This past Saturday’s win by Adrien Broner over Paulie Malignaggi for the WBA welterweight title attracted an audience of 1.3 million viewers, the second-largest viewing audience for a fight on Showtime since the network began tracking individual fights in 2009, the network announced on Wednesday.
Although Broner (27-0, 22 knockouts) failed to earn his seventh straight stoppage win against Malignaggi (32-5, 7 KOs), he did manage to end the 32-year-old fighter’s five-bout winning streak after rising two weight classes from lightweight.
In addition, Broner’s win over Malignaggi made him a three-division titlewinner, having earned his first belt — the WBO’s junior lightweight — by third-round knockout over Vicente Martin Rodriguez in November of 2011.
A judge in the Central District of California, on Monday, voided two years of James Kirkland’s five-year contract with Golden Boy, ruling that their agreement will end in October of this year rather than October of 2015, according to an order obtained by RingTV.com.
Click here for the full ruling, which reads, in part, “contracts between boxers and managers and between boxers or managers and licensed clubs shall be executed on printed forms approved by the commission. The commission may recognize or enforce a contract not on its printed form if entered into in another jurisdiction. No other contract or agreement may be recognized or enforced by the commission.
“Unless otherwise directed by the commission, a contract between a boxer and a manager or a boxer and a promoter is not valid unless both parties appear at the same time before the commission or a commission representative and it receives written approval. No contract shall be approved between a manager and a boxer or a promoter and a boxer for a period exceeding five years. No option to extend the initial period shall be permitted.”
Kirkland was represented by Miami-based attorney Sekou Gary, who gained free-agency status for former featherweight titleholder Yuriorkis Gamboa after the unbeaten fighter reached an out-of-court settlement with Top Rank that allowed him to do so.
“The Judge ruled that Golden Boy’s contract extensions were illegal. So, instead of having him under contract through October of 2015, Kirkland will be free from Golden Boy on October 15, 2013,” stated Gary in an an e-mail on Monday.
“Trial is still set for October 8, 2013 to resolve the remaining issues. Kirkland is suing Golden Boy for being paid less than his contracted minimum on three occasions, and Golden Boy is counter-suing Kirkland for suing them… This is a major victory for the fighter.”
Representing the case for Golden Boy was Jeffrey Spitz, of the Los Angeles-based Lerman, Pointer and Spitz firm.
“The court upheld the promotional agreement against the overall challenge that Kirkland brought, claiming that it was no longer enforceable, but the court also found that, under California rules and regulations, which govern this contract, that it can’t be more than five years,” said Spitz.
“So the provisions of the contract which provide that it could be potentially be extended for more than five years and the separate contract extension agreement the judge found were not enforceable because they violate the five year rule. I think that the significance of all of this is, that James Kirkland still is under contract with us for the duration of his initial agreement, which will run until October this year.”
Kirkland (31-1, 27 KOs), who has been out of the ring since winning by disqualification over Carlos Molina in March of last year, signed with Golden Boy in 2008, according to Gary.
Kirkland did over a year in prison for robbery after he built a professional record of 11-0, fighting under a contract he signed with Duva Boxing when he was 17. But the Duvas dropped Kirkland when he was found guilty of robbing a man coming out of a convenience store in 2003.
Kirkland spent another year in jail after pleading guilty to gun possession in April of 2009. He was arrested and jailed again on June 15 of this year for allegedly assaulting his girlfriend.
“Even though you have a guy who was in jail for the time that he was in jail, and then, was released to a halfway house and so forth, and unavailable to box,” said Spitz, “and then, came to the promoter and said, ‘hey, I’d like to extend this for the time that I was unavailable,’ which was good for his career, at the time, and his managers agreed to it, and recommended it, the judge said, ‘Sorry, you can’t do that under California law.'”
RICKY BURNS TO DEFEND AGAINST RAYMUNDO BELTRAN ON
Scottish WBO lightweight beltholder Ricky Burns (36-2, 11 KOs) will pursue his 22nd consecutive win, his ninth stoppage victory during the run and his third consecutive knockout win against Raymundo Beltran (28-6, 17 KOs) at the Scottish Exhibition Center in Glasgow, Scotland, on Sept. 7, according to reports.
Burns (35-2, 10 knockouts), 30, is coming off knockouts in the fourth and ninth rounds over Kevin Mitchell and Jose A. Gonzalez in September of last year and May, respectively.
Beltran, 31, scored a unanimous decision over Alejandro Rodriguez in April, and will be after his fourth straight win against Burns. Beltran’s previous two victories were by majority and unanimous decision over Hank Lundy and Ji-Hoon Kim in July and December of last year, respectively.
JIM LAMPLEY’S ‘FIGHT GAME’ TO FOLLOW GENNADY GOLOVKIN-MATTHEW MACKLIN
Another edition of HBO’s The Fight Game, hosted by four-time Sport Emmy Award-winning broadcaster Jim Lampley, will air on Saturday immediately after the 9:45 p.m. ET/PT broadcast of WBA middleweight titleholder Gennady Golovkin (26-0, 23 KOs) pursures his 14th straight stoppage victory against top-10 contender Matthew Macklin (29-4, 20 KOs) in Mashantucket, Conn.
Photo by Naoki Fukuda
Photos by Tom Hogan, Hogan Photos, Golden Boy Promotions
Photo by Scott Heavey, Gettyimages
Lem Satterfield can be reached at email@example.com