Class-action lawsuit filed against Manny Pacquiao, Top Rank
Manny Pacquiao's attorney said Tuesday he intends to move to dismiss what he describes as a "frivolous" class-action lawsuit filed against the boxer and his primary handlers in Nevada by two Las Vegas residents.
As first reported by ESPN's Darren Rovell, the lawsuit seeks in excess of $5 million from Pacquiao, his manager Michael Koncz and his promoter, Top Rank Inc., for allegedly fraudulently covering up Pacquiao's right shoulder injury before his Saturday night loss to Floyd Mayweather Jr.
The lawsuit, according to Rovell, alleges that the parties failed to disclose the injury to the Nevada State Athletic Commission and worked to keep it secret from fans who paid a minimum $2,500 to attend the fight in person and $99.95 to watch a high-definition broadcast of Saturday's pay-per-view bout.
Privately, key members of Pacquiao's team said Sunday that they feared such a move would come, one saying, "people will sue over anything."
Pay-per-view sales should be in excess of $300 million and Las Vegas bookmakers told The Times last week that an estimated $50 million to $80 million would be bet on the bout, with slight underdog Pacquiao a popular wager despite the largest wagers being on Mayweather.
The lawsuit, according to Rovell, alleges that the defendants "had full knowledge and information that defendant Pacquiao had been seriously injured and was suffering from a torn rotator cuff," and they knew "that such injury would severely affect his performance."
In a document obtained by The Times on Monday, Pacquiaio and Koncz signed a Nevada State Athletic Commission medical form at Friday's weigh-in that had "no" checked next to a question asking if the boxer had suffered a shoulder injury.
The form also included notes that Pacquiao could take the anti-inflammatory prescription injection Toradol, which commission chairman Francisco Aguilar stopped Pacquiao from taking before the fight.
Pacquiao suffered a right shoulder injury while sparring April 4 and received a cortisone injection April 6, according to a member of his training team, and rested the arm until he felt better.
Pacquiao said the shoulder was functioning at 60% before the fight, and that he believed the pre-fight injection that was never given would provide him a full range of motion.
Instead, he said he reaggravated the injury throwing effective combinations in the fourth round, and Mayweather proceeded to win by unanimous decision, by scores of 118-110, 116-112, 116-112.
On Monday, Koncz reported that Pacquiao will undergo shoulder surgery in Los Angeles this week and will be sidelined an estimated four-to-six months, with a more thorough diagnosis coming from doctors following the surgery.
Pacquiao promoter Bob Arum said Monday that he could not answer why the injury box was checked no. Aguilar said since the medical form was signed under the penalty of perjury, he's asked the Nevada attorney general to assess the situation, given the gravity of a fight that will shatter boxing revenue records.
Pacquiao attorney Daniel Petrocelli told The Times on Tuesday that he expects the lawsuit "will be dismissed," because it makes claims that are not true.
"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."
Aguilar said he ordered Pacquiao to throw right-handed punches in his dressing room before letting the bout proceed.
"We haven't been served yet, but when we are, we'll file a motion to dismiss or a summary judgment motion," Petrocelli said.