Highest-Paid Athletes list yields McGregor and 5 boxers in top 100

June 13, 2019

Earlier this week Forbes.com put out its annual list of the World’s Highest-Paid Athletes.  There are a handful of boxers and one MMA fighter on the list.

As you might suspect, Conor McGregor was the lone MMA fighter to make the list.  He was the 21st highest paid fighter with $32 million in salary and $15 million in endorsements for a total of $47 million.  Notably, McGregor renewed his sponsorship deal with Reebok which pays him $5 million per year.  He also received a base salary of $3 million for his fight at UFC 229. It was the only one between June to June.

Canelo Alvarez was the highest paid boxer coming in on number 4 on the list.  Forbes has him down with a salary of $94 million and endorsement of $2 million. The salary is based on his two fights from June 2018 to June 2019.  The latest being a victory over Daniel Jacobs this past May.

Next on the list is Anthony Joshua as the heavyweight landed 13th on the list making $55 million overall with $45 million being purses and the other $10 million being endorsements.  Joshua suffered an upset loss to Andy Ruiz.  Despite the loss, Under Armour, a Joshua sponsor, said the defeat did not deter its promotion of the fighter.

Deontay Wilder comes in at number 56 earning $30.5 million overall with $30 million in purses and another $500,000 in sponsor deals.  He’s made $20 million from his last two fights despite turning down a bigger, more lucrative deal from DAZN.

Manny Pacquiao and GGG round out the list landing at 92 and 95 respectively.  For Pacquiao, his descent from this list is interesting.  He has made $26 million this past year with $2 million of that coming from sponsorship deals.  GGG has made $25.5 million overall with $2.5 million of that from sponsorships.

Payout Perspective:

 The list is highlighted by 3 soccer players at the top followed by Alvarez.  This reflects the need to have international appeal if you want to be one of the world’s highest paid athletes.  It also shows the popularity of soccer.  As for the combat sports athletes on this list, its hard to envision another MMA fighter getting close to this list.  Certainly, Ronda Rousey made this list when she was active, but at this point, there is no dramatic star power outside of McGregor for the sport.

UFC 238 Payout Perspective

June 12, 2019

Welcome to another edition of Payout Perspective. This time we take a look at UFC 238 taking place at the United Center in Chicago, Illinois.

Cejudo dispatches Moraes and becomes double champ

Henry Cejudo recovered from a shaky first round to defeat Marlon Moraes with at TKO in the third round of the main event at UFC 238 to win the vacant UFC Bantamweight title. With the win, Cejudo holds the UFC Flyweight title and the Bantamweight title.

The fight showed Cejudo’s growth and maturity of an MMA fighter. The first round saw Moraes getting worked by Moraes with leg kicks. Cejudo seemed a little tentative in the first round but pressed Moraes in rounds 2 and 3 to get the victory.

Shevchenko leg kick KOs Eye

Valentina Shevchenko showed why she is the Flyweight champion. She almost submitted Jessica Eye with a Kimura in the first round, but used a perfectly timed leg kick to the head to knock Eye out. It was a very scary couple minutes as Eye lay on the mat unconscious.

The broadcast showed how Shevchenko set Eye up for the KO with leg kicks to the body drawing Eye’s guard low. Then, instead of a kick to the body Shevchenko went to the head as Eye braced for a body blow. A perfect setup.

Attendance, gate and bonuses

The event at the United Center drew 16,038 for a gate of over $2 million.  The bonuses went to Cejudo, Shevchenko, Ferguson and Cerrone.

Prefight Hype

UFC 238’s return to Chicago saw Henry Cejudo throwing out the first pitch at a Cubs game. He also showed up at a media luncheon with “bodyguards.” At the face offs during media week, Cejudo wore a costume to face off against Moraes. Shaun Al-Shatti explained it here:

Cejudo’s act may be just that to get him some publicity.  But, if he continues to improve and dominate opponents, he may be bringing a throne to his next fight face-off.

UFC Embedded was sponsored by Toyo Tires.

Sponsorships

Octagon sponsors included Toyo Tires, Motel 6, P3, Nemiroff, Modelo, Poker Stars, Devour, PariMatch, Monster, Hudson Shipping and Monster Energy in the middle.

Modelo had the fighter checkpoint.

Interestingly enough, no real signs of the UFC’s newest sponsor, Aurora Cannabis.

