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Volume 24 No. 112

People and Pop Culture

N.J.-based promoter Main Events "filed a civil lawsuit on Tuesday against promoter YVON MICHEL, Groupe Yvon Michel Inc., advisor AL HAYMON, Golden Boy Promotions, light heavyweight champion ADONIS STEVENSON and Showtime alleging breach of contract, breach of fiduciary duty, fraud, tortious interference and interference with prospective economic advantage," according to documents cited by Chris Mannix of Main Events in the complaint "seeks unspecified damages and punitive damages against all parties." Main Events CEO KATHY DUVA said the company was seeking damages "in the millions." Main Events in its filings "accuses Michel of reneging on an agreed upon deal for Stevenson to defend his title against SERGEY KOVALEV, a Main Events promoted fighter." Main Events cites e-mails exchanged between Michel, Duva and HBO Sports Dir of Programming PETER NELSON that "confirm a binding agreement." HBO according to the lawsuit "had agreed to pay" a $2.4M license fee for the fight. Further, Main Events "contends that Haymon, with knowledge of an agreed upon deal between Michel and Main Events, and in an alliance with Golden Boy Promotions CEO RICHARD SCHAEFER, willfully interfered with the agreement in order to negotiate a fall fight between Stevenson and BERNARD HOPKINS on Showtime." Main Events claims that Showtime, specifically Exec VP & GM of Showtime Sports and Event Programming STEPHEN ESPINOZA, "made an offer for Stevenson-Hopkins with 'the clear intent of disrupting a Stevenson-Kovalev bout'" (, 4/30). Schaefer said that he is "'not worried about' the lawsuit because Golden Boy currently has no deal in place with Stevenson." Schaefer: "That’s no secret that I’m interested in pursuing a Stevenson fight for Bernard, because he wants to unify the titles, but I have nothing to do with Stevenson now" (L.A. TIMES, 5/1).

Spartan Race named IAN ADAMSON head of the newly created Int'l Obstacle Racing Federation, which will serve as the int'l governing body of the sport (THE DAILY)....Palace Sports & Entertainment named Buccaneers National Partnership Development Head TED MAJOR VP/Corporate Partnerships (PSE)....The MLBPA named former MLBer JAVIER VAZQUEZ Int'l Special Assistant (MLBPA)....Winston-Salem State Univ. named interim AD TONIA WALKER to the position permanently (WINSTON-SALEM JOURNAL, 5/1).

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VARIETY's Andrea Seikaly noted the Paley Center for Media will "celebrate ESPN’s 35th anniversary by honoring the sports network at its annual spring benefit dinner" on May 28 in N.Y. ESPN Exec Chair GEORGE BODENHEIMER and President JOHN SKIPPER also will be "presented with the Paley Prize for Innovation and Excellence for their achievements in media and global impact." Anchors BOB LEY and CHRIS BERMAN will "serve as the evening’s emcees while prominent ESPN on-air personalities will host a retrospective look at each decade in ESPN’s history." The '80s will be hosted by JOHN SAUNDERS while KEITH OLBERMANN and STUART SCOTT will cover the '90s, "MIKE & MIKE" hosts MIKE GOLIC and MIKE GREENBERG will take on the '00s and LINDA COHN will present the current decade. "SPORTSNATION" host MICHELLE BEADLE will "provide commentary during the event by interacting with the sports and media luminaries in attendance" (, 4/30).

LOOSENING THE PURSE STRINGS:'s Dan Rafael noted boxer FLOYD MAYWEATHER JR. will "earn a minimum guaranteed purse" of $32M for his welterweight unification fight with MARCOS MAIDANA on Saturday night at the MGM Grand Garden Arena. Maidana's official purse "is a career-high" $1.5M, but he also "will earn more." Maidana will "make additional money from Argentina television rights and also has a chance to earn additional money depending on how well the pay-per-view performs" (, 4/30). Meanwhile, Golden Boy Promotions CEO RICHARD SCHAEFER said that he "wants a resolution of his shaky employment situation soon, and Mayweather said there always is a place under his umbrella for Schaefer" (, 4/29).

A PIRATE'S LIFE: In N.Y., Selim Algar reports UFC is suing STEVEN MESSINA, "accusing him of being one of the Internet’s most prolific piraters of their wildly popular Pay-Per-View events." The promotion is seeking $32M from Messina. The UFC in its suit claims that Messina "uploaded 141 UFC presentations to controversial file-sharing sites like Piratebay and provided a PayPal donation link to keep the illegal practice going" (N.Y. POST, 5/1).

TRIUMPH OVER TRAGEDY: Fox is "developing an event series" about the '13 Boston Marathon bombings. Based on "LONG MILE HOME: BOSTON UNDER ATTACK, THE CITY'S COURAGEOUS RECOVERY AND THE EPIC HUNT FOR JUSTICE," by Boston Globe reporters SCOTT HELMAN and JENNA RUSSELL, the project will "be written, directed and executive produced" by ROD LURIE. It will "follow the heartbreak, terror and triumph on Boston's tragic Marathon day and the week that followed, told through the eyes of various Bostonians" (, 4/30).

NAMES: Daytona Int'l Speedway President JOIE CHITWOOD III will be the "honorary chairman" of the 26th annual Motorsports HOF of America's Induction Ceremony on Aug. 6 at Detroit's Fillmore Theater (, 4/30)....SnowSports Industries America presented the Snow Sports Recognition Award to longtime U.S. Ski & Snowboard Association CEO BILL MAROLT (SnowSports)....The Oilers are “uprooting” the WAYNE GRETZKY statue outside Rexall Place and “moving him downtown” when the team moves to its new arena (EDMONTON JOURNAL, 5/1)….Octagon signed tennis player LOUISA CHIRICO, who will be represented by Client Manager MIKE SCHERER (Octagon)….A Clayton County (Ga.) grand jury yesterday indicted former NBAer MOOKIE BLAYLOCK on 14 charges, “including first-degree vehicular homicide, serious injury by vehicle and reckless driving.” He could “face up to 33 years in prison” (ATLANTA JOURNAL-CONSTITUTION, 5/1)….Tennis HOFer MONICA SELES listed her 5,800-square-foot house in the Laurel Oak neighborhood of Sarasota, Fla. For $1.85M (Sarasota HERALD-TRIBUNE, 5/27)….Eagles QB NICK FOLES married his longtime girlfriend TORI MOORE (Newark STAR-LEDGER, 5/1).