SC orders Nazario heirs to settle Espinosa prize in 1998 bout

MANILA — The Supreme Court (SC) ordered the heirs of the late boxing promote Rodolfo “Rudy” Nazario to complete the payment of prize money due to boxer Luisito Espinosa for his victory in the World Boxing Council World Featherweight title fight against Carlos Rios in Koronadal, South Cotabato, 22 years ago.

In a resolution dated Nov. 13, 2019 and released on Saturday, the High Court’s Third Division ordered Nazario’s heirs, led by his widow retired SC Associate Justice Minita Chico-Nazario, to pay Espinosa the sum of USD130,349 plus interest at 6 percent per annum reckoned from May 26, 1998.

“The scheduled fight pushed through and the respondent (Espinosa) has not been given his prize money too long to be ignored. From the time of their agreement on October 16, 1997 to the present, it has already been 22 years but the respondent (Espinosa) has not yet received the full amount of the prize money due to him,” the court said.

The court, however, reiterated that the heirs are not personally responsible for the debts and that their extent is limited to the value of the estate which they inherited.

“To rule otherwise would unduly deprive the petitioners of their properties,” the SC said.

Nazario died on September 24, 2009. He had signed as guarantor for the prize money by then South Cotabato Provincial Governor Hilario de Pedro III and fellow boxing promoter Joselito Mondejar.

Under the original contract, Espinosa was supposed to be entitled to USD150,000 and training expenses of USD10,000.

With days to go before the scheduled fight, only USD29,000 had been paid to Espinosa.

In the weigh-in on December 5, 1997, Espinosa had still not been paid the full amount even though it was customary in the boxing world that the fighters be paid in full right after weigh-in.  Benjamin Pulta /PNA –