Despite his loss, Donald Cerrone is one of the few UFC fighters with his own Monster Energy sponsorship with

Ratings

The UFC Prelims on ESPN did its best since March scoring 964,000 viewers.  It served as a lead-in for Top Rank Boxing.  The UFC main card went up against the return of GGG on DAZN.

Odds and Ends

The Tony Ferguson-Donald Cerrone fight was everything you could have wanted until Cowboy blew his nose.  Ferguson looked sharp and if the fight have lasted longer, probably would have won a decision over Cerrone.  He should face the winner of Khabib-Dustin.

Tai Tuivasa was likely the star of the Embeddeds based on his outgoing personality.  However, he’s now lost two in a row as he lost a unanimous decision to Blagoy Ivanov.

There were some great performances on the undercards including Eddie Wineland, Calvin Kattar and Aljamain Sterling.

Sterling had a good week:

It was interesting to see Moraes get upset at a heckler at media day face offs.  It seemed over the top although you may believe that he was thrown off by it considering this was supposed to be media at the event.

Jessica Eye did not have a good start to fight week as she had problems with here airline.

The broadcast crew is using more technology in explaining a lot of the strategy and moves going on in the Octagon.  A prime example saw Daniel Cormier go step-by-step explaining how Shevchenko was able to get a clear headkick over Eye.

Is this good or bad?

UFC 238 google searches drew over 500,000 for Saturday and another 500,000 on Sunday.  Tony Ferguson had 100,000 himself on Saturday night

Conclusion

UFC 238 was a very entertaining show.  It went up against Top Rank Boxing on ESPN and the return of GGG on DAZN.   But the prelim ratings were up which may equate to a better PPV buy rate.  Reports indicate that the buys since going to ESPN+ have been lower than when on satellite and cable providers.

UFC 235 (pre-ESPN+ only PPVs):  520K-650K

UFC 236:  >100K buys

UFC 237:  ~70K buys

With that being reported, its hard to think that UFC 238 did better than UFC 236 although one might be generous and state that the buys were likely around 100,000.

Top Rank Boxing draws 799,000 viewers on ESPN Saturday

June 11, 2019

Top Rank Boxing on ESPN drew 799,000 viewers Saturday night per Nielsen via ShowBuzz Daily.  The event drew 314,000 viewers in the A18-49 demo.

The telecast, which featured Oscar Valdez defeating Jason Sanchez to retain his featherweight title drew a 0.56 share.

The event came after the UFC 238 Prelims which drew 964,000 viewers.  It drew 489,000 viewers in the A18-49 demo and a 0.63 share.

Payout Perspective:

Based on the bare numbers, the numbers reflect little drop off from the UFC as a lead-in.  Certainly, you have little crossover audience although the hope for the UFC and the network is that those that watched the prelims buy the PPV on ESPN+ but if they didn’t, tune into boxing.  The viewership numbers for Top Rank are promising considering there was a self-imposed competition with MMA on Saturday night.

The Athletic expands to combat sports, will fans subscribe?

June 10, 2019

The Athletic unveiled another vertical in its ever-expanding sports journalism business with coverage in combat sports.  The expansion gives the sport greater coverage but will the company’s foray into combat sports be rewarded with an uptick in subscribers.

Last week MMA coverage was introduced with MMA writing veterans brought on to write about the sport.  Today, Lance Pugmire, Mike Coppinger and Rafe Bartholemew announced that they are moving to The Athletic to write about boxing.  Pugmire wrote for The Los Angeles Times, Coppinger, for The Ring, and Barthomew a former writer for Grantland.  Notably, I interviewed Rafe back in 2010 about his first book at basketball in the Phillipines.

The expansion into covering MMA amd boxing was foreseeable.  Memorial Day weekend saw the unveiling of the company’s expansion into motorsports.  It also started to cover the WNBA when the season began in late May. With the company’s core business based on subscribers, robust content plus good writing, they are banking on an audience of hardcore sports fans that want a little more than the box score.

The Athletic has disrupted traditional sports journalism.  The standard business model for web sites with content is based on the selling of ads.  But The Athletic is solely based on subscribers as their main revenue source.

It hired away some of the biggest writers in the industry from other outlets and started a focus the localizing of journalism which hone in on certain cities and their teams as the writers gave a more detailed look at the teams including more features.

The startup was a creation of the Summer 2016 class coming of the Y Combinator – think summer camp for young entrepreneurs where they learn how to cultivate their ideas and most importantly, meet investors.

