Manager Rolando Arellano has informed RingTV.com that he has filed for an arbitration hearing with the California State Athletic Commission against former welterweight titleholder Victor Ortiz, charging that the fighter is refusing to pay him for services provided relating to Ortiz’s Showtime-televised ninth-round knockout loss to Josesito Lopez on June 23 at the Staples Center in Los Angeles.
“I was called into Victor’s accountant’s office and informed that he does not want to pay us. I was told that he has put a stop-payment on all of our checks,” Arellano said of Ortiz (29-4-2, 22 knockouts), who suffered a broken right jaw against Lopez (30-4, 23 KOs), and has since parted ways with trainer Danny Garcia.
“The reasoning behind it, as I understand it, is that maybe my license may have been expired. It’s sad. It’s f–king disturbing. I made that kid more money than he knows what to do with, a $100,000 minimum, and he’s done this s–t to all of his team.”
Neither Ortiz, CSAC executive director George Dodd, who has announced his resignation effective on July 31, nor CSAC inspector Che Gueverra could be reached for an immediate comment.
But Arellano’s Orange-county based attorney, Bruce Zabarauskas, told RingTV.com that the commission has notified him that a hearing is likely to happen in August.
“We filed for arbitration with the California State Athletic Commission against Victor Ortiz yesterday. We’re seeking a payment of Rolando’s management fee for Victor’s fight against Josesito Lopez. We’ve filed arbitration with the California commission for a determination that Rolando still is entitled to his managment fee,” said Zabarauskas, of the Crowell and Moring lawfirm.
“There is a specific provision of the commission’s code which provides that if the manager’s license is no longer valid for any reason then the contract becomes null and void after receiving notice from the commission. But Rolando had never received any notice from the commssion that his license had expired, and it’s my understanding that the commission doesn’t send out renewal notices on their licenses.”
Zabarauskas said Arellano is requesting “the amount would be for $192,00 out of Victor’s $800,000 purse,” and that the former manager’s legal expenses be assessed against Ortiz.
“Our view is that he is trying not to pay a management fee that he had agreed to, and that he had been paying in the past,” said Zabarauskas. “But all of a sudden, he lost the fight, and he’s decided that he wants to come up with a reason not to pay the management fee.”
Zabarauskas said that after Arellano received his check for the management fee on Saturday night, Ortiz put a stop on the payment.
“Victor stopped payment on the fee on Monday because he says that Rolando’s manager’s license has expired. We went and immediately checked it out, and found that out that it had, in fact, expired, so we immediately renewed it,” said Zabarauskas.
“Obviously, if they stopped payment, they knew beforehand that it had expired and they didn’t tell Rolando. But Rolando did the work, he got him an incredible purse of $800,000 for fighting Josesito Lopez, and he just decided that he doesn’t want to pay his management fee.”
Arellano said that he “negotiated an $800,000 purse for” Ortiz for the bout against Lopez, and that Ortiz earned a career-high $2.2 million for his fourth-round knockout loss to Floyd Mayweather Jr. that dethroned Ortiz as WBC welterweight titleholder in September.
As part of an operation to stablize Ortiz’s broken jaw, the fighter’s mouth was wired shut and a metal plate and screws have been inserted. Although the wires have since been removed, the metal plate and screws remain during a recovery period that is expected to take up to six months.
Ortiz, 25, was to face unbeaten WBC junior middleweight titleholder Saul “Canelo” Alvarez (40-0-1, 29 KOs) in a Showtime-televised clash on Sept. 15. But instead of Ortiz, it will be Lopez taking on Alvarez at the MGM Grand in Las Vegas.
Photo by Naoki Fukuda
Photo by Tom Hogan Photos, Golden Boy Promotions
Lem Satterfield can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org