NYSAC Terminates Boxing 360 Promoter Mario Yagobi, as Bob Duffy and Others React
By Robert Brizel, Head RCM Boxing Correspondent
New York, NY (March 29th, 2014)– Boxing 360 Promoter, President and CEO Dr. Mario Yagobi had his promoter’s license terminated by the New York State Athletic Commission on March 26, 2014, a decision causing the release of all his fighters under contracts with Boxing 360 which were executed in New York State.
Statements of New York State Athletic Commission (Used With Permission) and the Judge
On November 30, 2013, an Administrative Law Judge appointed by the New York State Athletic Commission made a formal recommendation that Mario Yagobi and Boxing 360 LLC’s promoter’s license in New York State be revoked due to actions detrimental to the sport of boxing and that any contractual relationships they may have or claim within the jurisdiction of the State Athletic Commission be declared void. The New York State Athletic Commission reviewed the record in the matter and the judge’s recommendation at its public meeting yesterday, and the Commission voted unanimously to adopt the findings and recommendations of the judge.
It is the opinion of the NYSAC any contract with a fighter purported to have been executed by Boxing 360 which is: 1) subject to the laws of NYS; and/or 2) under the jurisdiction of the NYSAC; and/or 3) by reason of Boxing 360’s status as a NYS licensed boxing promoter, would not be enforceable nor recognized by the Commission. Fighters who believe their contracts are void by reason of the Commission’s order could provide a copy of their contracts to the NYSAC for an opinion
According to Administrative Law Judge Roger Schneier, “It is clear that the respondents’ (Dr. Yagobi’s) conduct in this matter was detrimental to the interest of boxing. In the face of a lawful inquiry by the State Athletic Commission into a complaint made against the by a boxer, the respondent submitted a fraudulent affidavit, and declined to supply financial documents pertinent to the dealing with the complaining boxer, and then falsely tried to place the blame on their attorney. Such conduct cannot be condoned, as it tends to undermine the entire regulatory scheme established by the Legislature to protect the integrity of professional boxing, and, I find, is too serious to be dealt with the imposition of just a fine.”
As a penalty, Judge Schneier recommended that Mario Yagobi’s Boxing 360 Promotions license as a professional boxing promoter be revoked, and any contractual relationship they may have or claim within the jurisdiction of the State Athletic Commission be declared void.After reviewing all the facts and circumstances of this matter, the members of New York State Athletic Commission accepted the recommendation of Judge Schneier in its entirety, and revoked Dr. Yagobi’s boxing promoter’s license in New York State, a decision which will likely stand as permanent.
Fights, Managers and Promoters Respond to the NYSAC Decision
A number of people connected past and present to Boxing 360 aired their contrasting views on the New York State Athletic Commission’s decision to revoke Dr. Yagobi’s boxing promoter’s license, and, in effect, put boxing 360 out of business.
Former New York State Athletic Commissioner Bob Duffy worked for Boxing 360 for several years as Dr. Yagobi’s Director of Boxing and principal advisor. “Mario always treated me fairly. We parted ways when we had our professional differences. It was an agreed upon parting of the ways. I wasn’t privy to any of the information of the commission. Nobody on the commission asked me for any information (prior to their decision). I wasn’t privy to what happened.”
Chicago Fight Promotion Manager Wasfi Tolaymat spent, by his own admission, $100,000 taking Boxing 360 to court, in a matter which was resolved in New York by arbitration. Tolaymat felt the commission took too long to take action again Dr. Yagobi. “They took time to do it. This should have been done a long time ago. It cost me a lot of money to fight Boxing 360 in court for two days. We went to arbitration. It was a headache for me and my fighters, and the two witnesses. Dr. Yagobi and Bob Duffy (at the time) signed fighters, and did not give them the benefit to do their own fights. This guy did a lot of bad things. He signed fighters, and did not give them fights. He (Dr. Yagobi) is a user of fighters,” noted Tolaymat.
“It’s very bad. David Estrada, Angel Hernandez, Mike Mollo, so many fighters he had he didn’t offer fights (for long periods), did not give them (fair) fight opportunities, he held them up (their careers), he didn’t feed them or let them eat. It’s a shame, he never gave them fights for years, for years I sued him. The New York State Athletic Commission held Mario Yagobi accountable. Yagobi was a human abuser. Thank God for the New York State Athletic Commission. Thank God,” stated Tolaymat.
Heavyweight prospect Joey Dawejko is now fielding offers from new promoters, after the NYSAC decision released him from his Boxing 360 contract, which would expired in December 2014.
“I think it is a good day for all Boxing 360 fighters. I feel relieved. I liked Mario as a person. He’s a great businessman-he’s just not a boxing guy. In all of my losses and draws, he set me up for failure. I’m the type of fighter, if you offer me a fight, I don’t care what it is, who it is or where it is-I will take it. I said yes, so I am 50 percent to blame (for what happened to me with Boxing 360).”
Heavyweight contender Mike Mollo of Chicago, who got out of his contract with Boxing 360 a year ago, had some choice blunt words on his Facebook about his time with Boxing 360. “Mario is a scumbag and will rot in hell!”