Thomas: Shine Fights to Pay Partial Purse Following Event Cancellation


Dave Mandel/Sherdog.com

Din Thomas was riding in his teammate’s car toward the Crown Coliseum when he got word that his bout with Ricardo Mayorga at Saturday’s ill-fated Shine Fights 3 “Worlds Collide” in Fayetteville, N.C., was likely off.

Thomas’ suspicions were confirmed when he arrived to the venue and co-promoter Dorian Price approached the fighter with a look of desperation on his face.

“He said, ‘Listen, we’re sorry, man, but we had to pull the fight,’” recalled Thomas, who’d spent the last two months training for the 36-year-old boxer in what was to be Mayorga’s mixed martial arts debut.

A few hours earlier, Broward County, Fla., Judge Marc Gold had granted Don King Promotions’ injunction to prevent Mayorga from legally fighting on the card, citing an exclusive contract the Nicaraguan prizefighter had signed with DKP in October 2009.

Thomas said he’d been instructed at the hotel by Shine employees that the fight would go on as planned, though the American Top Team fighter was hearing that Mayorga himself has requested a copy of the injunction be faxed to him so he could review the repercussions that would fall upon him once he stepped into the cage with the former UFC lightweight contender.

Thomas was backstage, waiting for Shine officials to find him and his cornermen seats to watch the show from, when the North Carolina Boxing Authority told matchmaker Ron Foster that they were pulling the plug on the entire event.

“There were maybe a 100 or so fans already in the arena and lines wrapped around both sides of the venue outside,” said Thomas. “It was more people than I’d expected.”

On Monday, the North Carolina regulatory body told numerous news outlets that Shine had failed to secure both a cageside physician and pre-requisite bonds needed to cover the fighters’ payroll. Thomas said he spoke with Shine CEO Devin Price on Monday and was ensured he’d be compensated for his troubles sometime this week. Thomas said he hopes to get paid 25 percent of the purse he’d agreed to, though no figure had been formally established between promoter and fighter. Thomas said he was unaware if other fighters scheduled to fight Saturday would also be compensated. Sherdog.com is awaiting a return call from Price on the matter.

“I just hope everybody gets something,” said Thomas, who was to be joined on the card by fellow veteran Murilo “Ninja” Rua and 2004 Olympic judo newcomer Rick Hawn, among others.

Shine’s Price has already vowed to get back on the horse and promote his third event this summer. Thomas, who signed a one-fight deal to face Mayorga, said he’ll pass on the show, but only because he wants to redirect his attention back to his three ATT satellite schools in Port St. Lucie, Stuart, and Longwood, Fla.

The 33-year-old Thomas, who began fighting professionally in 1998 and has experienced his fair share of less-than-stellar fight promoters, said the event’s cancellation was par for the course and was supportive of the fledgling Florida-based promotion.

“I think a lot of people were hard on Shine,” said Thomas. “I think I did more press for this fight than any other. Before the fight the question I most got asked was, ‘Will you really stand with him?” and after it was, ‘How come they tried signing this guy?’ But I think Shine was very confident in their legal stance. They played the game and they lost.

“Honestly, I think they tried and as long as I get paid, I’m OK,” continued Thomas. “I’m still kind of behind them and watched their dreams go down the drain in 30 minutes. You gotta deal with the Devil sometimes in this game, but these guys were cool.”

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