Boxer Austin Trout appeals District Court ruling moving Ali Act claims to arbitration

February 14, 2019

Boxer Austin Trout has filed a Notice of Appeal of a District Court ruling which moved his case against the World Boxing Organization to arbitration.

Late last year, Trout brought a Motion for Reconsideration hoping that the Court would alter its decision which includes claims which violate the Muhammad Ali Boxing Reform Act.  Among the issues was Trout’s claim that the rankings system overlooked the boxer.

The case, which was sent to the District Court of Puerto Rico because of where the promotion was headquartered dismissed the case citing an arbitration agreement in the WBO’s contract.  Trout argued that the lawsuit should remain in court because the WBO waived its right to the arbitration.  It also claimed that the Ali Act violations should remain in litigation and could not be arbitrated as an arbitration would allow the WBO to be bot a party and judge.

However, the Court in a minute order, without even a formal opinion, dismissed Trout’s Motion for Reconsideration of the verdict.

Notice of Appeal by on Scribd

Payout Perspective:

This case is not as salacious as the UFC antitrust lawsuit but may have as important implications for boxing and the Muhammad Ali Act Boxing Reform Act.  If this case is allowed to proceed in arbitration, it will be precedent that promotions may use as a workaround the Ali Act.  If promotional contracts indicate that disputes must be decided via arbitration, it takes away the threat of possible litigation under the act.  Moreover, if the promotion can be the arbitrator of the matter, boxers will undoubtedly see that this is unfair.  For promoters, most contracts include arbitration clauses to negate the threat of big legal bills and potential jury verdicts.  If promotions see the Trout case as precedent to craft contracts to include arbitration clauses to litigate all claims including Ali Act claims, it circumvents the bite the Ali Act may have had.

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