By Zach Arnold | March 16, 2016
— TheSweetScience (@TSSboxingnews) March 12, 2016
Veteran California boxing & MMA promoter Roy Englebrecht is in a hell of a mess and it could not only cost him money but also cost the state of California money if the Nevada State Athletic Commission suspends him.
Last Friday, the Nevada State Athletic Commission indefinitely suspended both boxer Zab Judah and promoter Roy Englebrecht. Nevada’s commission is publicly claiming that both Judah & Englebrecht “falsified” paperwork submitted to the commission. The initial media report suggested that Judah & Englebrecht allegedly did not disclose back child support that Judah supposedly owes. Late Friday, it was publicly reported that Englebrecht filed paperwork on behalf of Judah with Nevada’s athletic commission.
It is standard operating procedure for athletic commissions to pay off owed back taxes or child support via the fight money purses.
The Nevada State Athletic Commission/Attorney General’s office has not disclosed their full case against Judah & Englebrecht. They will make their case next week to the public. Therefore, it is impossible at this point in time to fully understand the detailed scope of the allegations.
Judah was scheduled to main event a Saturday fight card at the Downtown Las Vegas Events Center. CBS Sports Network was scheduled to televise the event. Roy Englebrecht was the promoter for the show. After Nevada’s athletic commission suspended both Judah and Englebrecht, there wasn’t enough time to find a substitute promoter to save the show. The arena lost the show booking. The athletic commission wasted time and lost money. Fighters on the undercard lost out on pay days.
As a result of the Nevada State Athletic Commission alleging “falsified” paperwork from both Zab Judah & Roy Englebrecht, economic damage occurred with the cancellation of the show. You have fighters, an arena venue, an athletic commission, and a television partner all involved in a show that ended up not occurring.
What is fair punishment and fair compensation?
Next week, both Zab Judah & Roy Englebrecht will be summoned to Las Vegas to address the athletic commission board about the supposedly falsified paperwork. The commission has the option of suspending and fining both men.
For the Downtown Las Vegas Events Center, how will the arena recover money from the economic damage caused by the alleged actions of both Judah & Englebrecht? There are two key causes of action to focus on: breach of contract (nonperformance) and misrepresentation (fraud). Misrepresentation carries the weight of economic damages plus punitive damages. Breach of contract does not carry punitive damages.
How do you prove mens rea?
The hurdle is proving intent when alleging perjury.
It’s one thing to argue negligence. It’s another thing to argue fraud in of the inducement by meeting the standard of providing clear & convincing evidence in an administrative hearing.
How do you prove intent rather than mistake via error of omission?
How do you prove that Roy Englebrecht knew about back child support that Zab Judah allegedly owed? The theory of strict liability is one thing — but strict liability does not equal proving intent.
Anything that Judah or Englebrecht say under oath at next week’s athletic commission meeting can and will be used against them in a civil court case, either filed by the Attorney General or by attorneys from business partners involved in the cancelled Las Vegas event. Any statement made at next week’s hearing under oath that the AG’s office determines to be false is under felony penalty of perjury.
The athletic commission could determine that the actions of both Judah & Englebrecht were negligent… or they could determine that the actions were intentional. This would be very significant in regards to how much money both Judah & Englebrecht could, in theory, owe to their business partners in damages from last Saturday’s cancelled event. How significant? Punitive damages means three times the damages originally suffered from breach of contract (nonperformance) if intent to conceal or misrepresent vital information is factually proven.
Steve Carp’s report in the Las Vegas Review-Journal newspaper claimed that the fight event was sold out.
Could the Attorney General’s office propose a global settlement for all parties involved or could the Athletic Commission/AG’s office pursue their own line of punishment and allow the business partners in the cancelled Vegas show to file their own civil suit?
California could suffer as well
Given the recent policies imposed by the California State Athletic Commission for the cost of doing business on the independent show level, the net result of those policies has placed a heavier emphasis on bigger shows and less of an emphasis on grass roots events.
Of the remaining grass roots promoters in California, Roy Englebrecht and Ken Thompson are the two most established in the state of California. Englebrecht not only runs events in Orange County but also advertises an endeavor called Fight Promoter University where he and many California-based insiders teach people the ins-and-outs of promoting combat sports. These events can be big-time socializing events with power players in the fight business.
Englebrecht is one of the very few grass roots promoters in the state of California who has not only survived but managed to carve out a profitable market for himself. That, in turn, means real cash for the California State Athletic Commission. Roy means business and business means something to Sacramento.
Roy has several events scheduled for the rest of the 2016 calendar. Those events could very well be threatened if the Nevada State Athletic Commission suspends him. It would put the California State Athletic Commission in a terrible position.
- The California State Athletic Commission could ignore Nevada’s suspension, resulting in an escalation of tensions between two of the biggest athletic commissions in the country. The subplot of Bob Bennett, who beat out Andy Foster for the Nevada State Athletic Commission Executive Director position, going to war with California would be newsworthy. Or…
- The California State Athletic Commission could honor Nevada’s suspension and potentially lose 5-figures in lost revenue from future events that Roy Englebrecht is scheduled to promote in 2016.
We requested an official statement from the California State Athletic Commission on Monday morning. The athletic commission did not respond to our inquiry.
We sent an inquiry to Roy Englebrecht on Tuesday morning asking for an on-the-record comment about what kind of contract he had with the Downtown Las Vegas Events Center. We have not received an official response at the time of publication of this article.