King wins Mayorga fight dispute
Broward Country Circuit Court Judge Marc H. Gold ruled in favor of Don King Productions Saturday afternoon, granting injunctive relief to halt a pay-per-view event promoted by Shine Fights, pitting the King-signed Ricardo Mayorga, a two-division boxing champion, against veteran mixed martial artist Din Thomas on Saturday night.
Mayorga was pulled out of the main event just hours before it was set to start at Crown Coliseum in Fayetteville, N.C. The North Carolina Boxing Authority later canceled the entire card.
Lawyers for King successfully argued over two days and eight hours of testimony in Gold's Ft. Lauderdale courtroom that Mayorga violated the terms of an exclusive promotional contract with King by signing with Shine Fights to compete in mixed martial arts.
A representative for Shine Fights told SI.com after the ruling was rendered that the promotion would move forward until it was served with the Florida court's order. Judge Gold rebuked Shine's early overtures that Mayorga-Thomas would go on as planned: "If any orders are disobeyed, there will be serious sanctions from my court."
Shine Fights CEO Devin Price later said: "We were ready to go ahead and move things forward. Even without Ricardo and Din, we felt we had a great card to put on."
Required to post a bond determined by Gold to be $1 million, King, 78, delivered two duffel bags filled with cash to the court within two hours of the ruling, making the emergency injunction official.
Said King: "I felt like I was Clint Eastwood in a movie, speeding down the highway with a fistful of dollars."
Price said he did not have a "full understanding" of the reason behind the North Carolina's decision to pull the plug, and promised fighters affected by the cancellation would be compensated. "They will not walk away with nothing," he said.