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By Mortz Marcelo Ortigoza

Fall-Out of a Contractual Blunder
01 Jan 2007

As a former colony of the United States for almost 40 years, laws in the Philippines are quite synonymous with the U.S. That’s why jurisprudence in our country adopt some decisions of the U.S. Supreme Court whenever our courts and lawyers find it lacking to apply in a particular case.

I found it legally off tangent and ridiculous, when Top Rank promoter Bob Arum threatened to sue Golden Boy Promotions because the latter tortuously interfered on the tranquility of the contract Top Rank had with pound for pound boxing king Manny Pacquiao and Eric Morales for their third fight last November 18, 2006.

Tortuous interference, by the way, is when a defendant's act of interference was willful and intentional, and the said defendant's intentional act was a proximate cause of the plaintiff's damage, and actual damage or loss occurred.

There was no actual damage and loss on the part of Top Rank here, Top Rank instead earns a windfall more than the two of each of the two Pacquiao-Morales marquee fights could attest.

This suit that Arum eventually had filed against De La Hoya, et al was funny because how can one tortuously interfered when the intent of the contract was beyond the Nov. 18 fight deal of the plaintiff. Besides, nobody can restrain Pacquiao to sign beyond the said date. By constraining him would be tantamount to undermining the constitutionally mandated rights of liberty.

Liberty means the right of man to use his faculties with which he has been endowed by his Creator subject only to limitation that he does not violate the law or the rights of others. On November 22, 2006 Arum had filed a case against GBP by asking a Federal Judge in Las Vegas to make a declaratory judgment as to which promotional outfit has the right for Pacquiao. Arum said he was not seeking damage, he just wants to know which contract is valid.

But when he goaded Pacman to sign up with him lately, the real tortuous interference reared its ugly head. If you go by the U.S jurisprudential definition of tortuous interference mentioned in this article, it’s elementary that Bob Arum patently violated it.

And Pacquiao committed breach of contract too -- against the seven fight deal he had signed with the Los Angeles based Golden Boy Promotions. Tortuous interference and breach of contract will cost multi-million dollar damages against the two violators.

For now, the Golden Boy battery of lawyers have filed this interference case against Arum, but if worst come to shove, their legal guns could be trained to explode at the face of Pacquiao himself later.

Presently, GBP is quite civil on this legal brouhaha. They are offering Pacquiao a 50-50 purse, and want him to accept before January 1, 2007 its offer to fight Super Featherweight Champion Marco Antonio Barrera sometime in March next year.

Likewise, its legal minds are shrewd enough to dangle that the promotional earnings entitled to Pacquiao will be deposited into a bank as an escrow pending the outcome of the case against Top Rank.

Surprisingly, Arum was diplomatic and reconciliatory with the group of its nemesis and former ward De La Hoya. He was proposing a joint promotional partnership. Jezzzuz, is this an implied act of acknowledging that he is in a no win position
on the legal morass he created?

However, the CEO of Golden Boy, Richard Schaefer confidently shot to smithereens Arum’s offer. He said they do not intend to negotiate with Top Rank and emphasized that it was not up to Arum to respond to their 50-50 offer.

Gee whiz, with this kind of development I sensed that Golden Boy has the goods to make Arum pay for his indiscretion. With the gambit being offered by Golden boy, for me it’s judicious to the group of Pacquiao to accept it.

Failure to do it will cost their ward millions of lost earnings on marquee fights in the U.S against the likes of Marco Antonio Barrera, Juan Manuel Marquez, and Joan Guzman who all fight under the auspices of Golden Boy Promotions.

And stuffs like Temporary Restraining Order, and Injunction, as the case is being litigated are the aces of Oscar dela Hoya on this legal maneuvering.

They will be more than enough also to inflame the blaming-game of indiscretion on the parts of fight fans, Arum, Pacquiao, and others.

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