The company premised its business plan on the belief that there is still demand for “truly local content, written by sportswriters” with established credentials and contacts in the industry they cover according to a NY Times interview.  It started in Chicago where they hired the top sportswriters full-time and gave them a quota of writing quality, original content each day.

Perhaps the most notable early hires once it expanded past Chicago was the San Jose Mercury’s Tim Kawakami and veteran baseball writer Ken Rosenthal.  It also hired Seth Davis and Stewart Mandel.  Both known for their knowledge of college basketball and football respectively.

At a time when journalism was thought to be dead, The Athletic has shown it is not.  In a 2016 TechCrunch article, Alex Mather, co-founder of the company, said that 80% of readers view every article that is produced and subscribers spend an average of 90 minutes a week reading the content.  You can conclude that there is a base of fans that still want to read about the sports they follow and are willing to pay.

In addition to the written content, one of its main selling points is the quick load times for articles which, in a ‘right now’ society, is helpful.

Another aspect of The Athletic is that writers are incentivized to promote their work and build subscribers via social media as pay is tied toward the number of subscribers that they recruit.

Access is another linchpin for The Athletic.  With hiring established sportswriters, it gained instant credibility with teams and athletes.  NBA and MLB broadcasts refer to The Athletic articles all of the time.  Reporting on sporting events and interviewing players is just one component of The Athletic’s writing.  Long-form articles with intense detail and storytelling are a tell-tale characteristic of the web site.  This part of the web site has allowed them to be more creative and less-driven by press releases and/or PR pitches than with other sites demanding clicks.

Another facet of The Athletic that is pleasing to readers is no ads.  No sponsored content or banner ads that detract from the site.  Readers are asked at the end of the article if they find the content, “Awesome,” “Solid,” or “Meh,” which one might assume will factor into future content.

With the written content, it was only time before podcasts came along.  There are several podcasts on its platform and one might suspect MMA podcasts in the near future.

The Athletic has been a success since its launch.  As of late last year, it had over 100,000 paid subscribers with 60% under the age of 34 and a 90 percent retention rate for those retaining their subscription past the initial introductory offer.

Will this work for the MMA audience that have been accustomed to twitter for its news and looking on social media for the latest dust-ups between fighters?  Moreover, a fan base which is very supportive of fighters getting paid more and a union or association to combat the perceived injustices.  Yet, openly admitting to not wanting to spend money on PPVs and going through illegal streams to watch instead.  Paying $60 per year for stories up against web sites without a paywall seems to be a hard sell to MMA fans.  Alex Mather stated in a TechCrunch article that the $60 price is a “meaningful price, but not prohibitive.”

Of course, there is still backlash, by the MMA fan that doesn’t feel like they should spend money for writing.  It’s not a unique argument, but, as pointed out by Ben Fowlkes below, there is a price for writing:

In the TechCrunch interview, Mather differentiated The Athletic from others online as it being more original content as opposed to aggregated content.  With the advent of online content, there has been a demand for journalists to churn out blog posts in addition to stories for the daily paper.  The Athletic still demands daily original content, but there is also more feature material which could only live online without the parameters of a normal print paper or magazine.

The Athletic is the creation of co-founders Alex Mather and Adam Hansmann.   The two were co-workers at Strava – the subscription-based fitness company.  There has been a total of 6 rounds of venture funding.  Two seed rounds and three additional funding rounds.  According to Crunchbase, the initial seed round in 2017 drew 2.3 million.   A series A round saw it get $5.4 million.  A series B round raised another $20 million.  In October 2018, it drew another $61.8 million and the latest round in May 2019 saw it get another $21.7 million.  In total, it has raised approximately $89.5 million.

The company was valued at around $200 million after its October 2018 round and its likely more now after this latest round.

The Series C round this past fall was based on the possibility of diving into audio and video.  It also looks like there are rumblings that The Athletic will be expanding into the UK soon.

Eric Stromberg of Bedrock Capital, who met Mather and Hansmann at the Y-Combinator, and is an early investor in The Athletic stated that there were two things that they focus on when looking into investing a subscription business:  retention and a positive flywheel.

Retention seems self-explanatory in that there must be retention of customers after an introductory price is made.  The Athletic usually offers introductory offers to entice those interested.  It’s the retention to the usual price point is what matters to investors.

A positive flywheel is based on the premise that the more you build your subscriber base, the more you build your revenue base.  This provides the opportunity to reinvest the capital into hiring writers, expansion and technology.  Stromberg stated, “[w]hen this flywheel is working it’s actually quite hard to put a ceiling on the business.”

