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Practice Overview

Boxing & Sports Law

Sports Law: Representing Boxing, Mixed Martial Arts and Other Professional Athletes, Managers and Promoters

The Advertising, Marketing & Promotions Group at Olshan counsels clients in boxing, mixed martial arts (MMA), kickboxing and other professional sports. Our clients include professional athletes as well as promoters, managers, and entertainment and media businesses that promote sporting events in the United States and Europe. Our efforts have helped secure or protect million-dollar fights on behalf of Olympic gold medalist Alexander Povetkin and British boxing legend Ricky Hatton.

No Need to Get Up to Speed — We’re Already There

Perhaps no other lawyer in the U.S. has the depth of knowledge and experience that Scott Shaffer brings to combat sports. Scott has served as a legal commentator on truTV (formerly CourtTV). He is also a sports writer who has covered legal issues and breaking news for websites such as and His work has appeared in The Ring magazine. He is a past officer of the Boxing Writers’ Association of America and has been chosen to vote on which boxers gain entry into the International Boxing Hall of Fame.

This extensive experience allows him to respond quickly to the needs of boxing and MMA clients should an emergency arise on the eve of a major sporting event. There is no need to bring him up to speed — he can immediately step in with a comprehensive understanding of fight rules and the laws that apply to sports contracts and sports marketing.

Real-World Experience In Getting Deals Done

In addition to the broad range of litigation and regulatory matters he handles for the firm, Scott Shaffer has served as legal counsel in several of the world’s biggest boxing matches over the past few years, including:

  • Showtime’s Super Six World Classic - an international tournament among the world’s best super middleweights;
  • Wladimir Klitschko/Alexander Povetkin - world heavyweight championship fight;
  • Kelly Pavlik/Jermain Taylor I and II - world middleweight championship fights;
  • Jermain Taylor/Bernard Hopkins II - world middleweight championship fight;
  • Miguel Cotto/Paul Malignaggi - junior welterweight title fight;
  • Chad Dawson/Antonio Tarver I and II - light heavyweight title fights; and
  • Arthur Abraham/Edison Miranda II - middleweight title fight.

A large part of our sports and boxing law practice has been on behalf of international fight promoters, such as Sauerland Event, DiBella Entertainment and Glory Kickboxing. While our practice started with a focus on the U.S. boxing scene, it has expanded globally, with events in Canada and Europe. Current and former clients have included world champions Ricky Hatton, John Ruiz, Kermit Cintron, and Cory Spinks.

The Business of Combat Sports

Olshan handles contract negotiations and contract disputes for individual boxers, including world champions, and boxing promoters. Services include:

  • creating and negotiating bout contracts, option agreements, provision of service contracts and promotional contracts with fighters, managers, and other promoters;
  • negotiating pay-per-view (PPV) event contracts with broadcast and cable television networks, such as HBO and Showtime;
  • negotiating licensing agreements for broadcast rights with respect to domestic and foreign television networks;
  • resolving contract disputes among boxers, managers, and sponsors;
  • litigating breach of contract and tortious interference disputes in court and arbitration proceedings;
  • negotiating site fees and sponsorship agreements with casinos, hotels, or resorts hosting professional boxing matches; and
  • representing promoters and boxers in disputes with world sanctioning bodies.

The Rights of Boxers

Boxers, managers, trainers and promoters can be easily exploited in this industry and need a lawyer who will fight for them if they’ve been wronged. Contact us if you’ve:

  • been stripped of your boxing license or championship;
  • been taken advantage of because someone broke their contract with you or is preventing you from exercising your rights; or
  • had your health or safety unreasonably jeopardized or your rights ignored (e.g. violations of the Muhammad Ali Boxing Reform Act).

Administrative Hearings

Olshan defends boxers from unfair or arbitrary decisions of sanctioning bodies, such as local athletic commissions or world championship sanctioning organizations like the International Boxing Federation (IBF), World Boxing Council (WBC), World Boxing Association (WBA) and World Boxing Organization (WBO). As an experienced boxing attorney, Scott Shaffer can navigate his clients through each sanctioning body’s arcane set of rules. Those rules themselves are complicated—getting those rules enforced can be even more complicated.

Call Us to Discuss Taking On Your Cause If:

  • Your career is being delayed due to an expired or invalid contract;
  • Your championship was stripped or threatened, or your rating unfairly changed;
  • You are being forced or coerced into a specific bout or contract; or
  • You have problems getting licensed or dealing with differences in rules of different states or jurisdictions.

Make use of our real-world experience. Contact our Boxing & Sports Law attorney today:

Scott Shaffer Email
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