Evan Holyfield Knocks Out Management Contract
Evan Holyfield says his dad is ready to take on former-rival Mike Tyson for the third time, who famously bit off a piece of Evander Holyfield’s ear in 1997. Evan wants the next match to be a family affair with him fighting the preliminary match.
In Texas Evan Holyfield has another impressive knockout in his boxing career. Not in the ring, but in the courts and as a result he has his freedom back.
Evan Holyfield has successfully voided what his lawyers called a “fraudulent, dishonest, and unconscionable” management contract scheme contrived by Maurice “Termite” Watkins. Holyfield filed a lawsuit against Watkins in the 334th Harris County District Court in June 2020 after the pair entered a management contract that Watkins failed to uphold.
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After signing the contract, Holyfield soon came to believe Watkins’ representations were lies.
The lawsuit alleges Watkins sought to take advantage of Holyfield’s talent and internationally recognized name as his manager. The contract was written by Watkins, who allegedly used his 52 years of boxing experience to take advantage of Holyfield. Watkins coerced the young Holyfield into the deal with a relentless pressure campaign.
Holyfield was represented by Houston attorney Andrew Cobos of The Cobos Law Firm. Cobos stated, “My client recognized that the Defendants in this case jeopardized his career and sought to take advantage of his name and talent. Then he took action. I am glad that the court recognized the situation for what it was and entered an order stating that this oppressive contract is void.”
The contract Holyfield entered promised extensive one-on-one training time with Watkins and a strength coach to prepare the boxer for upcoming matches: “thirty to forty-five hours per week refining the raw talent that Holyfield possessed.”
Holyfield received just a fraction of the time with Watkins and only three or four hours over internet or text message with the strength coach.
Attorneys for Holyfield state “it is unheard of in the boxing world for a promising young fighter—one with aspirations of becoming a world champion—to be virtually trained.
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When Holyfield confronted Watkins about the training, Watkins made racially insensitive threats stating he would “sell Holyfield to the highest bidder”. The lawsuit also states Watkins stole earnings he had no entitlement to.
The most shocking part of the lawsuit—Watkins did not even have the legal capacity to act as a manager. Watkins is not licensed or registered with the Texas Department of Licensing and Regulation as required by law in professional combative sports such as boxing.
“This case should send a message to boxing managers everywhere, and that is, do what is right, do what is honorable, and do what is fair,” said Cobos.
Evan Holyfield will fight his 5th professional match this weekend on December 12 against Donnis Reed at Champion Boxing Gym in Jonesboro, Georgia.