Boxing legend Ricardo Mayorga was scheduled to take on former UFC fighter Din Thomas on a Shine Fights mixed martial arts event this past Saturday night, on May 15. However, hours before the event was aired on pay-per-view, boxing promoter Don King crashed in and ruined the show. Apparently, Don King and his lawyers prevented Mayorga from participating in any competition outside of Boxing due to contractual obligations.
Despite the fact that Mayorga would not be allowed to participate in the event, Shine Fights CEO Devin Price wanted the show to go on. Unfortunately, the North Carolina Athletic Commission decided to cancel the entire event and no specific reasons were given.
King, who has promoted Mayorga continuously since 2001, sought an injunction to bar Mayorga from competing, arguing that his contract covered all combat sports and that King would be irreparably damaged if Mayorga competed in the MMA fight.
Broward County Circuit Court judge Marc H. Gold ruled Mayorga’s participation was primarily because of his notoriety as a boxer and that it thus interfered in Don King Productions’ exclusive boxing promotional contract with him.
From Shine Fights CEO Devin Price:
“I’m not concerned about the money, quite honestly. I feel very badly for the fighters. They were ready to go and we wanted to put the show on (without Mayorga), even after the judge gave Don King injunctive relief. We felt we had a fantastic card that fans would appreciate. The commission, at the last minute and for reasons I’m not sure of, decided to cancel the event. We are in the process of working out how the fighters will be paid, how much that will be. But we’re a fighter’s organization and we’re going to take care of them…I never, ever wanted to be in the business of boxing. I love MMA and we are in the business of MMA. I think what happened is that there is a lack of understanding of MMA. There’s not a lot of case law around it.”
From Judge Marc H. Gold at court:
“If my orders are disobeyed, there will be serious sanctions from this court…The question is, why are fans coming to this match? And the answer is because he is a headline boxer. Boxing and MMA are in competition with each other the way this fight is taking place.”
(props to yahoo sports! for the update)