Wednesday, February 3, 2010

Samuel Peter Takes Promoters to Court

In happier times, Samuel Peter was the champ and Don King was a flag waving supporter.

Adhering to the old line, "Don't take the law into your own hands - you take 'em to court" former World Boxing Council heavyweight titlist Samuel Peter has filed a lawsuit in Clark County District Court in Nevada against former promoters Don King and Dino Duva.

"The Nigerian Nightmare" claims he is still owed more than $400,000 for his Oct. 2008 bout vs. Vitali Klitschko which took place in Berlin, Germany. Peter was the holder of the WBC belt at the time and his contracted purse was $4 million.

Peter is claiming that King and Duva have withheld monies owed to him and he is suing for punitive damages in excess of $1 million. The lawsuit alleges that both Duva and King conspired to steal, commit fraud, misrepresented their intentions and were in breach of contract.

Peter, 29, held the WBC belt for seven months before he lost to Klitschko. During the time that he was co-promoted by Duva and King it was a triumvirate that was characterized by bickering, internal squabbles and allegations of backstabbing.

In the months leading up to his ill-fated bout against Klitschko, Peter had been so distracted by the situation with his promoters, manager and trainers that he allowed his weight to balloon to over 300-pounds. As a result, he was not mentally or physically prepared to meet Klitschko who beat him easily and forced him to surrender after eight rounds.

The mercurial Peter and the magnanimous King had a tumultuous and often testy relationship.

Peter has suffered through a series of relationships with trainers and promoters over the past few years. Dino Duva, in an effort to promote Peter into a heavyweight title fight spent most of his time, energy and money on the Nigerian. He eventually had to sell half of his promotional company, Duva Boxing, as well as his interest in Peter, to King in order to remain solvent. But not long after Peter lost the heavyweight belt, Duva abandoned professional boxing altogether to focus on bringing Chinese Olympians to America. He formed a new company called D & D Global with partner Richard Davimos.

Peter's lawsuit alleges a series of misdeeds from advance payments, unauthorized training expenses and other alleged financial improprieties.

After getting clear of King and Duva, Peter signed a promotional agreement with Bob Arum’s Top Rank, Inc. in July 2009. He has scored three straight knockouts against non-descript opposition and has weighed as low as 239 pounds, which was his lightest in the past seven years.

Peter, 33-3, 26 KOs is slated to face 23-year-old prospect Nagy Aguilera, 15-2, 10 KOs on March 12 in an IBF heavyweight title eliminator in Dallas, Texas. The winner would be in line for a title shot later this year versus the IBF heavyweight champion.

February 2010

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