WBO Complaint and Grievance Committee Resolution in the Matter of Demetrius Andrade
THIS CAUSE coming to be heard by the WBO Complaint and Grievance Committee upon the complaint of Edward Farris, on behalf of Demetrius Andrade from the July 31, 2015 determination of the WBO World Championship Committee, the WBO Complaint and Grievance Committee having received the Ruling of the WBO World Championship Committee, all submittals of the Interested WBO Participants— both written and oral — having considered the WBO Rules and Regulations, including the Constitution and the Regulations of World Championship Contests, the ABC Ratings Criteria, and being fully advised in the Premises,
IT IS ORDERED: the Appeal is Denied
THE FOLLOWING is established as the Record of Proceedings in this Cause:
|1||7/29/2015 Letter from Banner Promotions and Star Boxing re Demetrius Andrade’s order to show cause||11-12|
|2||7/29/2015 Letter from Mr. Edward Harris to Mr. Francisco Valcarcel sent with Banner Promotions and Star Boxing’s Letter
re Andrade’s intention to defend his title
|3||7/29/2015 Letter from Mr. Demetrius Andrade||15|
|4||7/29/2015 Filing Notice Banner_Star_Roc Nation||16-18|
|5||7/29/2015 Final Summons & Complaint Roc Nation||19-35|
|6||7/31/2015 Resolution of the WBO World Championship Committee to Vacate the WBO Jr. Middleweight Title of Demetrius Andrade||36-39|
|7||8/11/15 Letter from Mr. Edward Harris to Appeal Resolution Decision||40-41|
|8||8/20/2015 Letter to Mr. Edward Farris re Initial Notice and Order Setting Docketing Conference from the WBO Complaint and Grievance Committee||42-43|
|9||8/20/2015 Sent copy of Andrade Sgined Bout Agreement from 1/23/2015||44-50|
Mr. Edward Farris, manager to Demetrius Andrade, petitioned this WBO Complaint and Grievance Committee on August 11, 2015 to (1) reverse the July 31, 2015 determination by the WBO World Championship Committee to vacate Demetrius Andrade’s WBO Jr. Middleweight Championship; (2) that the WBO Ratings Committee not remove Mr. Andrade from their top 15 rankings due to inactivity; and (3) that the WBO World Championship Committee allow Andrade to defend the WBO Jr. Middleweight championship title.
The WBO Complaint and Grievance Committee compliments Mr. Demetrius Andrade, his manager Edward Farris and his co-promoters Messiers. DeGuardia and Pelullo for their participation and cooperation during this appeals procedure. We have sought to afford them due process for their position at all stages of this appeal and to ensure a prompt, fair and equitable resolution of this dispute.
In preparation for this Resolution, this Committee has evaluated Mr. Andrade’s record as WBO Jr. Middleweight Champion, examined news reports and commentaries to gain insights as to the reasons behind his inactivity, and reviewed the email communications in which WBO President Francisco Valcarcel repeatedly asks Andrade’s co-promoters for confirmation of Andrade’s plans, allowing first for a voluntary fight and then explaining that a mandatory was in order and that the division could no longer be kept inactive, per WBO Rules and Regulations of World Championship Contests. Taken as a whole, this Committee confirms what all parties involved have agreed to, that the WBO was more than lenient with Mr. Andrade, but that he was clearly inactive, defending his title only once— against Brian Rose— since obtaining it on November 9, 2013.
In terms of the evidence presented by the Interested WBO Participants, we received statements from Mr. Demetrius Andrade, Mr. Paul Andrade, the father and trainer of Andrade, and Mr. Edward Farris, manager to Andrade. In summary, Participants argue that they “felt Demetrius Andrade deserved to have been made [directly] aware” of any and all determinations affecting him.
In addition to this and in what is to be considered an official “hearing” of the WBO Complaint and Grievance, the group was also afforded to opportunity to address us via telephone conference on Friday, August 28, 2015 at 2:00PM EST. This, to allow the Interested WBO Participants (Demetrius Andrade, Paul Andrade, and Edward Farris) “to provide additional information” for the consideration of the Committee and to testify under oath and confirm their prior written statements, specifically the following:
At no time were any of the above made aware of the WBO’s offer to force a purse bid on January 23, 2015 for the Jermell Charlo fight.
At no time was any of the above notified by the WBO of any other mandatory opponent to fight in the past year.
