A couple of weeks after undisputed middleweight champion Bernard "The Executioner" Hopkins made mince meat out of William Joppy on December 13, 2003, Boxingtalk.com received a special invite to visit Bernard Hopkins at his Penthouse Suite in Philadelphia, PA. The primary purpose of our visit to Hopkins was to go over signed contracts for rematches with Felix Trinidad and Roy Jones, two potential super-fights that never came to pass. Other than Bernard and myself, attorney Arnold Joseph and Andre Fisher were present as we briefly went some of the major points of the paperwork. Hopkins then presented Boxingtalk.com with copies of both bout agreements for us to further evaluate.
On August 22, 2002 Hopkins and King signed off on bout agreements for Hopkins to face Jones for $10M, and another one for Hopkins to face Felix Trinidad for $5M.
The contracts Hopkins presented us with pretty much spoke for themselves. After reading them it appeared Hopkins was signing for fights but King wasn't making them.
Hopkins wanted to set the record straight, he felt very strongly about wanting to present us with "the facts" and wanted the facts from these contracts to go public, completely understandable for someone on the verge of being "paroled" from DKP, soon to be in search of greener pastures elsewhere.
A few days after receiving the contracts from Hopkins, this reporter penned an article explaining their financial details.
Hopkins was "paroled" from DKP in January of 2004. One month later, the double header with De La Hoya was virtually a done deal.
Aftering locking in the De La Hoya fight, Hopkins decided to file a $3M arbitration suit against Don King. Hopkins feels King owes him $3M for not delivering two fights to Hopkins at his contractual minimum purse of $1.5M per fight.
No promoter in their right mind would ever want to lose an undisputed middleweight champion, and although King probably could have, he never initiated any legal action against Hopkins after his contract with DKP expired.
As Boxingtalk.com was the first to report, Don King hired Judd Burstein to represent him on the Hopkins arbitration.
Reliable sources (not from Team Hopkins of course) have been indicating to Boxingtalk.com that things haven't been looking too good for Hopkins in that courtroom.
Hopkins is allegedly in trouble for not honoring his contractual rematch clause with Felix Trinidad after knocking the Puerto Rican superstar out on September 29, 2001.
How can Bernard Hopkins not have honored his contractual obligation to fight Felix Trinidad for $5M when he gave us a copy of the bout agreement that he and Don King signed to fight Trinidad for $5M?
Boxingtalk.com contacted King's attorney Judd Burstein to ask him the $64,000 question.
Much to my surprise, Burstein told Boxingtalk.com Hopkins never presented us with all of the facts.
Within minutes Burstein provided BT with a crucial hand-written document we conveinantly never received from Hopkins last year.
This document was handwritten by Arnold Joseph while he, King and Hopkins were on a flight to Puerto Rico for that horrible abortion of a Showtime card where both televised bouts ended on cuts in the second round and Jones and Hopkins staring each other down was the highlight of the evening.
The meat and potatoes of Joseph's hand written document is the following,
"Promoter shall guarantee fighter a purse of $2,500,000 as consideration for fighter's participation in his upcoming WBC mandatory title defense bout. Promoter shall advance fighter the sum of $50,000 one month prior to the mandatory bout."If fighter does not participate in such bout for the $2.5M purse prior to the Roy Jones Jr. or Trinidad bout, then such agreements for the Trinidad and Roy Jones Jr. bouts are null and void. The parties understand and agree that this agreement constitutes an amendment to the Roy Jones Jr and Trinidad bout agreements in accordance with paragraph 22 of such agreements." (Don King and Bernard Hopkins signed this document)
Paragraph 22 of the Hopkins Vs. Jones II and Hopkins Vs. Trinidad II contracts dated August 2002 states the following, "This agreement sets forth and integrates the entire understanding between fighter and promoter, and supersedes any and all prior or contemporaneous written oral agreements or representations between the parties with repsect to the subject matter hereof. It may not be altered, amended or discharged, EXCEPT BY A SUBSEQUENT WRITING SIGNED BY THE PARTIES HERETO"
Pargraph 4 of the promotional contract Hopkins signed with DKP on January 24, 2001
"In the event that fighter defeats Trinidad, fighter agrees to participate in a rematch bout against Trinidad for a twelve round WBC, WBA and IBF middleweight world championship unification bout for a purse of $5M."
There was no time limit placed on the rematch and it wasn't an immediate rematch clause that violated any sanctioning body rules.
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