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CANELO FEINTS IN DAZN/GBP LAWSUIT?

By Paul Magno | September 15, 2020
CANELO FEINTS IN DAZN/GBP LAWSUIT?

On Friday, Saul Alvarez's mega-lawsuit against both his broadcaster DAZN and promoter Golden Boy was dismissed by the U.S. District Court in the Central District of California. 

This, however, does not mean that the lawsuit is dead or necessarily unfounded. 

District judge Percy Anderson, who reviewed the case and ultimately dismissed it, did so for reasons more akin to clerical errors or filing mistakes by Alvarez's party. To spare readers the mind-twisting legalese , the honorable Judge Anderson basically said that the business entities being sued by Alvarez were not properly identified in the complaint and so the court didn't have proper jurisdiction to hear the case.

Alvarez and his attorneys, The Maloney Firm, have until September 28 to re-file the lawsuit with revised clarity. 

Now, here's where some wild, but maybe not so crazy, speculation comes in.

Did Alvarez and his attorneys make this mistake intentionally? Was this a way to file a lawsuit without actually FILING a lawsuit? In other words, did they fire the first shot of the battle, but also allow for a clean, painless surrender from the enemy?

The Maloney Firm is no fly-by-night, ambulance-chasing law firm advertising on The Jerry Springer Show. These guys are big and serious. Their partners represent Fortune 100 companies and all sorts of diverse, high-profile clients. Greg Smith, who is Alvarez's long-time attorney, works with The Maloney Firm and is also a legit major player with supreme chops in handling business disputes. 

Isn't it a bit odd that these legal big shots would make such a fundamental error in filing?

Maybe, possibly-- and this is pure conjecture from the jaded mind of this rabble-rousing boxing scribe-- they made this filing mistake on purpose in an effort to juke the other sides into conceding without a firefight and without the mess that would surely come from battling this in court. Maybe this was a way to say, "We're serious about this, but we're giving you a couple more weeks to find a way to back out graciously (or become more accommodating to Alvarez's desires) ."

DAZN's position is fairly untenable in all this mess. They are not living up to the terms of the contract they signed, peeved by something (apparently, Alvarez's opponent selection) that is not enforceable by the terms of their deal. And, assuming there is no provision for underpaying their fighters due to pandemic-related issues, they have no legal ground to stand on when it comes to not honoring the financial terms of their contract.

Golden Boy, meanwhile, is in a real bind. They're being sued by Alvarez for, essentially, lying in their role as intermediary between Alvarez and DAZN. They are accused of intentionally misrepresenting to Alvarez the terms of their deal with the streaming service and are also accused of making false promises to DAZN about what Alvarez would deliver to them -- basically, a third Golovkin fight-- should they sign him. One could assume, if everything is as messed up as portrayed by media reports, that a lawsuit from DAZN, against Golden Boy, may be forthcoming as well. 

It would definitely be in Golden Boy's best interest to settle Alvarez's lawsuit, cut him free if there can be no mending of fences, and let the fighter hammer things out with DAZN, directly. If they step back and the two other parties work something out without them involved, they can move on and, at least, stay alive in the business. 

On the other hand, if Golden Boy takes a 9-figure (or even 8-figure and maybe 7-figure) "L" from either Alvarez or DAZN, they're done. Their biggest star will be gone. Their biggest broadcast partner will be gone. And you can bet that the remaining "name" fighters on their roster will be itching to leave a company suddenly with no TV output deal or access to TV money.

Maybe the hope from the Alvarez side is that one, or both, defendants will step aside and that the messiness of a long, drawn-out lawsuit can be avoided. Maybe Canelo just wants Golden Boy out of the picture, finally, after a few years now of varying levels of disharmony. After all, Alvarez has pretty much been his own boss for the longest time, anyway, and definitely doesn't need a promoter at this point. 

Again, this is all conjecture. Maybe one could even call it a conspiracy theory. That doesn't make it wrong, though. Stay tuned.

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