A federal court in California decided yesterday that the lawsuit between Don King Productions and Golden Boy Promotions will be tried in New York City, not California. The laswuit concerns world middleweight champion Bernard Hopkins and whether he was legally free to sign with Golden Boy or instead had to honor additional options he gave DKP in a bout agreement to face
Morrade Hakkar in 2003. Hopkins and Golden Boy contend the options were invalid under the Muhammad Ali Act. The ruling by Judge A. Howard Matz in California is a victory for DKP, the winner of what is known in legal circles as the race to the courthouse. DKP filed its lawsuit in New York City on December 9, 2004 at 3:59 pm Eastern time, three hours and twenty four minutes ahead of Golden Boy, who filed in Los Angeles at 4:23 pm Pacific time on the same day. Since the two suits concern the same subject matter, Judge Matz agreed to transfer the case to New York.