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Don King Productions, Inc. v. Douglas

United States District Court for the Southern District of New York
742 F. Supp. 741 (1990)


Don King Productions, Inc. (DKP) (plaintiff) entered into a promotional agreement with boxer James “Buster” Douglas and his manager (defendants), under which DKP was to be the exclusive promoter for Douglas and arrange all of Douglas’s fights. DKP agreed to promote a heavyweight-championship fight involving Douglas. The agreement also allowed DKP to promote other professional boxers. DKP had a similar exclusive promotional agreement with heavyweight champion Mike Tyson. DKP arranged a fight between Douglas and Tyson in Tokyo in 1990. During the fight, Douglas was knocked down but got back up before the referee’s conclusion of a countdown. Don King of DKP believed that Douglas had benefited from an excessively long countdown by the referee. After Douglas was knocked down and got back up, King argued to the fight officials that the fight should be stopped due to the long countdown. Douglas went on to knock out Tyson. After the fight, King was seen arguing with a representative from a sanctioning body of the fight, the World Boxing Council, and implying that the outcome of the fight needed to be changed. King later told the press that the official videotape of the fight would irrefutably show that Douglas had been knocked out and that Tyson was the champion. DKP sued Douglas and his manager for breach of contract. DKP and Douglas both moved for summary judgment.

Rule of Law


Holding and Reasoning (Sweet, J.)

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