Ten months after Top Rank promoter Bob Arum filed a $100 million federal anti-trust lawsuit against Premier Boxing Champions creator Al Haymon, they settled on Thursday.
"The stipulation of dismissal was filed in federal court in Los Angeles, and it's a matter of public record," Arum told ESPN.com. "We settled, but the terms of the settlement are confidential, and I'm not going to talk about it. I'd be pissed if they said anything about it, and I am not going to."
Arum declined to explain why the settlement was made, but he said the prospect of a rematch between Floyd Mayweather, Haymon's top client, and Manny Pacquiao, whom Arum promotes, had nothing to do with it.
Haymon does not speak to the media, and a spokesperson did not respond to ESPN.com's request for a comment.
When the suit was initially filed, Arum said he wanted to take it to trial so he could find out "where the bodies are buried." What changed is not clear.
"If I was still working for the U.S. Attorney's office, I might have seen this through to the end, but I'm a private citizen," said Arum, who worked in Robert Kennedy's Justice Department before becoming a boxing promoter 50 years ago.
Arum filed suit on July 1 in U.S. District Court in Los Angeles, contending that Haymon's PBC series is monopolistic and violates federal antitrust laws as well as the federal Muhammad Ali Boxing Reform Act.
Haymon, with perhaps as much as $500 million-plus secured to bankroll the venture from Kansas investment firm Waddell & Reed, purchased time for the PBC series on a multitude of television networks, including ESPN, NBC/NBC Sports Net, CBS, Spike TV, Fox/Fox Sports 1 and Bounce TV.
The Ali Act makes it illegal to serve as both a manager, who has a fiduciary duty to a boxer, and a promoter, who does not. Top Rank alleged that Haymon serves in both capacities for most of the 200-plus fighters in his stable and merely hires what the lawsuit called "sham" promoters to do his bidding.
The sides had been deep into the discovery process and had been exchanging documents when they stopped about two weeks ago. Then came the settlement.
"Plaintiff Top Rank, Inc. and Defendants Alan Haymon, Haymon Boxing LLC, Haymon Sports LLC, Haymon Holdings LLC, and Alan Haymon Development, Inc. hereby stipulate to the dismissal with prejudice of all claims between them in this action, pursuant to Federal Rule of Civil Procedure 41(a)(1)(A)(ii), and subject to the terms of a confidential agreement," the ruling said.
Arum said early in the case that he had a face-to-face meeting with Haymon, one of the rare times they have met in person since their relationship soured in 2006, when Haymon helped engineer Floyd Mayweather's exit from Top Rank.
"It was very civil," Arum said of the meeting with Haymon. "It was early on, and then it was carried on by our lawyers."
Arum and Haymon also had an in-person meeting during the negotiations for last May's Mayweather-Pacquiao mega fight.
Mayweather won a decision against Pacquiao in the richest fight in boxing history, generating a record of around $600 million. Although both fighters have retired, there has been chatter about a possible rematch. Making last year's fight was hard enough. The prospect of putting together a rematch while the two sides were battling in a high-stakes lawsuit was unrealistic. But Arum said the settlement and notion of a sequel are not related.
"I can say categorically, absolutely, no," Arum said. "[A potential rematch] had no part at all in any negotiations for the settlement or anything like that. It was not an issue and it was never raised."
Of course, now that the suit is out of the way, Arum did say he would be willing to make matches between Top Rank fighters and Haymon-managed boxers.
"As a legal basis, there is no impediment," Arum said. "As a practical basis, it's certainly a big possibility, but then again, it will depend on the ability of the two of us to work together to bring that about. It would make sense for both us.
"I'm optimistic that everybody is going to work together and make big fights. I think there's a realization on everybody's part that in order to get big fights, you're gonna have to work together."
Haymon still faces a $300 million lawsuit filed on similar grounds from Oscar De La Hoya's Golden Boy Promotions.