Canelo Alvarez is scheduled to testify Friday in All-Star Boxing trial
Canelo Alvarez is expected to take the stand on Friday in Florida and testify in the explosive civil trial between promoter Felix “Tuto” Zabala Jr. of All-Star Boxing and members of Golden Boy Promotions, according to a lawyer for Zabala.
Zabala is seeking millions of dollars in punitive damages from Alvarez, Golden Boy and Golden Boy CEO Oscar De La Hoya for allegedly stealing away Alvarez while he was under contract to All-Star Boxing, according to a lawsuit filed in 2010.
So far, the trial has included no “Perry Mason moment” with little courtroom drama, according to All-Star Boxing lead counsel Alejandro Brito. But, he said, that’s expected to change on Friday when Alvarez, the RING and former WBC middleweight champion, is scheduled to take the stand, Brito said. Golden Boy lead attorney Michael Olin could not be reached on Thursday.
“(Alvarez is) a name defendant, so his testimony is critical to our case and their defense,” Brito told RingTV.com. “He’s going to have to testify to what he did and he’s going to have to provide some answers to questions regarding why he signed the agreement with All-Star Boxing and his conduct moving forward in terms of fighting in the fights that he did while he was signed under contract to All-Star Boxing. I think the jury wants to hear from him as to the circumstances surrounding the signing of the agreement with All-Star Boxing and his performance in nine fights thereafter.”
The trial got underway on May 23 in Miami-Dade County Circuit Court and is expected to go another week with Oscar De La Hoya possibly testifying next week, according to Brito, who said closing arguments could come next Friday.
All-Star Boxing contends it signed Alvarez to a four-year exclusive promotional agreement in 2008 and that Golden Boy swiped him away a year later. Alvarez has gone on to become one of the sport’s biggest stars under De La Hoya’s guidance. Golden Boy rejects Zabala’s claims, describing them as nothing more than a “money-grab” to “cash-in on Canelo’s success,” a spokesman for the company told RingTV.com last month.
Golden Boy has alleged in court documents that Alvarez was defrauded into signing the agreement with All-Star Boxing because he didn’t speak English and failed to comprehend what he was signing. Golden Boy also has alleged in court documents that the promotional agreement Alvarez signed was fraudulently filled in by All-Star Boxing. All-Stay Boxing denies these allegations.
Brito didn’t sound as if a settlement between the two sides is in the works. “It’s difficult to say because a settlement is contingent on the sides talking,” Brito said. “And even if we were talking, I wouldn’t share that with you or anyone else, no offense. But it is what it is. If they make an offer — great. If they don’t, then there’s nothing for us to consider other than for us to move forward with the trial.”
Brito said the only other boldface name to testify so far has been Zabala. “Oscar, we anticipate will be on sometime next week,” Brito said. Former Golden Boy CEO Richard Schaefer, who resigned from the company in 2014, was originally on the witness list to testify. He is no longer required to take the stand, Brito said.
“The thing with Schaefer is that he’s no longer with Golden Boy,” Brito said. “There’s no way for either side to require him to appear, and so he’s not going to necessarily voluntarily come and testify. There’s no real purpose. So he will not be testifying.”
Alvarez vacated his WBC middleweight title last month, citing a desire to have more time to negotiate a big-money fight with IBF/WBA/WBC middleweight champion Gennady Golovkin. The sides aren’t expected to talk until after the trial.