LOS ANGELES: Unbeaten world champion Floyd Mayweather is being sued by two boxing brothers involved in sparring sessions shown in a television reality show, according to court documents.
The documents posted online by Las Vegas television station KTNV show that Sharif Rahman and his older brother Hasim Rahman Jr. are suing Mayweather, his fledgling promotional company and cable telecaster Showtime over the TV show designed to promote Mayweather’s last fight against Marcos Maidana.
The brothers — sons of former heavyweight world champion Hasim Rahman — claim battery, false imprisonment and negligent hiring and supervision, and say they never consented to be included in the “All Access” shows telecast by Showtime prior to the September 13 Maidana bout.
The lawsuit, filed Thursday in Clark County District Court in Las Vegas, claims that Mayweather forced 18-year-old Sharif Rahman to spar against Britain’s Donovan Cameron for several rounds lasting five to seven minutes each, and that when Rahman asked for shorter rounds the request was denied.
When he tried to leave the ring, Mayweather “responded by telling Mr. Cameron and others that if Sharif left the ring to beat his ass outside the ring,” the plaintiffs claim. “Sharif feared for his safety and was forced to continue to fight.”
Hasim Rahman Jr., arriving later at the gym, then fought Cameron in a session that lasted 31 minutes without a break, with Mayweather and others betting on the outcome.
The “All Access” programs had already caught the attention of Nevada boxing authorities.
The Nevada State Athletic Commission called Mayweather, who was licensed as a promoter in the state earlier this year, to explain what appeared to be potentially unsafe practices.
They voiced concern about the apparent 31-minute sparring session, but Mayweather told the commission that neither the fights nor the betting were real — just as “All Access” scenes that showed people smoking marijuana at his home were staged to portray a “lifestyle” that would drum up sales for the pay-per-view Maidana fight.
The commission accepted that explanation and no further action was taken.
“Defendant Mayweather knowingly misrepresented facts while testifying before the Nevada State Athletic Commission,” according to the lawsuit, in which the Rahman brothers are seeking punitive damages.
Neither of the Rahman brothers has fought professionally, although Hasim Rahman Jr. is scheduled to make his pro debut on November 13.