Thursday, November 30, 2023  |


Lee to face Harness, Rigondeaux update (w/ documents)

Fighters Network


Notre Dame graduate and unbeaten Chicago-based light heavyweight prospect Mike Lee will likely face Paul Harness, of Saint Joseph, Mo., according to Top Rank matchmaker, Brad Goodman.

Lee’s bout has been scheduled for the undercard of an HBO Pay Per View-televised main between Julio Cesar Chavez Jr. and Sergio Martinez on Sept. 15 at the Thomas and Mack Center in Las Vegas.

A 25-year-old prospect, Lee (10-0, 6 knockouts) has become known for appearing in Subway commercials, and will try to follow up his second-round knockout of Tyler Seever on Aug. 4.

Harness, 29, is 4-3-1 with three knockouts, including stoppages in the first and second rounds of his past two outings.

Harness will be making his 175-pound debut against Lee, having previously fought as a middleweight and a super middleweight.

In other news, the planned bout featuring WBA junior featherweight beltholder and two-time Olympic gold medalist Guillermo Rigondeaux (10-0, 8 KOs) and Robert Marroquin (22-1, 15 KOs) is officially off, according to attorney Pat English.

English, who represents Rigondeaux’s Irish promoter, Gary Hyde, said he has received the written order from Miami-Dade County judge David Miller on Thursday which forbids Rigondeaux from participating because the bout was not approved by Hyde.


The order, obtained by, has denied Rigondeaux’s motion to strike Hyde’s contract, and enforced Hyde’s request for a two-year injunction against Rigondeaux “prohibiting him from working in the boxing industry except under the management of Gary Hyde.”

“It says exactly what the judge said during the hearing. It’s an injunction which specifically enjoins the fight on Sept. 15,” said English. “I didn’t expect the judge to actually sign it until next week, but he has apparently signed it. I just literally received it 15 seconds ago. So that means that the fight is off.”

Hyde contends that his contract has been in place with the fighter since he defected from Cuba in 2007. Top Rank had placed the bout on the Chavez Jr.-Martinez card with no contract, he says, and Top Rank scheduled the fight without his permission in spite of “lucrative offers” from other promoters.

“There has been no reaching out by Top Rank to negotiate,” said English. “I have talked to attorneys from Top Rank, but they haven’t given me any terms. I have spoken to both Daniel Pancheri, the in-house counsel for Top Rank, and David Marroso. Mr. Rigondeaux is enjoined from participating in any bouts which have not been negotiated by and approved by Gary Hyde, specifically and including Sept. 15.”

In a recent development, Rigondeaux’s Miami-based attorney, Guy Spiegelman, has informed that he has filed a motion in the Miami court which seeks to allow the native of Cuban to go through with the fight.

Top Rank lawyer David Marroso, who is a senior attorney with the Los Angeles-based O’Melveny and Myers law firm, said he is awaiting what transpires with Rigondeaux’s most recent move.

“We understand Guillermo’s attorney filed an emergency motion with the court that contains new information the court was not aware of,” said Marroso. “We are waiting to see what the court does before making any decisions.”

Rigondeaux is coming off June’s fifth-round knockout of Philadelphia’s Teon Kennedy (17-2-2, 7 KOs), whom he floored five times during a dominating performance on the undercard of Tim Bradley’s split-decision over Manny Pacquiao at the MGM Grand Garden Arena in Las Vegas.

Prior to facing Kennedy, Rigondeaux scored knockouts over a pair of previously unbeaten fighters in Willie Casey and Rico Ramos.

Below is the order from Judge Miller:



Photos by Chris Farina, Top Rank

Lem Satterfield can be reached at [email protected]