Eddie Hearn, the promoter of Matchroom Boxing, sues Jake Paul for slander for $100 million.
There might be a fight during Jake Paul's boxing debut inside of a courtroom.
According to a document obtained by ESPN on Saturday, Eddie Hearn of Matchroom Boxing, one of the sport's most important promoters, sued Paul on Friday for defamation following Paul's previous claims that Matchroom had bought off a judge in two different fights this year.
The Southern District of New York U.S. District Court received the complaint. Attorney Frank Salzano for Matchroom and Hearn told ESPN that his clients are asking for more than $100 million in compensation. The news of the lawsuit was first reported by TMZ.
"There is a clear line distinguishing opinion from libelous lies, both legally and ethically," Salzano added. "Jake Paul intentionally crossed that line when he falsely charged Matchroom Boxing and Eddie Hearn with manipulating fights because he is aware of this. He was still given the chance to repudiate his slanderous words, but he declined."
Paul claimed he thought boxing referee Glenn Feldman was being compensated by Matchroom to score fights for the combatants in that promotion in an interview with IFL TV last week. In addition to scoring the rematch between Oleksandr Usyk and Anthony Joshua last month in Saudi Arabia, Feldman served as a judge on the fight between Amanda Serrano and Katie Taylor on April 30 in New York.
With two judges, including Feldman, siding with Taylor, she was awarded a victory. Usyk also triumphed in a split decision, with Feldman being the lone judge to rule in Joshua's favor. Joshua and Taylor both compete for Matchroom. Taylor vs. Serrano, the first-ever female boxing main event at Madison Square Garden, was co-promoted by Paul and Hearn and is a member of Paul's Most Valuable Promotions.
Paul told IFL TV, "It's like a crime that keeps happening here. "I'm going to call this kind of s—- out in boxing because it's bulls—-. It is obvious that this individual (Feldman) is being compensated by Matchroom Boxing."
On Saturday, no one from Paul's team was immediately available for comment. Prior to earning a 5-0 pro boxing record over the past three years, Paul first gained notoriety as a hugely famous YouTube star and social media influencer. Paul started promoting bouts last year as well.
In the case against Paul, Salzano adds that Hearn has publicly said that he scored the Usyk vs. Joshua fight for Usyk and that the Taylor vs. Serrano fight was a close candidate for Fight of the Year. The lawyer added that Paul acknowledged in the interview that he was making a "bold statement" on the accusations and that the judges had been chosen by different commissions in the Middle East and New York, not Matchroom, who had hired them.
According to Salzano, a lawyer at the New York law firm Salzano, Lampert & Wilson, LLP, "Such charges are obviously extremely offensive as well as detrimental to [Hearn and Matchroom]." They are obviously bogus as well.
According to Salzano in the lawsuit, Paul's comments sparked a "media and social media frenzy, probably made worse by [Paul's] vast social media following." According to the complaint, a jury trial is "demanded" in the case.
Salzano stated, "[Paul's] defamatory claims were made with malicious intent and have hurt [Hearn and Matchroom's] finances and reputation, which is exactly what [Paul] wanted when he made the ludicrous allegations.