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GONZALEZ v. DON KING PRODUCTIONS

October 13, 1998

MIGUEL ANGEL GONZALEZ, Plaintiff, against DON KING PRODUCTIONS, INC., DON KING, DANA JAMISON and HECTOR ELIZALDE, Defendants.

Judge Milton Pollack, Senior U.S. District Judge.


The opinion of the court was delivered by: POLLACK

DECISION

Milton Pollack, Senior U.S. District Judge:

 Plaintiff Miguel Angel Gonzalez ("Gonzalez") brought claims for fraud, tortious interference with contract, and a declaratory judgment against defendants Don King Productions, Inc. ("DKP"), Don King, Dana Jamison and Hector Elizalde. DKP counterclaimed for breach of contract and injunctive relief. These claims are not before the court today and are preserved for future adjudication.

 Gonzalez moves pursuant to FRCP Rule 56 for an order voiding the contract between himself and promoter Don King. For the purposes of this motion, Gonzalez's sole contention is that the contract lacks an essential term regarding compensation and represents an unenforceable agreement to agree. For the reasons below, Gonzalez's motion for summary judgment is denied.

 Omission of Essential Terms

 When parties fail to state an essential term clearly or omit such a term, courts attempt to ascertain the intent of the parties and enforce the contract. *fn1" Striking down a contract as "indefinite and in essence meaningless 'is at best a last resort.'" *fn2"

 Background

 Plaintiff Gonzalez, a citizen of Mexico, is a highly ranked professional boxer. Defendant Don King is the chief executive officer and sole owner of DKP. Defendants Jamison and Elizalde are employees of DKP.

 This action involves two contracts. The first contract, dated February 15, 1996, is an exclusive Promotional Agreement ("Promotional Agreement") between Gonzalez and DKP. The second contract, dated January 15, 1998, is an agreement ("Bout Agreement") for a boxing match with Julio Cesar Chavez held on March 7, 1998 ("Chavez Match"). The Bout Agreement incorporates some of the terms of the Promotional Agreement.

 The Bout Agreement provides for a purse of $ 750,000 for the Chavez Match. DKP paid this purse, and it is not disputed in this motion.

 Paragraph 11 of the Bout Agreement is the focus of the dispute here. It gives DKP the option to promote four of Gonzalez's matches following the Chavez Match. The relevant portions of Paragraph 11 provide as follows:

 
FIGHTER hereby grants PROMOTER FOUR (4) separate and distinct options to promote FIGHTER in his next FOUR (4) fights following the BOUT hereunder [the Chavez Match] without any intervening bouts.
 
. . .
 
In the event FIGHTER loses or draws the BOUT, or any option Bout, FIGHTER'S purse for each bout subsequent to such loss or draw shall be negotiated between ...

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