By Bryanna Fissori
After nearly three years of battling in the legal arena Manny Pacquio’s 2009 defamation case against Floyd Mayweather has gone its last round. On Tuesday, September 25 the infamous lawsuit was dropped.
The original complaint was filed after statements were 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 had already been dropped prior to the case dismissal.
The action follows a ruling of monetary sanctions issued last week requiring Maywether to pay approximately $114,000 in legal fees for failure to attend a court ordered deposition to be questioned under oath by Pacquiao’s attorneys. Pacquiao’s legal counsel was hoping the reprimand would result in a default judgment.
The cause of action was based on a number of statements made by the defendants including Mayweather Jr.’s statement made during a nationally-broadcast radio interview in which he stated that the Phillippines have access to some of the best PEDs and that is what Pacquiao can contribute his growth to. Mayweather also stated at a press junket that Pacquiao has “the power pellets, yo, the steroid juice.” Numerous other statements were also alleged in the complaint.
The preliminary hearing back in 2009 determined Pacquiao had a valid case for the defamation suit given that a reasonable listener would comprehend and interpret the statements made to imply that Pacquiao is using and has used PEDs. The court also found that the claim sufficiently alleged actual malice on the part of the defendants which is legally defined as “knowledge of the falsity of a statement or reckless disregard for its truth.” This is a standard specific to cases involving “public figures.”
A statement released by Mayweather Jr., his father and Roger Mayweather after the case was dropped said they, “wish to make it clear that they never intended to claim that Manny Pacquiao has used or is using any performance-enhancing drugs. Nor are they aware of any evidence Manny Pacquiao has used performance-enhancing drugs. Manny Pacquiao is a great champion and no one should construe any of our prior remarks as claiming that Manny Pacquiao has used performance-enhancing drugs.”
Part of the original issue when negotiations first began to get these two in the ring was drug testing protocol including Pacquiao’s concern with having blood drawn from his arm close to the fight, but 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.
The next issue is money. Now that Mayweather is done serving his two month jail sentence for a domestic violence dispute with the mother of his three children, he can return to training. Prior to the defamation case dismissal it was widely publicized that Pacquiao was offering Mayweather 55% of the purse win or lose as well as whatever other accommodations needed to be met. The offer has yet to be accepted.
Aside from the fact that both sides will be responsible for their own attorney fees, the terms of the defamation case dismissal remain confidential. Is there a fight agreement involved? We can only hope.