Irish boxing manager Gary Hyde yesterday won a legal judgment in Miami to manage 2-time Olympic champion Guillermo Rigondeaux. Rigondeaux (3-0, 3 KOs), fighting as a bantamweight, now lives in Los Angeles after defecting from Cuba, where he was a 7-time national champion. The 28-year-old southpaw also won multiple World Championships titles, as well as a gold medal at the 2003 Pan-Am Games, during his incredible 243-4 amateur career. “Rigo” is scheduled to fight tonight (Wed., Dec. 16) in New York City. “I hope this judgment will deter anybody from contemplating interference with any of my fighters,” Hyde said en route from Ireland to New York City.
“When I signed Rigondeaux in 2007, my plan was to bring him to Ireland for a couple of fights and then take ‘Rigo’ and heavyweight sensation Mike Perez to the United States. This plan was hindered by ‘Rigo’s’ failed attempt to defect from the Cuban National Team in Rio De Janeiro in August, 2007. I kept close contact with him when he was sent back to Cuba. After he was banned from boxing on the Cuban National Team, preventing him from winning his third gold medal at the Beijing Olympics, I became increasingly worried that my marketing plan and golden opportunity to manage the greatest amateur boxer of all-time was in jeopardy. I never gave up hope, however, and continued to support ‘Rigo’ and his family as we plotted together his escape from Cuba.
“When the plan was put together for ‘Rigo’ to leave Cuba, he boarded a speed boat bound (Feb., 2009) for Cancun (Mexico), but instead of joining me there, he went to Miami and was pounced on by others. According to ‘Rigo,’ he told those who contacted him that he had signed a contract with me. I was successfully managing three Cuban stars at that stage. When I heard about ‘Rigo’s’ change of heart and decision to go to Miami, I immediately contacted leading Miami-based lawyer William J. Brown. We then sought an injunction preventing ‘Rigo’ from fighting for any other manager.”
Atty. Brown was supported by Atty. Pat English as well as Tom Moran. Former circuit court judge Michael Chavies ruled yesterday that Hyde’s international management contract should be recognized by the Miami State Courts:
1. The permanent injunction shall be granted;
2. Guillermo Rigondeaux Ortiz shall be prohibited from engaging in any boxing match under the management of any person or entity other than Gary Hyde until March 19, 2012.
3. Rigondeaux, however, is free to terminate or breach the Hyde Agreement and then submit himself to liability for damages, as there can be no specific performance ordered for a contract for personal services.
4. If Rigondeaux continues to participate in the boxing industry, he will only be able to work under the management of Gary Hyde, pursuant to his management agreement. If he chooses to not work for Hyde, he will be unable to work for another person or entity, as irreparable harm, no adequate remedy at law, and a clear legal right to the relief requested has been demonstrated.
Hyde also manages three other Cuban boxers who defected and are now fighting as professionals out of Ireland – heavyweight Mike “The Rebel” Perez (8-0, 6 KOs), winner of the World Junior Championships; bantamweight Alexei “The Hurricane” Acosta (9-0, 9 KOs) and super middleweight Luis “El Leon” Garcia (5-0, 4 KOs), both World Junior Championships champion in 2006 – as well as Irish brothers, super middleweights JJ “Slick” (2-0, 2 KOs) and Paddy McDonagh (2-0).
“I whole heartedly put my fighters first and foremost in every decision developing them into the best fighters they can possibly be,” an ecstatic Hyde remarked. “I’m driven by success and internationally recognized as being the manager of the hottest young stable of fighters on the planet. Any managers thinking about stealing my fighters should find their own talent and stay away from mine at all costs.”