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article imageMediator restrains Nonito Donaire from fighting under Golden Boy

By Leo Reyes     Mar 30, 2011 in Sports
WBC/WBO Bantamweight champion Nonito Dionaire, who became an overnight boxing celebrity with his scintillating performance over Fernando Montiel last February 19, has been restrained from fighting under Golden Boy Promotions (GBP).
Judge Daniel Weinstein, acting as mediator on the case, ruled in favor of Top Rank saying Donaire had a live contract when he signed up with Golden Boy Promotions.
Thinking his contract with Arum's Top Rank Promotions has expired, Donaire signed up with Oscar de la Hoya's Golden Boy Promotions for an undisclosed amount. Boxing insiders say Donaire got a hefty signing fee and a guaranteed million dollar purse for 2011.
Top Rank honcho Bob Arum, unfazed with what has transpired between Donaire and GBP, has threatened legal action, saying Top Rank has a live contract with Donaire until 2013.
"We have a valid, enforceable contract and we'll pursue our legal rights against Donaire, Golden Boy and anyone else who is involved. We are absolutely confident we will prevail," Arum said.
The Top Rank chairman stressed the three-year contract has a stipulation that included a one-year option.
He said it also specifies that it will be extended in case medical suspensions are administered on Donaire, meaning periods during which the Filipino-American boxer is not allowed to fight owing to prolonged injury or cuts. Arum pointed out Donaire had several such suspensions.
"Adding in the time we lost, it pushes the contract to 2013," Arum said. "So what this kid has to do now is to live up to the contract."
Philiboxing's Ronnie Nathanisayselz says , "What Weinstein said in effect was that Golden Boy wrongfully signed Donaire to a four-year promotional agreement in the face of Top Rank's agreement with the up-and-coming star.
"The Arbitrator's ruling paves the way for Top Rank to promote Donaire's next bout which is scheduled for May 28, possibly against WBA champion Anselmo Moreno which is a fight Top Rank had started arranging last month before Golden Boy signed Donaire."
Top Rank's attorney Daniel Petrocelli stated, "We are pleased with Judge Weinstein's carefully considered decision. Top Rank hopes it can put the lawyers and legal fight behind it and return to doing what it does best—promoting the most talented boxers and the most entertaining boxing matches in the world today."
The two promotional companies have been in a similar situation in the past when Golden Boy owner Oscar de la Hoya got Manny Pacquiao to fight under his promotions company not knowing the Filipino boxer has not been cleared by Top Rank where he was under contract to fight.
Richard Schaefer, CEO of Golden Boy Promotions, has not issued an official statement on the ruling by Judge Weinstein.
Donaire and his wife, Rachel, left Manila for the United States last Saturday to confer with his own lawyers but did not leave any word behind regarding his sticky situation.
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