A class-action lawsuit was filed Tuesday on behalf of two Las Vegas residents seeking more than $5 million from eight-division world champion Manny Pacquiao, his manager Michael Koncz, and his promoters for duplicitously covering up his injury before his super-fight against Floyd Mayweather Jr., ABC News reports.
The suit alleges that Pacquiao, Koncz, his promotional company Top Rank, its founder and CEO Bob Arum, and its president Todd duBoef, confessed that they knew of his shoulder injury before the fight, and failed to disclose it to the Nevada State Athletic Commission as required by law. In addition, they kept it hidden from fans who bought 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 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,” the lawsuit reads. “Defendants further knew that such injury would severely affect his performance.”
It is estimated that pay-per-view revenues could top $300 million, pay-per-view buys could exceed five million, and wagers in the state of Nevada itself could exceed $60 million.
The May 2nd bout, which resulted in Floyd Mayweather Jr. extending his unbeaten record from 47 to 48 fights, was billed as “The Fight of The Century.” The plaintiffs argue that it was nothing close to being promoted as such, violating the Nevada Deceptive Trade Practices Act. David Petrocelli, an attorney who represents Top Rank, vehemently denied the allegations brought forth.
“The allegations in this lawsuit are demonstrably false,” said Petrocelli. “These are documents that explicitly show the medications that Manny was using to treat the shoulder, and it was fully disclosed with USADA, which we contracted for this fight.”
Petrocelli said that Pacquiao was fully-examined by doctors prior to the fight and was proved to be physically able to perform, but re-injured the shoulder early in the bout, adding that the public being unaware of Pacquiao’s injury is irrelevant.
“This is a frivolous lawsuit, and we are confident it will be dismissed,” he said.
The lawyer for the plaintiffs, Brandom McDonald, had no comment.
The news comes a day after Nevada State Athletic Commission Chairman Francisco Aguilar stated that the attorney general’s office would investigate why Pacquiao checked ‘no’ on a form asking, “Have you had any injury to your shoulders, elbows, or hands that needed evaluation or examination?”
For not answering the question accurately, Pacquiao could face a fine or suspension.
Orthopedic surgeon Dr. Neal ElAttrache revealed to ESPN’s Dan Rafael on Monday that Pacquiao would undergo surgery to repair the torn rotator cuff, which will keep him out of action for nine months to a year.