In a high-stakes legal showdown, Matchroom Boxing Ltd. has initiated a lawsuit against rival promoter Boxxer Ltd. and broadcaster Sky UK, centering around allegations of a contract breach involving Olympic medalist Joshua Buatsi.
Matchroom Boxing Lawsuit Against BOXXER / Sky Sports
NoSmokeSport has learned from Law360 that according to the filed claim, Matchroom accuses Boxxer and Sky of persuading Buatsi to abandon his exclusive promotional contract with them. Buatsi, a renowned light heavyweight boxer and 2016 Olympic medalist, reportedly switched allegiance to Boxxer and Sky after a £3.3 million bid to promote his fights.
Matchroom says it matched the “material terms” of an offer made in January by BOXXER, which included rights to a world title fight and at least four bouts over 18 months.
Per Matchroom’s claim, Buatsi’s lawyers “wrongly” contended that not all material terms were matched and that there were terms that could not be met by Matchroom, such as promising that the fighter would be a “figurehead for Boxxer and Sky grassroots activations,”.
Matchroom alleges this move caused them a significant financial loss, with claims of over £7.7 million in lost profits. They assert that they matched Boxxer and Sky’s offer in compliance with their September 2020 agreement, which they believe legally bound Buatsi to accept.
Matchroom asserts that despite matching the offer, Boxxer and Sky proceeded with negotiations, showing apparent disregard or indifference to the contractual obligation. The situation escalated when Buatsi publicly announced his new deal with Boxxer and Sky on social media in March, which Matchroom claims violated their existing agreement.
Matchroom Boxing Lawsuit Key Points
- Parties Involved: Matchroom Boxing Ltd. is suing Boxxer Ltd. and Sky UK.
- Dispute Focus: The lawsuit is about a breach of contract involving Olympic boxer Joshua Buatsi.
- Allegations: Matchroom claims Boxxer and Sky persuaded Buatsi to break his exclusive contract with them.
- Financial Claim: Matchroom is seeking over £7.7 million in lost profits.
- Contractual Conflict: Matchroom alleges they matched a £3.3 million offer from Boxxer and Sky, which Buatsi was legally bound to accept under their existing agreement.
- Legal Proceedings: The case is ongoing in the High Court of Justice of England and Wales.
Before the announcement of Buatsi’s signing, Matchroom had issued cease-and-desist letters to both Boxxer and Sky, warning against what they described as “tortious and unlawful interference” with their contractual rights. Despite these warnings, and Matchroom’s attempts to clarify the contractual situation, the companies allegedly continued their discussions with Buatsi.
Legal representation for the parties includes Richard Liddell KC and Taylor Wessing LLP for Matchroom Boxing, Freeths LLP for Boxxer Ltd., and Lewis Silkin LLP for Sky UK Ltd. As the case, numbered KB-2023-003394, progresses in the King’s Bench Division of the High Court of Justice of England and Wales.
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