Retired undefeated boxing champion Joe Calzaghe won his claim over unpaid fees from promoter and manager Frank Warren at the British High Court.
|An earlier meeting in a courtroom between Warren, centre, and Calzaghe, right [GALLO/GETTY]
Judge Wyn Williams ruled that Warren's Sports Network Limited should pay the Welsh fighter about $2.8 million relating to his victory over Bernard Hopkins last year.
The former super middleweight champion claimed that Warren persuaded him to sign contracts under duress while he was suffering dehydration and hunger preparing for fights.
"I am relieved and delighted at the court's decision to award me ($2.8 million.) It totally vindicates what has been my stance throughout,'' Calzaghe said.
"The fight with Frank Warren was not one which I sought, but I am delighted to have remained undefeated through it.
"The decision means that I will now be paid money which has been owed to me for almost a year and which was hard earned in the ring against Bernard Hopkins.''
Warren argued he did not owe the boxer.
And in what the judge claimed was a "smoke screen,'' Warren claimed Calzaghe owed him $1.4 million for breaking his contract over his last fight with Roy Jones Jr. in November.
"This completely reflects my position and means that the judge has made it clear that I was fully within my rights to promote my final bout against Roy Jones Jr. in New York,'' Calzaghe said.
"The court decision means I can move forward into my retirement from the ring with a difficult chapter closed with justice having been done.''
The judge said he could not establish whether a verbal agreement existed, adding that all of Calzaghe's fights for Warren from January 1998 had been covered by written terms.
Williams said the behavior of Warren and Sports Network secretary Edward Simon "in failing to produce one shred of paper which recorded this alleged agreement is inexplicable.''
"I have formed the clear view that I should treat the evidence of each of these witnesses with caution,'' Williams added.
"I say now that there are aspects of the evidence given by each of these persons which has caused me to reflect long and hard upon their credibility, accuracy and reliability.''
Sports Network plans to appeal to reduce the sum it has been ordered to pay.
"I am of course extremely disappointed that the judge did not go further in accepting we had an agreement with Joe to promote his last fights,'' Warren said.
"This is especially so as the judge criticised Joe and his lawyer.''