WBO super featherweight champion Mikey Garcia has filed a lawsuit against his own promotional company, Top Rank. According to court documents obtained by Jeandra LeBeauf of BadCulture.net, Garcia alleges that Top Rank attempted to "exploit, own and permanently control" his boxing career and has consistently violated the Muhammad Ali Boxing Reform Act. The lawsuit states that Top Rank insisted that Garcia sign a contract that gave the company "the ability to extend the agreement indefinitely, essentially rendering the contracting fighter an indentured servant of Top Rank."
Garcia is looking to break free of Top Rank by seeking a declaration from the court which states that he "has no further obligations" and "is free to schedule future fights without any further interference from Top Rank." Evidently, Garcia initially signed a 5-year "Promotional Rights Agreement" with Top Rank on April 13, 2006. On February 27, 2009, Top Rank entered into a second 5-year "Promotional Rights Agreement" with Garcia prior to the original agreement ending, thus extending his commitment to the company to February 27, 2014 without first giving him the opportunity to negotiate a new contract with any promoter. Essentially, Garcia is saying that the two contracts overlapping each other put him into a 8-year long-term deal, which violates the Boxing Reform Act.
There are several other violations that the lawsuit cites, including alleging that Top Rank improperly acted as Garcia's manager by "arranging Garcia's bouts," "selecting 'in its discretion' the date of each bout", "selecting 'in its discretion' the site of each bout", "determining the financial arrangements of Garcia's bouts", "receiving or being entitled to receive more than ten (10%) percent of Garcia's gross purse as a professional boxer", and "selecting Garcia's opponents."
CLICK HERE TO READ THE LAWSUIT IN ITS ENTIRETY
[ Follow Ben Thompson on Twitter @fighthype ]