British promoter Frank Warren has confirmed he is suing Ricky Burns for ‘substantial damages’ following the announcement on Monday that the Scottish WBO lightweight beltholder has signed with rival British promoter Eddie Hearn and Matchroom Sport.
News of the impending legal action came in a short statement released on Warren’s website www.frankwarren.com immediately after a Matchroom press conference unveiling Burns as the latest addition to its stable.
It read: “Since being promoted and managed by Frank Warren, Ricky Burns has earned just approaching three quarters of a million pounds ($1.12 million) and has had 7 world title fights in just over two years.
“Ricky Burns is under binding promotional and management contracts. Following the announcement by Eddie Hearn that Ricky Burns has signed with him, W. Promotions Limited and Frank Warren are suing Burns for substantial damages.”
Burns, 29, is the second high-profile British boxer to walk out on Warren for Hearn this month after super middleweight contender George Groves’ defection last week.
A major part of Warren’s grievance is believed to center on the fact that Burns (35-2, 10 knockouts) is contracted for three more fights under his promotion. One of those was supposed to be a unification showdown against IBF holder Miguel Vazquez on March 16 at Wembley, London.
The postponement of this showdown until April 20, because of a virus picked up by the Mexican, appears to have been the final straw for Burns, who had a planned defense in December cancelled twice when opponents withdrew at short notice.
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