Manny Pacquiao has been accused of dishonesty for not disclosing that he had sustained a shoulder injury prior to his highly-publicized fight against Floyd Mayweather Jr.
As a result, he is facing a class-action lawsuit by two Las Vegas residents who claim to be litigating on behalf of “all persons who purchased tickets; purchased the pay-per-view event; or who wagered money on the event.”
“Prior to and at the time the plaintiffs and the class decided to purchase tickets; purchase pay per view showings or wagered on the event 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 class action suit claims that because Pacquiao had not declared his injury on a pre-fight questionnaire, he is liable for costing a lot of people money — and therefore has to pay up for bets lost on Saturday night’s fight.
In a joint statement, however, Pacquiao’s team and his promoters, Top Rank Boxing, said they had notified the United States Anti-Doping Agency (USADA) during the boxer’s training camp and on the night of the fight, the BBC reports.
The statement also disclosed that a USADA doctor authorized the use of a non-steroidal anti-inflammatory on the night of the fight, but it was not allowed as the Nevada Athletic Commission claimed they were “unaware” of his injury.
“This was disappointing since Team Pacquiao had disclosed the injury and treatment to USADA, who approved the treatments and Manny had listed the medication on his pre-fight medical form.”
According to ESPN, an estimated $300 million could come from pay-per-view revenues, and bets on the fight in Nevada alone could surpass $60 million.
Although the NAC says Pacquiao’s team was not “obligated” to tell them about the shoulder injury, their director, Bob Bennett, believes there was dishonesty.
“It’s not just the fact he didn’t fill out the question completely, it’s that he wasn’t honest.
Two hours before the fight they wanted a shot that’s a painkiller, in essence. That put us in a very precarious position.”
The plaintiffs are seeking at least $5 million in damages from Pacquiao, his manager, Bob Arum, and Top Rank, his promoters.
In a statement issued by Daniel Petrocelli, an attorney representing Top Rank, the class-action suit is completely groundless.
“The allegations in this lawsuit are demonstratively false.
There are documents that explicitly show the medications that Manny was using to treat his shoulder and it was fully disclosed with USADA, which we contracted for this fight.”
Petrocelli added that doctors had seen and cleared Pacquiao before the fight and was proven fit to box, but the shoulder was re-injured during the match. He also stated that it is irrelevant whether or not the public knew of his original injury beforehand.
“This is a frivolous lawsuit and we are confident it will be dismissed.”
Orthopedic surgeon Neal ElAttrache told ESPN that Pacquiao has a “significant tear” in his rotator cuff, which he suffered before the fight, and it will likely sideline him for the next nine to 12 months.
On Saturday’s “fight of the century,” Mayweather scored a unanimous points victory, and took his record to 48 fights.
However, he’s not satisfied with this win, and told ESPN’s Stephen A. Smith in a text on Tuesday that he’d be willing to do a rematch in a year, after Pacquiao recovered from his shoulder injury.