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Kawamata loses in court

By Zach Arnold | August 31, 2006

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By Zach Arnold

For reference to the whole yakuza scandal and 3-way 2003 MMA wars in Japan, use this link.

Seiya Kawamata, who had filed a lawsuit in Tokyo District Court against Nippon TV for improper annulment of payment from the Inoki Bom-Ba-Ye TV contract in 2003, has apparently lost his court case. The court threw out the legal claims from both sides (N-TV & Kawamata), meaning a big loss.

In the court’s ruling, Kawamata was told that the network had merit in canceling the remainder of the TV contract because Kawamata couldn’t produce an adequate substitute for Mirko Cro Cop on the show. Therefore, because Mirko wasn’t replaced “adequately” and the show tanked with a 5.1% rating, the TV network should have been allowed to annul the deal.

Intriguingly, what the court ruling doesn’t address or take into consideration is the fact that Mirko Cro Cop left Miro Mijatovic and went with Ken Imai to PRIDE & Sakakibara right after the Inoki Bom-Ba-Ye 2003 show, creating plenty of accusations about PRIDE interfering with the Inoki event and acquiring Cro Cop. As I noted in a report months ago on the web site, the transaction of Mirko jumping to PRIDE drew some watchful eyes.

Based on previous discussions I’ve had with insiders on the court case, I didn’t hear one person even bring up the possibility of Kawamata losing his court case against N-TV (even Gryphon didn’t think Kawamata would lose). It was almost considered a foregone conclusion by insiders that Kawamata would win, despite the fact that the same district court trashed Kawamata’s credibility in the lawsuit lien filed by former Fedor & Cro Cop agent Miro Mijatovic. Mijatovic’s lien was entirely dependent on Kawamata’s winnings in court from Nippon TV.

With Kawamata losing in court, this brings up quite the interesting scenario. Kawamata is supposedly in financial trouble and still “hiding.” Mijatovic never resurfaced publicly at all after Fedor left to join Red Devil. Furthermore, despite winning a court case against Kawamata for money damages that he suffered because of not being paid for the Inoki event, Mijatovic likely will end up not recovering a single yen from Kawamata. Mijatovic & Bas Boon had booked Golden Glory fighters for the event who never got paid, resulting in Mijatovic paying the fighters out of pocket and being placed in an enormous political hotseat in the fight industry.

Update: Here’s the Sherdog article on the court ruling. Two key points: 1) Despite awarding Mijatovic a legal victory over an admitted yakuza fixer in Kawamata, the court’s decision against Kawamata in the N-TV case essentially is only a victory on paper but not financially for Mijatovic. He ended losing money. 2) Kawamata’s loss in court means he in real trouble on several fronts. Regarding the claims about PRIDE’s involvement or non-involvement in the Mirko Cro Cop booking, this was something that could have been cleared up in court by investigators from the Kanagawa police (who were looking at this story), but because Kawamata admitted he was a yakuza himself and ripped the police in the press for letting Mr. I (Ishizaka) leave police surveillance, there was no way that anyone was going to stand up on behalf of Kawamata. So he is a big loser in all of this. And, of course, PRIDE is fighting for its survival. So everyone in this entire matter (both good and bad) has lost big time.

Topics: All Topics, Japan, Media, PRIDE, Yakuza, Zach Arnold | No Comments » | Permalink | Trackback |


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