Canelo Alvarez has a major fight with Mexican rival Julio Cesar Chavez Jr. scheduled for May 6 at T-Mobile Arena in Las Vegas, but he also faces an ongoing battle outside the ring with All Star Boxing promoter Tuto Zabala Jr.
Alejandro Brito, an attorney for Zabala, Alvarez’s former promoter, has filed a motion in Florida’s Miami-Dade circuit court seeking to garnish $8.5 million from Alvarez’s purse for the fight with Chavez. Alvarez is due to earn at least $10 million for the fight.
In 2011, Zabala, who originally brought Alvarez from Mexico to fight in the United States, filed suit against Alvarez and Golden Boy Promotions contending that he had signed Alvarez to a four-year promotional deal in 2008 and that Golden Boy interfered and stole the fighter, who has gone on to become one of the biggest pay-per-view attractions in boxing.
It took five years for Zabala’s breach of contract suit to wind its way through the court, but he was awarded the $8.5 million judgment — plus 4.75 percent annual interest — against Alvarez in June, although the jury did not award anything to Zabala on his charges that Golden Boy tortuously interfered with his contract. The court’s final judgment was entered on March 24.
“Defendant Saul Alvarez has failed to pay the amount of the judgment as set forth in the order and it does not appear that defendant has in his possession sufficient visible property on which a levy can be made to satisfy a judgment,” Brito wrote in the motion, a copy of which was obtained by ESPN.
Included in the motion was a request from All Star Boxing that the court compel Golden Boy, the MGM Grand — host hotel of Alvarez-Chavez — T-Mobile Arena and HBO, which is producing and distributing the fight on pay-per-view, to direct money those entities owe Alvarez for the fight in order to satisfy the judgment.
Alvarez is appealing the jury verdict.
“Lacking any significant fighters to promote and desperate for publicity, All Star Boxing has decided to employ an improper legal tactic that has no chance at succeeding but has garnered a cheap headline or two,” Golden Boy spokesman Stefan Friedman said in a statement to ESPN. “We are fully confident that Canelo will prevail in his appeal and be cleared — just as Golden Boy was — forcing All Star Boxing to scramble for relevance in some other way.”