By Scott Heritage
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Manny Pacquiao and his legal team are currently filing papers in order to sue Floyd Mayweather Jr, his father, uncle and Golden Boy promotions for defamation.
The suit comes after Mayweather and his team demanded extra testing for Pacquiao and implied and outright said to varying degrees that the Filipino champion was taking performance enhancing drugs of some kind.
It isn’t clear exactly what is going on just yet between Mayweather and Pacquiao, or who either fighter are facing next. Some sources say that various fights are already as good as made, while others are saying that there are still terms laid out by Top Rank which have a deadline of Monday for Mayweather and Golden Boy to agree to.
One aspect of this is whether Manny will continue to pursue his lawsuit of the fight goes ahead. Also perhaps more pertinent would be whether Mayweather will agree to any terms from Pacquiao now that a law suit is involved. Obviously there is blame within both camps as to why the terms could not be worked out peaceably, but if the threat of a lawsuit actually helps make the fight happen then so be it.
Otherwise the law suit seems like a fruitless endeavor from Pacquiao. While he may well win and make several million dollars, the lawsuit isn’t going to stop people speculating about what he may or may not have taken. For the time and effort involved he might as well concentrate on training and make more with his next fight than spending time and money this way. Not to mention there are still figures from within boxing such as Paulie Malignaggi and Kermit Cintron who are not involved with the law suit and perhaps should be if his other accusers are.
Apart from anything else, Pacquiao realistically doesn’t have a very good chance of winning the case. Mayweather and co undoubtedly slandered him, but defamation cases never tend to work out like athletes want them to, just ask Shane Mosley. Not only this but they can drag on for years and cost millions for both sides.
Surely the last thing Pacquiao wants is to have the drug allegations bandied about on a regular occurrence, even if only as part of the trial proceedings. Casual fans who don’t know much about boxing or Manny Pacquiao and his good character might still come to think of Manny as ‘that boxer from the drug testing trial’ even if he wins.
For most of the people accusing Pacquiao and member of the public who now doubt his credibility, filing a lawsuit isn’t going to change many opinions. Undoubtedly the testing episode damaged Manny’s reputation, but being willing to sue over the issue doesn’t really solve it either way. Manny still refuses to take the extra tests and those who doubt him will still doubt. A few million dollars isn’t that much of a penalty for someone who can make that in a single night’s work either. Roger and Floyd Sr. might be harder hit by substantial damages, but for Floyd Jr. this lawsuit will be ineffective whatever the eventual turnout.
The legality of offering to drop his lawsuit if the fight terms are made is something I’m not so sure on, but it sounds like something that would have to be offered under the table and away from the prying eyes of journalists and the public. Still whether or not there is any legal issue over this idea, it might prove effective should the fight happen.
After all, making $40 million dollars and getting his arch rival into the ring finally will be much more rewarding for Pacquiao than making perhaps one or two million for a defamation suit.
I don’t think Manny has anything to hide, but suits like this tend to have a way of blowing up in the faces of all involved and being a waste of time and money. Lets hope the fight is made over the next few days and that the suit is forgotten about. Manny will be a lot better off doing his talking in the ring instead of the court room.
Scott Heritage’s Web Site:http://www.examiner.com/x-20066-Pittsburgh-Fight-Sports-Examiner
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