The “Fight of the Century” has resulted in class action lawsuit against boxers Floyd Mayweather Jr. and Emmanuel Pacquiao, alleging Pacquiao entered the ring despite injury so they wouldn’t “lose out on the biggest payday of their careers.”
Individually and as class representative, Ryla Bouchier filed suit against the professional boxers on Thursday, May 7 in the U.S. District Court for Southern Texas, Galveston Division. Additional defendants named include Comcast, Top Rank Inc. and Mayweather Promotions.
The suit alleges that on May 2, 2015, millions of Americans were cheated out of hundreds of millions of dollars when Pacquiao, knowingly injured, entered the boxing ring to fight Mayweather.
Mayweather won the fight by unanimous decision. Pacquiao admitted to injuring his shoulder before the fight and aggregating the injury during the fourth round.
“Despite admitting that he was injured prior to even entering the ring, Pacquiao represented to the Nevada Athletic Commission, in writing, that he was not injured hours before the fight,” the suit states.
“In other words, Pacquiao admitted to fraud. He participated injured in a fight that generated hundreds of millions of dollars because postponing the fight would have caused the other defendants named in this lawsuit, including Pacquiao, to lose out on the biggest payday of their careers and biggest pay day in pay per view history.”
The plaintiff in the case, Bouchier, a Houston resident, claims the fight didn’t live up the promoted hype, and the putative class members were deceived by the fraud allegedly perpetuated by the defendants.
“Although the Fight lived up to the revenue expectations of those who stood to monetarily benefit from it, generating somewhere between $300 million and $400 million in gross revenue, the Fight did not live up to boxing fans’ and consumers’ expectations,” the suit states.
“The Fight was not great, not entertaining, not electrifying. It was boring, slow, and lackluster; it was hardly the ‘Fight of the Century,’ or the ‘Battle of Greatness,’ rather it was a show choreographed by the participants.
Bouchier asserts the defendants should have postponed the fight but instead allowed the match to move forward for their own monetary profit – knowingly engaging in a scheme to defraud fans.
The suit accuses the defendants of violating the Racketeer Influenced and Corrupt Organizations Act.
“The pattern of racketeering activity alleged herein was both the factual and legal (proximate) cause of Plaintiff and the putative Class’s injuries and damages,” the suit alleges.
In addition to actual damages, the suit seeks an award of treble damages, attorney’s fees and court costs.
Houston attorney Marcus Spagnoletti represents the plaintiff.
Case No. 3:15-cv-00104