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.

Payout Perspective:

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.

3 Responses to “Algieri situation presents problem with Ali Act”

  1. John S. on April 14th, 2016 11:35 PM

    Jason, his problem with the act is that the disclosure of revenue doesn’t have to revealed until weigh ins which is too late for him to use in negotiations. (And it should be noted that neither he nor the promoters are claiming that they’re denying him this information) so while it would be preferable for a boxer or fighter to know this information well in advance it is still much better that it is disclosed to him at all compared to not at all.

  2. Jason Cruz on April 15th, 2016 6:54 AM

    I agree that disclosures are key and I do think the Act’s intent was to provide all the relevant information to the fighter. But, I believe the Act could include a period in which the promoter must provide the information to the fighter. It doesn’t have to be when they sign the contract for the fight because that leaves the promoter at a disadvantage as well since the financials may not be known at that time. Algieri agreed upon how much he was going to be paid with the promoter. I think the issue (and here’s where the debate may be) is whether the fighter needs to know how much the promoter is or will be making. Algieri is saying he is at a point in his career where he should be more than 50/50. But, how will he know this if he doesn’t know the disclosures? Its a great topic to debate.

  3. Wil on April 15th, 2016 8:46 AM

    Excellent article. I believe Algieri has been at odds with Star for a while. Seems to be no secret he would rather part ways with that outfit for DiBella. And I agree with Algieri, he should be making more than a 50% split, he has twice headlined a PBC card and is a former WBO Jr. Welterweight Champion who had a win over Provodnikov on Showtime. He is too big of a fighter for Star Boxing, that is really what the problem is. That just isnt the biggest outfit out there.

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