By Bryanna Fissori
Just days before his bout with Juan Manuel Marquez, Manny Pacquiao’s legal team was still hard at work in the defamation case against Floyd Mayweather Jr. After numerous attempts to depose the boxer Mayweather finally made his appearance on Thursday, November 10, along with his father and uncle who were also named in the suit. The deposition required him to submit to oral examination under oath regarding allegedly defamatory statements made against Pacquiao.
Photo: Gene Blevens/ Hogan Photos
In December 2009 Pacquiao filed suit against Mayweather for charges of defamation for statements made asserting that Pacquiao’s success in the ring was due to use of performance enhancing drugs (P.E.D.s) . Other defendants also named include Floyd Mayweather Sr., Roger Mayweather, Mayweather Promotions, LLC., Richard Schaefer and Oscar De La Hoya, though claims against Schaefer and De La Hoya have been dropped. De La Hoya is now involved in his own Charlie Sheen-esk legal trouble which you can read more about at http://www.boxinginsider.com/headlines/oscar-de-la-hoya-allegedly-involved-in-charlie-sheen-inspired-sex-and-drug-orgy/.
The last time Mayweather was ordered by the court to give testimony in the defamation case was June and come that day Mayweather was no where to be found. According to Pacquiao’s legal counsel Mayweather has spent nearly two years avoiding deposition. During this time he continued to make defamatory statements similar to those which inspired the litigation. The boxer’s most recent excuse for denying the court-order was that he was too busy preparing for his September fight against Victor Ortiz, though Pacquiao’s legal counsel was quick to supply evidence of Mayweather hosting parties in Atlanta and Las Vegas during the time periods he was “unavailable” to be deposed.
Depositions are used to gather evidence which can be used by either side during trial. The declarations are taken under oath. It is very likely that Mayweather was asked questions regarding the statements made regarding accusations of steroid use and sources from which he received the information validating those statements. If the responses given during deposition differ from those given during the actual trial the defendant could be found guilty of perjury as with any statement falsified under oath, therefore it is common for attorneys to prepare their clients prior to deposition. Judging by the fact that Mayweather’s legal counsel had trouble even getting him to the deposition, it is reasonable to speculate that he could be a wild card in the legal arena.
The appearance of Mayweather and crew comes just two days following another court-order issued for Mayweather in a similar situation of no-showing. On Monday a Federal judge in South Carolina issued sanctions for Mayweather’s refusal to appear in court on an un-related case during the same party-hosting time frame. The punishment will consist of 40 hours of community service by the end of the year which will allegedly be served through the non-profit “Habitat for Humanity” in Las Vegas. The case was regarding copy-right infringement pertaining to a walk-out song used by Mayweather in 2008 and 2009.
Now that the ball is rolling on Pacquiao and Mayweather’s legal issues, the world awaits to see if they can settle up in the ring as well. The negotiations which originally hinged on drug testing protocol have adapted as each demand is met. One of the original issues was Pacquiao’s concern with having blood drawn from his arm close to the fight.
According to Pacquiao’s promoter Bob Arum of Top Rank, Arum checked and found that the blood did not have to be drawn from the arm so he agreed to the testing. After that Mayweather stipulated that the United States Anti-Doping (USAD) Group had to do the testing. This would mean that Pacquiao would be unable to train in the Philippines, but as a solution he found that the World Anti-Doping Agency would be able to handle the testing while Pacquiao was in the Philipines and then the USAD would take over upon his return. Arum asserts that despite the boxer’s willingness to comply the two have yet to reach an agreement to fight.
In May, according to Pacquiao advisor Micheal Koncz, an unnamed country offered $100 million to bring the fight there. Top Rank, in turn offered Mayweather $50 million making it the largest purse in boxing history pre-pay-per- view payout. According to Koncz Mayweather denied the offer and counter-offered to do it for the whole $100 million meaning that Pacquiao would fight for free.
“Look,” Arum said to NJ Real Time Sports, “If you don’t want to fight, you can come with 1,700 reasons. You have to understand that for Manny, Floyd Mayweather is not the end game. The end game is the presidency of the Philippines.”
Pacquiao currently serves as a Congressman in the Philippines and in September he announced that he plans to run for Vice-President in 2016. He will not be eligible to run for president until 2022. At least 60 of his fellow elected officials are expected to be ringside for the Marquez bout.