Former It’s Showtime 77kg champion Cosmo Alexandre has released an official statement regarding the company’s decision to strip him of his title and remove him from their upcoming card. Here is his statement, in full:
It is with great respect and gratitude to my fans, followers, the media, and all my fellow Muay Thai enthusiasts that I would like to take this opportunity and resolve any confusion that has surfaced from my “Its Showtime” match cancellation originally scheduled for December 18th. It is very common that Muay Thai Fighters often schedule fights just weeks apart with supportive examples of this demonstrated regularly in professional fighter’s records. I am dedicated to building my professional career and have been fortunate enough to simultaneously hold multiple titles with different organizations. Unfortunately two of those organizations are hosting events in the near future scheduled just 2 weeks apart. I was first contacted to fight in the 2010 Kings Cup in Thailand scheduled for December 5th so that I could defend my title and I accepted this challenge immediately. Having lived and trained in Thailand, I have made many friends and grown strong ties there, which subsequently, has become my home away from home. With out the slightest hesitation, I accepted this opportunity. A couple months later I was contacted by “Its Showtime” to defend my title in Holland on December 18th and I accepted this match as well. To be perfectly honest, the December 18th event was not a financially sound decision for me but my love of Muay Thai and the support of my fans made the decision easy! As a returning champion of the “Its Showtime” event with a title defense on the line, I thought that the respect and hospitality would be greater. Instead, they have insisted I absorb costs such as airfare and associated expenses with the trip to compete for this organization and defend a title I earned on their behalf! On top of this concern is the added frustration that the promoter takes 15% of the purse for himself leaving little, if any gain, with the most optimistic of dispositions being a victory. I have so much respect for the event, the fans, and everyone involved which is why I would never take any direct action that would purposely hinder the success of the event. I was never informed that there was a time frame allowance that would restrict me from competing as I had already committed. I was surprised with the release from the event, since I was sincerely looking forward to defending my belt that I worked so hard to earn. I hope that this explanation helps to clarify any misunderstandings and will keep rumors at bay. Even though I will not be competing in this event, I wish all the competitors the best of luck and continued success in their future endeavors!
I would imagine there will be some who read this statement and say that since the King’s Cup fight was signed first, Cosmo is not to blame. I don’t entirely agree with that idea. It’s Showtime can’t possibly be held responsible for knowing the upcoming schedule of every fighter, especially for a tournament in Thailand that had not been announced when they booked Cosmo for their show. If Alexandre did not disclose that he was booked for King’s Cup, It’s Showtime can’t be expected to have known.
To me, the real issue lies in the section I have bolded above. According to It’s Showtime’s statement “At IT’S SHOWTIME, we have a standard procedure that no fighter is allowed to fight within 5 weeks before our event, unless he has written permission.” Alexandre’s argument is that he was never informed of this rule. Obviously, these two statements are in contradiction with each other. Whether he was or was not informed is the real heart of this issue here, and as I see it, there are 3 possible options of what really happened:
1. It’s Showtime did indeed inform Cosmo and his team of this rule, either by including it in the original contract or on something else Cosmo signed, and his team either neglected to read things thoroughly or chose to ignore the stipulation. If this is the case, the fault lies with Alexandre’s team.
2. Alexandre was not given any official information on this rule. IS calls it a “standard procedure” but if it is not in a contract, then is Alexandre legally bound to the rule? If they did not put it in writing somewhere that Alexandre signed, the fault lies with It’s Showtime.
3. The two sides had not yet signed an official contract. This is unlikely, but possible. If so, neither side was acting in the most professional manner, and both are to blame.
At this point, trying to figure out which of the above options is correct becomes nothing but speculation and a game of who said what. Short of either side releasing a copy of the contract, this is likely as close as we’ll get to knowing the true story.
The other issue at play here is the concerns over pay that Alexandre brings up. He mentions that taking the IS fight was not a financially sound decision, going into specific details about why. Again, this is just Alexandre’s statement, and without seeing the details of the contract, we don’t know the exact facts. And while this info is not entirely relevant to this particular case (if he agreed to the terms of the contract, he agreed to the terms of the contract) it is telling in regards to how fighters make a living, and also where It’s Showtime stands.
I said in the original article that for It’s Showtime to be considered a top level organization, they need to protect themselves from last minute cancellations, and that is true. But the other side of that coin is that for It’s Showtime to be considered a top level organization, they need to pay their fighters accordingly. If they do not pay a competitive wage, and try to include these kind of clauses in their contracts, they will create a situation where it is not worth it for higher profile fighters to fight in their organization. If Alexandre’s financial details are accurate, then that’s exactly what we are seeing happen here. The final result is that a policy designed to protect the cards actually ends up hurting the cards, which hurts the fans, and, in the long run, the organization. An organization like the UFC can have more control over its fighters because of the pay they offer. If It’s Showtime can’t offer that pay, they have to let go of that control.
by Fraser Coffeen on Nov 17, 2010 11:41 AM EST in It’s Showtime
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