Class-Action Suit Filed Against Mayweather and Pacquiao Over “Fight of the Century”
Like millions of other Americans, Center City attorney Allan H. Gordon and Rittenhouse Square realtor Seth Lamb wanted to watch last Saturday night’s “Fight of the Century” between Floyd Mayweather Jr. and Manny Pacquiao. So each man plunked down Showtime’s pay-per-view fee, which ranged from $89 to $100, and sat back in their respective homes — Gordon at his second home in Florida — and watched the match. And less than a week later, the men have joined forces to file a class-action lawsuit in a Philadelphia court against the fighters, the the cable network, and others.
Their main argument is this: The fight should have never happened.
After the fight, in which Mayweather defeated Pacquiao, it was revealed that Pacquiao had suffered a torn rotator cuff about a month prior to stepping into the ring with Mayweather, an injury that Mayweather’s team and some of the promoters, the suit alleges, were aware of prior to the fight.
The injury was so bad that Pacquiao reportedly had to postpone his training camp for two weeks because of it, and yet when the fighter submitted a pre-fight medical questionnaire the day before the fight, he answered “no” when asked whether he had any injuries to his shoulders that required evaluation or examination. (That questionnaire is attached as an exhibit to the suit.)
Instead of postponing the fight due to the injury, the fighters and the organizers decided to move forward, resulting in a huge payday for everyone involved. And in doing so, argues the lawsuit, they duped the American public.
“The match was touted as the richest fight in boxing history and one of the most anticipated bouts of all times,” reads the suit. “As it turns out, however, the bout was not fair for the paying public. Indeed, rather than receiving access to view a competitive and entertaining match, consumers who ordered the fight on pay-per-view were witness to a complete sham.”
The suit goes on to say that the defendants, which include the two fighters, Showtime, HBO, the promoters, and others, “intentionally decided to sacrifice the integrity of the match” and “engaged in blatantly self-interested and wrongful conduct…”
Gordon and Lamb accuse the fighters and the others of violating consumer laws in Pennsylvania and Florida, and of fraud, breach of contract, unjust enrichment, and conspiracy. They seek unspecified damages on behalf of the class, which includes pretty much anyone who watched the fight.
“These consumers expected a fair fight between two if not evenly matched at least healthy opponents,” says the plaintiffs’ attorney, Marc Goldich, of storied litigation firm Sheller, P.C., when reached on Thursday afternoon. “Instead they got a one-armed challenger against an undefeated champion.”
Goldich insists that this suit isn’t about the results of the fight, such as when pay-per-view customers gripe when a fighter is knocked out in the first few minutes of a pricey fight.
“It’s about deliberate actions and misrepresentations,” he says. “This was advertised as the Fight of the Century. It was anything but.”
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