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Boxer Says Promoters Beat Him Down

MANHATTAN (CN) - Heavyweight boxer Shannon Briggs claims promoter Shelly Finkel and his associates owe him big money for his fight with Vitali Klitschko, which left Briggs hospitalized for 12 days. Briggs claims Finkel and his cohorts left him on the hook for those hospital expenses, and stole his business from under him.

In his complaint in New York County Court, Briggs, a two-time heavyweight champion, says he formed Golden Empire with defendant Gregory Cohen in 2009.

In 2010, the defendants Empire Sports and Entertainment and Empire Sports & Entertainment Holdings Cos. were created to succeed Golden Empire. Briggs says his 50 percent ownership interest in Golden Empire was transferred without his permission.

Briggs says Empire's officers, defendants Cohen, Finkel and Barry Honig, promised him $750,000 for fighting Vitali Klitschko on Oct. 16, 2010.

Briggs lost to Klitschko in a brutal 12-round decision, which left Briggs hospitalized.

"Following the bout with Klitschko, the defendants denied that they had agreed to pay Briggs $750,000 for the Klitschko bout," the complaint states.

"In addition, the defendants contended that all the payments that had been made to Briggs as his salary for services to Golden Empire and to Empire were actually advances, which the defendants were entitled to 'recoup' from the purse owed to Briggs for the bout with Klitschko."

Briggs claims the defendants have paid him just $25,000 for the fight with Klitschko and refuse to provide documents "to justify this rip-off."

Then, Briggs says, the defendants kicked him while he was down.

"To add insult to injury, the defendants have deducted the cost of Brigg's hospitalization from the wrongfully understated purse for the bout," the complaint states.

"Following the bout with Klitschko, the defendants terminated Brigg's promotional agreement."

Briggs seeks actual punitive damages for breach of fiduciary duty. He is represented by Jethro Eisenstein with Profeta & Eisenstein.

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