional agreement provided by DKP with its motions, the contract states the promotion has “sole and exclusive rights to secure and arrange all professional boxing bouts” for Mayorga.
DKP issued the Florida-based Shine Fights two cease and desist letters on April 20 and April 27, demanding it remove Mayorga and any mention of the boxer from both its May 15 roster and related advertising. Shine Fights CEO Devon Price responded last Wednesday that the bout would proceed as planned.
"Shine Fights has a valid and exclusive promotional contract with Ricardo Mayorga for mixed martial arts," Price said in a prepared statement.
However, in its April 27 letter to Shine, DKP states that Mayorga’s proposed MMA bout includes the discipline of boxing, of which it believes it has the exclusive rights to promote the fighter.
“We assert our exclusive promotional rights over Ricardo Mayorga in any sport having to do with boxing,” read the letter.
In addition to Mayorga’s alleged breach of contract, DKP’s motion also claims Shine Fight Promotions conducted in “tortuous conduct” to acquire Mayorga’s services and that the boxer’s participation in Saturday’s bout could damage Mayorga’s body and his reputation.
“Specifically, Mayorga has never participated in an MMA event which substantially increases the likelihood that he will be injured in this MMA event and will result in Mayorga being unable to perform his contractual obligations,” read DKP’s motion. “Given the violent nature of MMA events, there is substantial risk and it is entirely realistic to conclude Mayorga may be injured if he participates.”
The motion also argues that if Mayorga loses to or is injured by Thomas, it will “substantially impair” the boxing organization’s ability to promote Mayorga moving forward. DKP states that it has already secured Mayorga’s next boxing assignment against current WBA World Middleweight Champion Felix Sturm in August or September 2010.
Representatives for both DKP and Shine Fight Promotions were not immediately available for comment.