NEW YORK (AP) _ A former World Boxing Association light-heavyweight champion has filed a $7 million lawsuit claiming that his former manager stole hundreds of thousands of dollars from him.

Louis Delvalle, 32, says in court papers that Joseph DeGuardia, who became his manager and lawyer in 1992, stole some of the money by accepting secret payoffs just for ``delivering'' Delvalle for fights.

``By definition, all monies paid to DeGuardia in this illicit fashion were monies which the promoter would have been willing to pay to Delvalle and DeGuardia jointly,'' say papers filed in Manhattan's State Supreme Court.

In other instances, court papers say, DeGuardia violated state law and his legal duty to Delvalle by having his own promotion company, Star Boxing Inc., promote Delvalle's fights, alone and with others.

The law bars anyone from acting as manager and promoter of the same boxer. The arrangement would allow the manager to negotiate with himself, as promoter, how much money he would get for staging his boxer's fights.

Delvalle said he learned about the alleged thefts from one of DeGuardia's disgruntled former partners. Gary Friedman, Delvalle's lawyer, said the boxer filed a complaint with the Manhattan district attorney's office.

Daniel Castleman, the district attorney's chief of investigations, confirmed that his office received Delvalle's complaint about DeGuardia and said, ``We're looking into it.''

DeGuardia's lawyer, Barry Berke, said, ``Anyone can make a complaint to the district attorney's office. Mr. DeGuardia is confident that any independent review of the allegations will show they are without merit.''