Defeated boxer Manny Pacquiao may lose most if not all of his $120-million prize money if angry fans who sued him for damages would get a decision in their favor.
So far, two Nevada men filed a class-action lawsuit against Pacquiao on Tuesday (Wednesday in Manila), seeking millions in damages because they say the Filipino ring icon fraudulently concealed a shoulder injury before his defeat to Floyd Mayweather Jr.
It is just the latest fallout from Mayweather’s victory in Las Vegas on Saturday in a unanimous decision, with Pacquiao saying afterward that the shoulder complaint hampered his performance in the welterweight world title showdown.
The plaintiffs argue that by failing to go public with the injury before the feverishly anticipated bout, the Philippine icon and his camp violated the Nevada Deceptive Trade Practices Act.
The suit filed in a US District Court in Las Vegas names as respondents Pacquiao, his manager Michael Koncz, promotional company Top Rank and Top Rank chairman Bob Arum and president Todd duBoef.
According to court documents available online, the lawsuit claims that when plaintiffs Stephane Vanel and Kami Rahbaran — who bought tickets, forked out pay per view fees or bet on the fight — the defendants “knew and had full knowledge and information that defendant Pacquiao had been seriously injured and was suffering from a torn rotator cuff.”
“Defendants further know that such injury would severely affect his performance,” the lawsuit says.
“None of the defendants informed or apprised the public or even the Nevada Athletic Commission about the injury to defendant Pacquiao.”
The clash between Pacquiao and Mayweather at the MGM Grand Garden Arena was billed as the “Fight of the Century.”
It is certainly set to go down as the most lucrative bout in history, with possible revenue of $400 million.
That could include as many as three million pay-per-view purchases, at about $100 each.
The bout went the full scheduled 12 rounds, Mayweather easily winning on the judges’ scorecards to take his perfect record to 48-0.
After the fight, Pacquiao and Top Rank revealed the 36-year-old had been injured in training camp some three weeks earlier.
They said he had been cleared by doctors to fight, although they had expected him to be able to take an anti-inflammatory injection on fight night, but the Nevada State Athletic Commission ultimately denied him.
Pacquiao’s lawyer Daniel Petrocelli told The Los Angeles Times that he expects the lawsuit to be dismissed.
“It claims Pacquiao was injured [immediately]before the bout and that’s not true—he was injured [nearly a month]before the bout, was examined by doctors and cleared to fight,” Petrocelli said. “And he was examined by the commission right before he fought.”
When interviewed by The Manila Times, Arum said he is confident that Pacquiao won’t be sanctioned by the Nevada State Athletic Commission for non-disclosure of his shoulder injury before his bout with Mayweather.
“Sanctioned by the commission? Absolutely not. Manny [Pacquiao] will not be sanctioned by the commission because we already informed them about the injury before the fight.
That’s nothing. We have all the documents [proving that we’ve informed them]. We will bring all documents there in the Philippines,” Arum added.
Pacquiao’s adviser Koncz, who according to reports was with the Filipino boxer when he filled out a pre-fight questionnaire and wrote “No” on the query regarding shoulder injury, refused to comment on the issue.
“I don’t want to comment anymore. I just did not read the questionnaire correctly,” Koncz said in a separate interview. “Please call again on Friday. I will let you know the development regarding the schedule of surgery.”