It would seem that The Athletic’s business model is working and the expansion into other sports will yield more fans to subscribe.  But the question of how much fans will be willing to spend becomes something dependent on the consumer.  Right now, things are looking great in the industry of combat sports as there are fights on multiple platforms and every weekend there’s an event to cover or write about.  The area of combat sports is not devoid of characters or notable stories.  This will keep the hardcore fans intrigued.  On a personal note, I think that boxing has a rich history that there would be a lot of stories to choose from.  Since MMA is relatively new, there’s only so much to pull from in comparison to boxing.  Yet, with the expansion of the subscription model where fans are paying for ESPN+ and DAZN and PPVs will there be a breaking point for paying out money for content that can be culled from the internet.  We shall see, but as of now the plan is working for The Athletic.

 

GGG tops Saturday’s DAZN event payouts

June 9, 2019

ESPN’s Dan Rafael reported the purses for Saturday night’s Madison Square Garden event featuring Gennady Golovkin.

According to Rafael, the official payout for GG was $2 million although its likely he’s getting closer to $15 million.  Steve Rolls, his opponent, drew $300,000.  Ali Akhmedov earned $25,000.  His opponent, Marcus McDaniel received $45,250.  Akhmedov defeated McDaniel.  Charles Conwell received $15,000 as he defeated Courtney Pennington who received $13,500.  Brian Ceballo defeated Bakhtiyar Eyubov.  Ceballo earned $25,000.  Eyubov earned $8,000.  Israill Madrimov earned $48,000 as he stopped Norberto Gonzalez who drew $15,000.  Nikita Ababiy earned $8,000 as he KO’d Juan Francisco Barajas who earned $3,500.

Despite loss, AJ sponsor Under Armour is sticking by the boxer

June 5, 2019

According to the Baltimore Business journal, Saturday’s loss to Ruiz received more news coverage due to the upset than if Joshua would have beat the heavy underdog.

Since the event was held on digital streaming service DAZN, still photos were used for coverage by ESPN and other reports.  The Under Armour “UA” logo was prominently displayed on the front of Joshua’s trunks.  Thus, there was more exposure than usual for the event if Joshua had knocked out Ruiz as many had anticipated.

While it is debatable that the publicity may have been bad since the UA-sponsored athlete lost.  But you could also argue that many did not know that Joshua was fighting since his US debut was meant to be against an opponent that he could easily defeat.  Ruiz was a fill-in opponent when Joshua’s original matchup failed his drug test.

Under Armour is sticking with Joshua after his loss.  Attica Jacques, the senior vice president of brand management told the Baltimore Business Journal that they would “stand with AJ and look forward to supporting him in the future.”  Under Armour once sponsored Canelo Alvarez but he is now a free agent per an interview last month.

Under Armour used Joshua’s fight week as an activation for its ‘Rush’ training apparel.  Joshua was one of three athletes featured in a marketing campaign for Rush.  Stephen Curry and U.S. women’s national team member Kelley O’Hara are the others.  Curry is currently in the NBA Finals and O’Hara and the U.S. National Team begin World Cup action this month.

Joshua was a part of a documentary on his training with the new ‘Rush’ training material showing behind-the-scenes training in lead-up to Saturday’s fight.  UA also created ring boots for Joshua to wear during his fight.  There was also social media promoting the UA brand.

While the loss may have hurt Joshua momentarily, UA is sticking by him for the long run.  UA says that activations were “extremely successful throughout fight week.”  It’s unlikely that the surprise loss will harm the marketing campaign for the new training apparel, but it may have hoped a win would propel the brand for future marketing campaigns.

Ruiz camp in talks with Snickers about sponsorship after Joshua upset

June 4, 2019

The Sports Business Daily (via NY Post) reports that Andy Ruiz, Jr. is in talks with Snickers about a potential sponsorship deal for the newly crowned heavyweight champion.  Ruiz stated his penchant for snacking on Snickers before big fights and the legend grew after his upset victory against Anthony Joshua Saturday night at Madison Square Garden.

According to the article in the New York Post, Ruiz’s manager has had “semiformal discussions” with Mars, Incorporated, the McLean, Virginia headquartered company that owns Snickers.

A lot has been discussed about Ruiz’s body-type  since his upset of the taller, Adonis-figured Joshua.

