MANILA, Philippines - Nonito Donaire rightfully belongs to Top Rank, and not with Golden Boy Boy Promotions (GBP).
Arbitrator Daniel Weinstein has ruled that Top Rank holds promotional rights over Donaire, a fast-rising world bantamweight champion who thought his contract with Bob Arum had already lapsed and he was free to sign with GBP.
GBP had made an announcement last March 16 saying the Los Angeles-based outfit has acquired Donaire, a claim that Arum immediately disputed during a recent trip in the country. Arum said his company continues to have a live contract with the 27-year-old holder of the World Boxing Council and World Boxing Organization 118-lb titles.
Weinstein's ruling should now pave the way for Top Rank to promote Donaire's next fight, tentatively set for May 28.
Topnotch lawyer Daniel Petrocelli, representing Top Rank, said: "We are pleased with Judge Weinstein's carefully considered decision.
Top Rank hopes it can put the lawyers and legal fight behind it and return to doing what it does best - promoting the most talented boxers and the most entertaining boxing matches in the world today."
In 2007, both Top Rank and GBP had an agreement that would allow Weinstein to intervene in their disputes after the two outfits fought over Manny Pacquiao.
Arum said that while Top Rank did not live up to the nine-fight pact with Donaire after signing him up in June 2008, Arum said there is a clause in their contract that would automatically extend it in the event the boxer is unable to fight because of medical reasons.
Arum said Donaire was twice prevented from fighting owing to injuries during the last three years, resulting in him getting only seven fights during the three-year period.
During a talk with reporters last week when Arum paid a visit to Pacquiao's training camp in Baguio, Arum said Donaire's wife, Rachel, should be blamed for all the brouhaha they're all in. Arum said that Top Rank has all the fighters Donaire need to become a superstar like Pacquiao.
Fighting under the Top Rank banner are Yuriorkis Gamboa, Juan Manuel Lopez and Guillermo Rigondeaux, while GBP only has the bantamweights.
"After he beats them, what's next for him?" Arum asked reporters, referring to the bantamweights that GBP has under contract.
Reposted From Manila Bulletin