Algieri situation presents problem with Ali Act
April 14, 2016
While there are many proponents that endorse expanding the Muhammad Ali Act to include the protection of MMA fighters, the federal law has its issues. The case of Chris Algieri provides a good example.
Algieri, the New York fighter that is best known for his upset win over Ruslan Provodnikov which scored him his big money fight against Manny Pacquiao in Macau, China is fighting this weekend as part of a PBC on NBC TV card. But despite his main event fight against rising star Errol Spence, Jr., Algieri is at odds with his promoter over pay.
Yahoo! Sports reported back in February that Algieri did not know how much of a percentage he was actually receiving from his promoter, Joe DeGuardia of Star Boxing, because the promoter has not revealed it to him. Although a purse amount was agreed upon by the promoter and fighter, the fighter is afforded the right to know the amount a promoter receives from the event and thus the fighter should know the percentage he receives from a fight. In his last fight, he made 30 percent of the promoter/fighter split in December 2015 – a win against Erick Bone. Algieri believes at this point in his career his split should be more than 50 percent of the purse.
Under the Muhammad Ali Act, specifically section 13(b), promoters must inform boxers of: (1) the amounts of any compensation or consideration that a promoter has contracted to receive from such match; (2) all fees, charges, and expenses that will be assessed by or through the promoter on the boxer pertaining to the event, including any portion of the boxer’s purse that the promoter will receive…” and (3) any reduction in a boxer’s purse contrary to a previous agreement between the promoter and the boxer or a purse bid held for the event.
Algieri admits to having problems with obtaining this information from Star Boxing. As the Yahoo report notes, the Act is silent as to when a promoter must disclose the information. This, puts fighters like Algieri at a disadvantage. While the promoter might be in compliance by giving his fighter the information at the last minute, it is not within the spirit of the law which was to protect fighters from these types of abuses. A promoter might not reveal the information to his fighter for a variety of reasons. Namely, they are just withholding the information to prevent a fighter from threatening not to fight as a way to demand more money. DeGuardia indicated to Newsday that he is exercising his right not to reveal the information until Friday’s weigh-ins. His attorney claims that Algieri’s public grievance is a ploy to renegotiate.
For those wondering, according to ESPN’s Dan Rafael, Algieri will make $325,000 this weekend.
— Dan Rafael (@danrafaelespn) April 14, 2016
Algieri’s situation may not be uncommon in the world of boxing. If you recall from the Pacquiao/Algieri 24/7 lead-up to the fight, the New York native drove an old car and lived with his parents. Despite the Pacquiao payday (Algieri made over $1M), it’s clear that Algieri is still fighting for what he believes he deserves as a fighter. This example shows why the Ali Act, for the good that it can and should provide, there are issues with the practical implementations of the law. If the Ali Act is to expand to MMA, there should be amendments to the Act to ensure that the purpose of the law is followed.