Action over ‘fraudulent’ fight claims

Boxing fans across the country and their lawyers are calling the hyped-up fight between Manny Pacquiao and Floyd Mayweather Jr a fraud and want their money back, and then some.

Action over ‘fraudulent’ fight claims

At least 32 class action lawsuits across the country allege Pacquiao should have disclosed a shoulder injury to boxing fans before the fight, which Mayweather won in a unanimous decision after 12 lacklustre rounds that most fans thought didn’t live up to the hype.

Fight of the century? More like fraud of the century, the lawsuits contend.

“The fight was not great, not entertaining, not electrifying. It was boring, slow and lacklustre,” according to a lawsuit filed in Texas alleging racketeering, a claim usually reserved for organised crime.

The fighters are each expected to earn more than $100m, Mayweather more than Pacquiao, and HBO and Showtime broke records raking in more than $400m from 4.4m paying to watch the pay-per-view broadcast.

Those 4.4m paid up to $100 each to watch the fight, and the lawsuits are seeking their money back.

It isn’t as easy as showing a receipt and demanding a refund, though. A federal panel of judges will likely first need to decide if the cases from multiple states and Puerto Rico should be consolidated into one case. From there, a judge would have to decide whether to certify them as class actions or not.

What’s sought in each is the same: a jury trial and at least $5m in damages, the threshold for federal class actions.

Representatives for Pacquiao and Top Rank Promotions, HBO and Showtime had no comment to offer on the lawsuits and Mayweather Promotions did not return multiple phone messages.

Exhibit A for most of the lawsuits is a Nevada Athletic Commission medical questionnaire that Pacquiao signed days before the fight. When asked if he had any injuries including to his shoulder he replied “no.”

In fact, his shoulder was injured enough to warrant surgery shortly after the fight.

Experts in resolving legal disputes doubt disgruntled boxing fans will be able to claim victory.

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