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Class Action Lawsuit Launched Against Manny Pacquiao

May 5, 2015  |  Posted by: JammedUp Staff
Class Action Lawsuit Launched Against Manny Pacquiao

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More post fight fallout after the most anticipated fight of the century turned into the snore of the century.

Following the news that Manny Pacquiao sustained a shoulder injury prior to Saturday Night’s fight against Floyd Mayweather Jr., A class-action lawsuit was filed Tuesday on by two Las Vegas residents.

The suit claims that Pacquiao, his advisor Michael Koncz, and his promotional company, Top Rank, with its chairman Bob Arum, admittedly knew the extent of his shoulder injury before the fight and failed to notify the Nevada Athletic Commission as required by law.

In addition, the Plaintiffs alleged that Team Pacquiao kept the injury a secret from the fans who purchased tickets to the fight, purchased the fight on pay-per-view and bet on the fight.

“Defendants prior to and at the time the plaintiffs 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,” the lawsuit reads. “Defendants further know that such injury would severely affect his performance.”

Pay-per-view revenues could top $300 million, and wagers in the state of Nevada alone on the fight could surpass $60 million. Ticket revenues from the fight were expected to generate $72 million though only roughly 500 tickets were sold to the public.

Although Saturday’s fight lasted the full 12 rounds, with Mayweather winning by a unanimous decision, the question is whether the fight — advertised as “The Fight of the Century” — was properly promoted or whether it was a fair contest from the start. The plaintiffs argue that it was not and violated the Nevada Deceptive Trade Practices Act.

“The allegations in this lawsuit are demonstrably false,” said attorney Daniel Petrocelli, who represents Top Rank. “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 said that Pacquiao was examined by doctors before the fight and was proved to be physically able, but re-injured his shoulder during the bout. “That the public was unaware of Pacquiao’s original injury is immaterial,” Petrocelli said.

The chairman of the Nevada State Athletic Commission Francisco Aguilar indicated on Monday that the state attorney general’s office will investigate why Pacquiao checked “no” regarding the shoulder injury on the Commission questionnaire one day before the bout.

“We will gather all the facts and follow the circumstances, At some point we will have some discussion. As a licensee of the commission you want to make sure fighters are giving you up-to-date information,” Aguilar said.

The Nevada Athletic Commission could either fine or suspend Pacquiao, for failing to answer the question accurately on a form prior to Friday’s weigh-in. He lost to Mayweather by a unanimous decision to in a fight that generated the most money ever.

Meanwhile, the orthopedic surgeon who examined Pacquiao said the boxer will require surgery to repair his injury. Dr. Neal ElAttrache said in an interview with ESPN.com that Pacquiao will have surgery this week to repair a “significant tear” in his rotator cuff. ElAttrache examined Pacquiao on Monday in Los Angeles.

On Monday afternoon, Pacquiao’s promoter issued a statement on behalf of the fighter insisting that his team disclosed the injury to the U.S. Anti-Doping Agency, which approved Pacquiao to receive the anti-inflammatory shot. However, the USADA acted as a third party to the event whose responsibility charged only with testing the fighters for banned substances in training and the night of the bout.

“We received no medical information, no MRIs, no documents,” said Travis Tygart, head of the USADA. “This was not an anti-doping issue. The real question is why his camp checked ‘no’ on the disclosure. Either they made a terrible mistake to not follow the rules or they were trying not to give information to the other side. I’m not sure there’s a middle ground.”

Tygart said his agency, which was hired by promoters to oversee drug testing for the bout, was contacted April 7 asking about the use of various substances and whether they were allowed under anti-doping rules. He said there was another call ten days later asking about using a different substance, again for what the USADA were told was an unspecified shoulder problem.

A little more than two hours before the fight, Pacquiao’s corner asked Nevada regulators if he could be given a shot of Toradol, an anti-inflammatory. Aguilar denied it, saying the commission had no previous indication there was an injury and could not allow a shot in fairness to the Mayweather camp.

“Our job is to protect the health and safety of fighters and the integrity of the sport,” Aguilar said. “We expect our fighters to be forthright.”

Pacquiao said after the fight that his shoulder had improved and he was hopeful of fighting with the shot. He said it didn’t bother him until the fourth round when he hit Mayweather with a big left hand and went after him with a series of punches.

Pacquiao’s trainer, Freddie Roach, said the shoulder was getting better by the day in training camp.

“We thought at one time we’d postpone the fight, but as the weeks went on it was getting better and I was happy with his performance,” Roach said. “I thought the progress was good enough.”

Nevada Athletic Commission executive director Bob Bennett revealed that Pacquiao filled out the pre-fight questionnaire himself and clearly had an understanding of the questions. A copy of the form was posted earlier on the True.Ink website, signed by both Pacquiao and his manager, Michael Koncz.

“It’s not just the fact he didn’t fill out the question completely, it was that he wasn’t honest, and they didn’t tell us a month ago when he had the shoulder injury,” Bennett said. “They’re not obligated to, but two hours before the fight they wanted a shot that’s a pain killer in essence. That put us in a very precarious position.”

In the statement released by Pacquiao’s camp, they said Pacquiao decided to proceed with the fight even without the shot.

“As Manny has said multiple times, he makes no excuses,” the statement read. “Manny gave it his best.”

Mayweather expressed interest in a possible rematch with Pacquiao. However, reports surfacing tonight has the MGM Grand backing away from a potential rematch.

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