Payout Perspective:

It’s not my money, but taking advantage of one of the bigger upsets in boxing in recent history would be worth the sponsorship dollars for Snickers.  If nothing else, Ruiz could have a new sponsor prior to his next fight which could be a rematch with Joshua.  If so, you would think that more people would be tuning into the rematch to see if Ruiz could duplicate his efforts yet again or if it was just a fluke.  This would be great marketing for the candy bar company and maybe draw up some notoriety with Ruiz.

Ruiz upset of Joshua helps heavyweight division

June 3, 2019

The biggest upset in boxing this year, and perhaps in several years, occurred at Madison Square Garden on Saturday night as Andy Ruiz, Jr. stopped Anthony Joshua in the seventh round.  The upset victory put a damper on the first appearance in the United States for one of the best in the world in the heavyweight division.

Ruiz knocked Joshua down 4 times in the fight.  Twice in the third round and another two in the seventh round with the last ending the night.

Ruiz was a fill-in for the original opponent for Joshua, Jarell Miller, after Miller tested positive for PEDs.

The loss may be seen as a setback for DAZN, which lists Joshua as one of its pillars in its boxing arm.  Last month, Canelo Alvarez and Daniel Jacobs fought on the digital platform.  Next week, Gennady Golovkin fights on the digital platform hoping not to fall to an opponent seen as a huge underdog.  Joshua, Canelo and GGG are three of the top boxers that have committed to DAZN as the company has offered each lucrative multi-fight, multi-year deals.

The upset derails a possible matchup with Deontay Wilder which was projected for 2020.  Wilder has inked a deal to fight Luis Ortiz again this fall.  Then, there is Tyson Fury.  The heavyweight that resurrected his career with his draw against Wilder last November is now looking for a rematch with Wilder.  But Fury must get past relatively unknown Tom Schwarz on June 15th for any talk of a rematch to occur.

Ruiz became the first Mexican American Heavyweight Champion and ascended to the short list of heavyweights that can demand big paydays from promoters.

The good news for Ruiz was that he professed to eating Snickers candy bars before fights.  On social media, Snickers gave him a shout out, and according to its twitter, sent him a care package:

In a free-rider sort of way, it also took advantage of Ruiz’s win:

In addition to Snickers, other sports celebrities’ game him props:

All is not lost for Joshua, although the luster of a matchup of undefeated fighters with Wilder or even Fury will no longer happen.  Big money fights are still on the horizon.  He still could sell out Wembley Stadium in a return against Ruiz or an eventual showdown with Wilder or Fury.  Despite the loss, we know that boxing forgets about these blemishes so long as the fighter returns to form.  Even a big fight showdown can still happen.  When Manny Pacquiao was knocked out by Juan Manuel Marquez, all thought that the superfight with Floyd Mayweather would not happen.  In fact, the fight did come to fruition and made big money at the gate and PPV.

While the boxing timeline may have been pushed back due to the upset, Ruiz’s win likely made the division that much more interesting and gave promoters more viable matchups to work with and push.

 

PBC on FS1 Saturday night draws 208,000 viewers

May 29, 2019

PBC on FS1 Saturday night drew 208,000 viewers.  The prelims which aired prior to the main card drew 167,000 viewers.

The main card featured Austin Trout going up against Terrell Gausha.  The two fought to a majority draw.

The prelims began at 7:14pm ET due to an overrun.  The main card started at 8:00pm ET and went over 3 hours.  It did overlap with the ESPN event Saturday night.

Payout Perspective:

Probably not the best night for the event as there was also a card on ESPN and DAZN.  This had to be one of those events where PBC was fulfilling its goal of telecasts for Fox as even the crowd at the event in Mississippi looked sparse.

As Austin Trout heads to ring on Saturday, his legal team has been fighting WBO in appeal of lawsuit

May 24, 2019

As Austin Trout returns to the ring on Saturday, last month his lawyers submitted their appeal brief in an effort to overturn a federal court decision to arbitrate his lawsuit, including his Ali Act claims.

For background of the case, you can go here.

The Court determined that based on legal rights under the Federal Arbitration Act, that arbitration was a suitable alternative instead of having parties going to trial

Appellant’s Brief.filed by on Scribd

In addition to its claims that the WBO waived its right to arbitration, Trout argues that the Ali Act cannot be arbitrated as it would fly in the face of the spirit of the act.  Essentially, its protections highlighted in the law runs contrary to the District Court ruling.

Trout alleges that the WBO violated the Ali Act when the promotion dropped him from its rankings.  In the alternative, it claimed that the Ali Act claims should remain in federal court even if the trial court decided that his other allegations could be arbitrated.

