Al Haymon's attempt to dismiss lawsuit denied by Federal Judge
By Joseph Correa
Wednesday, in Los Angeles federal judge John F. Walter threw out boxing mogul Al Haymon’s attempt to dismiss a lawsuit filed against him by Top Rank founder and CEO Bob Arum.
Haymon is being sued for violating anti-trust laws.
Haymon has put on 40+ fight cards on television networks NBC, CBS, ABC/ESPN , SPIKE TV and more while increasing his influence and stable of fighters to roughly 200.
Haymon’s motion to dismiss the lawsuit that is seeking hundreds of millions of dollars in damages was denied, citing a rule that read,
“Dismissal is proper only where there is either a ‘lack of a cognizable legal theory’ or ‘the absence of sufficient facts alleged under a cognizable legal theory."
Walter’s ruling also vacated a stay of discovery in the case, empowering Arum’s attorneys to now pursue needed documents from Haymon.
“Discovery will now begin,” said Daniel Petrocelli, Arum’s attorney. “That will entail the parties exchanging relevant documents and other records, that will involve third-party witnesses, having to provide evidence and deposition testimony. There will be depositions, certainly of Mr. Haymon and others.”
Haymon has been notoriously reclusive to the media and public and attempts to reach his attorney were not immediately successful.
In his order, Judge Walter wrote, “Although the Haymon defendants’ arguments are very persuasive, in light of the legal standard governing motions to dismiss … , the court concludes that the issues raised by the Haymon defendants with respect to Top Rank’s federal antitrust claims are more appropriately resolved on a motion for summary judgment.”
“The case is going forward, to discovery, with a process of gathering evidence,” Petrocelli said.
Petrocelli said Arum’s lawsuit claims Haymon is “engaging in exclusionary conduct … part of that process involves violations of the Ali Act, but it’s certainly not limited to that.”
It'll be interesting to see what the impact will be when the smoke clears. Al Haymon has revolutionized and refreshed the sport with the Premier Boxing Champions series and this may prove to be a big blow to the fans who, for the most part, have shown appreciation for the promotion's willingness to think outside the box. One thing is for sure, if the PBC is no more it'll leave a huge void for boxing fans and one more black eye for the sport we affectionately call the Sweet Science.