That at no time were any of the above advised of the petition of their co-promoters to the WBO for Demetrius Andrade to move up to Middleweight to vie for the WBO Middleweight World Championship against Matt Korobov until after the WBO had already ruled in favor of the petition.
Furthermore, all three interested WBO Participants testified that they were aware that co-promoters Star Boxing and Banner Promotions filed a complaint in the New York County Supreme Court against another promotional company, and categorically stated that they understood and agreed with the factual allegations in support of that complaint against Roc Nation Sports.
While this Committee understands that disputes between boxers, managers, promoters, and others involved in the career of fighters, are commonplace in the sport of boxing, we are not swayed by the Participants’ allegations nor have we found the evidence presented sufficient to rebut the ruling of the WBO World Championship Committee. In fact, all of the issues raised in support of their Appeal can be answered with a simple application of the WBO Regulations of World Championship Contests and the Guidelines for Objective and Consistent Criteria for the Ratings of Professional Boxers, published by the Association of Boxing Commissions (ABC).
Demetrius Andrade Petition to Reverse the July 31, 2015 Determination of the WBO World Championship Committee to Vacate Demetrius Andrade’s WBO Junior Middleweight Championship
The WBO World Championship Committee, exercising its power and discretion per Section 1(b)(7) of the WBO Regulations of World Championship Contests, recommended to the President and the WBO Executive Committee that Demetrius Andrade’s WBO Junior Middleweight Championship of the World be vacated, for the Champion’s failure to comply with WBO World Championship Rules, namely, that the Championship “may be vacated regardless of fault or cause if the Champion has not defended within a nine (9) month period (See Section 1(b)(21).
In the Appeal, Mr. Farris, on behalf of Andrade, contends that we should reverse this determination primarily because:
At no time were any of the above made aware of the WBO’s offer to force a purse bid on January 23, 2015 for the Jermell Charlo fight.
At no time were any of the above notified by the WBO of any other mandatory opponent to fight in the past year.
At no time were any of the above advised of the petition of their co-promoters to the WBO for Demetrius Andrade to move up to Middleweight to vie for the WBO Middleweight World Championship against Matt Korobov until after the WBO had already ruled in favor of the petition.
Section 35(c) of the WBO Regulations of World Championship Contests provides that:
Any notice to a boxer required under these rules shall be to the boxer or in care of his Manager or Promoter at his or his Manager’s or Promoter’s address by personal service, or first class mail, or by certified mail, or by private delivery service, such as UPS, Fed Ex, DHL or other similar services, or by e-mail address or fax number to whom such notices may be sent. Any notice by the WBO to a boxer shall be effective when dispatched in any of the alternate manners provided under this paragraph or when posted on the WBO Web Site. Notices to managers, promoters or any other WBO participant may be made in the same manner. It is the obligation of all WBO participants to advise the WBO of his current contact information for notification purposes. Electronic notification, fax notice, or posting on the WBO web site shall be as effective as written notice under these Regulations. (Emphasis supplied).
In light of the above rule, this Complaint and Grievance Committee is forced to conclude that Mr. Demetrius Andrade was properly notified at all times of all WBO orders/determinations during his time his time as WBO Junior Middleweight Champion of the World. Finally, having reviewed the WBO World Championship Committee Resolution of July 31, 2015— and the evidence and arguments presented to dispute it— the WBO Complaint and Grievance Committee affirms the determination of the WBO World Championship Committee and agrees with all of the reasons outlined in support of it, finding nothing to overturn it.
Demetrius Andrade’s Petition that the WBO Ratings Committee Not Remove him from their Top 15 Rankings Due to Inactivity
Mr. Edward Farris, on behalf of his fighter Demetrius Andrade, contends that the WBO Ratings Committee should not remove Andrade from their top 15 rankings “because Demetrius Andrade has been willing to fight whomever the WBO Committee requested him to fight in the past (7) months […].” After considering the arguments presented, the WBO Complaint and Grievance Committee affirms the determination of the WBO Ratings Committee to remove Mr. Andrade from its rankings due to inactivity.
As prescribed by 15 USC Sec. 6307c (a), the Association of Boxing Commissions (ABC) is empowered to develop guidelines for objective and consistent written criteria for the ratings of professional boxers. The WBO has not only adopted these ABC Regulatory Guidelines, but is on record as encouraging all sanctioning bodies and other boxing related entities, including member commissions, to work with the ABC to help strengthen it as a tool for the betterment of the sport. Specifically related to this matter, the criteria adopted by the ABC in the year 2000 and further amended in 2002 hold that:
(4): In order to maintain a top rating, the boxer:
a) Shall compete at least once during each 12 month period from the time the boxer gets rated […]. (Emphasis supplied).
