Boxing legend Evander Holyfield is seeking a court order to block the sale of several items of memorabilia including his Olympic bronze medal and the gloves he wore to fight ear-biter Mike Tyson.
The five-times heavyweight champion agreed to auction off 450 items in a bid to overcome financial problems that forced him to vacate his Georgia estate, which was foreclosed in July (12).
Holyfield insists he identified 20 of the items which he does not wish to sell after receiving an inventory from bosses at Julien's Auctions, but claims they failed to remove the lots from the catalogue.
He also states the auction house offered to remove eight of the items from the list but they were never returned to the boxer.
Holyfield has since filed the lawsuit in Los Angeles Federal Court to prevent Julien's Auctions from selling the 20 items at the end of this month (Nov12), alleging holding the lots back from sale would not cost the auction house "anything other than a dip in income".
The legal papers state, "If, on the other hand, Holyfield is forced to sell those few items of personal property that have the very most sentimental value to him as he looks back over his career, and which he wants to pass down to future generations of his family, the hardship is overwhelming and irreparable."
Holyfield is seeking an injunction and punitive damages for conversion, unfair business practices, breach of fiduciary duty, breach of oral contract, anticipatory breach of oral contract, false promise, and misrepresentation.
Julien's Auctions President and CEO Darren Julien insists his company had approval from Holyfield to list the items for sale in a press release announcing the auction earlier this year. Julien claims Holyfield has been advanced hundreds of thousands of dollars for the auction items.