Trout’s appeal brief relating to the Ali Act claim argues that the intent of the legislation was to protect boxers from promoters and managers.  Trial court made an error when it granted the WBO to arbitrate its claims.

As stated by Trout’s attorneys:

“If allowed, compelling the arbitration of the claims under the Muhammad Ali Act will defeat the purpose of the Act.  Leaving Sanctioning Bodies, as the term is defined in the statute which includes the WBO, free to circumvent the must of courts of law over claims alleging the WBO is violating the Muhammad Ali Act, and will be able to ventilate such claims in arbitration before a panel designated by the WBO.”

The District Court stated that arbitration was a suitable alternative when agreed upon by the parties.  That is not the case here. It would appear that Trout agreed to the contractual obligations of the WBO and its arbitration clause provision embedded in the rules of the promotion and his contract.  Yet, upon closer scrutiny, the irony of the conclusion by the District Court is that it is inapposite to the outcome that the Ali Act wish to have prevented.  Here, the appearance that a promotion is taking advantage of a boxer through a coercive contract.  In his lawsuit Trout claimed that the boxer rankings of the WBO dropped him from its rankings, depriving him of a potential title fight.  The elimination rom the WBO ranking was not explained via written statement or to the Association of Boxing Commissions as required by the Ali Act.  Trout was left without an opportunity for a title shot and economic revenue through a chance to be champion.  For Trout, the contract of the WBO, as drafted an interpreted by the promoter, states that it would internally decide any grievance made by one of its contracted fighters.  For Trout, the contract of the WBO, as drafted an interpreted by the promoter, states that it would internally decide any grievance made by one of its contracted fighters.

The District Court ruling highlighted two cases which stated that arbitrations clauses in contracts would override the right to trial.  However, there are strong dissents to those cases. As a result, the WBO appears to sweep the Ali Act into the arbitration for Trout’s other claims listed in the lawsuit.

Trout decided to sign a contract with the WBO.  There is no argument set forth by the parties that Trout did not have an opportunity to negotiate the contract he signed with the promoter.  Yet, it would seem that Trout was unaware that if he had an issue down the road with his contract, that the dispute would go to arbitration where the arbiters of the dispute were chosen by the WBO.  This would appear to be contrary to the filing of this lawsuit. Moreover, the overarching protection for boxers, found in the protections highlighted in the Ali Act, such as contractual disagreements, fraud or issues with rankings, could be usurped with one fail swoop in a contractual clause.

In its Order Compelling Arbitration of Trout’s Ali Act claim (see embedded opinion below), the Court order does not address the strong dissent in Mitsubishi Motors v. Soler Chrysler-Plymouth which it cites in its opinion.  The dissent, written by Justice John Paul Stevens, brought up strong questions regarding the arbitrability of the case and which similarly resonate with the present case here on appeal.  In Mitsubishi Motors, Justice Stevens noted that it was the first time that the Court held a statutory claim to be arbitrable.  “It is reasonable to assume that most lawyers and executives would not expect the language in the standard arbitration clause to cover federal statutory claims.”  This was premised upon the belief that the complexities of the issue in Mitsubishi – an antitrust matter – was too complex to arbitrate.  Neither party has brought up any case in combat sports which has tested the complexities of the Ali Act simply because there are few and far between.  This would seem to conclude two points.  First, it is unknown whether the issues in the Ali Act are complex for that of a private arbitration.  Secondly, the Ali Act legislative history which is included in Trout’s appellant brief, contemplates that aggrieved boxers may file a lawsuit and have those issues determined by a Court and not through arbitration.

In CompuCredit v. Greenwood, Justice Ginsburg notes in her dissent that the Federal Arbitration Act remains the Court’s “responsibility to examine carefully “the text of the [statute], its legislative history,” and Congress’ “underlying purposes.”  The District Court cites the Federal Arbitration Act as superseding Trout’s cause of action.

The passages from two dissenting opinions are not profoundly authoritative.  However, they provide shed a light on the rationale behind the Ali Act and the recognition that the District Court ruling contradicts the legislative intent of the establishment of the law which is the protection for boxers.

While we await the Answering Brief from the WBO, the Trout case seems to have gone under the radar of many boxing fans, it is a huge case for the Ali Act and the future of the law.  If promoters are allowed to skirt the meaning of the rule by utilizing arbitration clauses in its contracts deeming itself or a self-appointed arbiter as the self-binding authority, it would render the Ali Act toothless, mute and useless for the boxers it sought to protect.

MMA Payout will continue to update you.

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