While both the WBO and the ABC consider ratings to be inherently subjective in nature, the need for consistency leads us to confirm the WBO Ratings determination to remove Andrade from the ratings for not competing during a 12-month period. Notwithstanding our decision, we recommend that in consideration of Demetrius Andrade’s outstanding amateur background as well as his status as former WBO Champion, the WBO Ratings Committee rank him at a position within the top 5 upon his return to the ring— subject to him meeting the criteria of the Committee.
Demetrius Andrade’s Request that the WBO World Championship Committee allow him to defend the WBO Junior Middleweight Championship
We do not reach those issues because we have determined to sustain the decision of the World Championship Committee to vacate Demetrius Andrade’s WBO Junior Middleweight Championship for failing to comply with WBO Regulations of World Championship Contests.
The Appeal is denied. The July 31, 2015 determination of the World Championship Committee is sustained. This Decision is the Final Action of the WBO Complaint and Grievance Committee. It constitutes the Final Arbitration of the issue per 32 LPRA Section 3201 et. seq. and the US Arbitration Act, Title 9 of the United States Code, and the Inter- American Convention on International Commercial Arbitration of July 30, 1975 and the Convention on the Recognition and Enforcement of Foreign Arbitration Awards of June 10, 1958 under WBO Rule 35, which in relevant part provides:
d) These Regulations are to be interpreted in conformity with the Laws of the Commonwealth of Puerto Rico. All WBO Participants agree and consent that any or all action in which the WBO is made a party, whether it is to enforce, interpret or declare the application of these Regulations or to appeal from any determination of the WBO, including, but not limited to a determination of the Complaint and Grievance Committee, may be maintained only in the Superior Court of the Commonwealth of Puerto Rico, or, if applicable, in the U.S. District Court for the Commonwealth of Puerto Rico.
e) All WBO participants acknowledge and agree that the mandatory resort to the WBO Appeals Regulation is the sole and exclusive remedy for any claim, appeal or contest that arises from any right or status that is subject to these Regulations or which results from or relates to the interpretation or application of these Regulations. These WBO Appeals and Grievance Committee determinations are Arbitrations within the contemplation of 32 LPRA Section 3201 et. Seq. and the US Arbitration Act, Title 9 of the United States Code, and the Inter-American Convention on International Commercial Arbitration of July 30, 1975 and the Convention on the Recognition and Enforcement of Foreign Arbitration Awards of June 10, 1958. All WBO participants stipulate and agree that the nature of the sport requires a prompt, final and uniform resolution of all disputes concerning application of these Regulations by a tribunal experienced with the application of these Regulations and with special knowledge and experience in world championship professional boxing.
f) These Regulations apply to all WBO Participants. The term WBO Participant includes any and all person or company who participates in any WBO activity, including, but not limited to any and all current or former WBO World Champions, WBO Regional Champions, World Championship or WBO Regional Championship contenders, all WBO World or Regional ranked or rated boxers, Manager and/or Promoters of any of the foregoing, all WBO Members, and all WBO Officials. The WBO is a voluntary not-for profit organization. All WBO Participants who participate in any WBO sanctioned activity do so on the express condition that such WBO Participant is bound by and subject to these WBO World Championship Rules and all WBO Rules and Regulations.
All WBO Participants are reminded that the sole remaining WBO appeal of this determination is to the WBO Executive Board, which may be initiated only by written application to the WBO President per Article 7 of the WBO Appeals Regulations:
The decision of the Complaint and Grievance Committee is final unless an appeal is granted pursuant to this Article. In the sole discretion of the President, a decision of the Complaint and Grievance Committee may be reviewed by the Executive Committee of the WBO. This extraordinary review may be ordered by the President upon the independent decision of the President after receipt and consideration of a written Appeal by a WBO Participant affected by the decision within five (5) days following the date of the decision. The effect of a decision of the Complaint and Grievance Committee will not be affected by an Appeal unless the President determines to stay the decision pending Appeal.
On September 10th 2015
World Boxing Organization
Complaint and Grievance Committee
Alberto Rodriguez-Perez, Esq.