Fight of century becomes fight in court as fans sue Pacquiao

Pacquiao Facing Legal Trouble Over Shoulder Injury


LAS VEGAS (AP) — Boxing fans across the country and their lawyers are calling the hyped-up fight between Manny Pacquiao and Floyd Mayweather Jr. a fraud and want their money back, and then some.

At least 32 class action lawsuits across the country allege Pacquiao should have disclosed a shoulder injury to boxing fans before the fight, which Mayweather won in a unanimous decision after 12 lackluster rounds that most fans thought didn't live up to the hype.

Fight of the century? More like fraud of the century, the lawsuits contend.

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Mayweather Pacquiao Fight Weigh In May 1
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Fight of century becomes fight in court as fans sue Pacquiao
Floyd ''Money'' Mayweather (black & gold trunks) took on Manny ''Pac Man'' Pacquiao (yellow and red trunks) at the MGM Grand Garden Arena in Las Vegas, Nevada on May 2, 2015 to battle for the World Welterweight Championship. Mayweather emerged victorious after twelve rounds with a unanimous decision from the judges.
LAS VEGAS, NV - MAY 02: Beyonce Knowles and Jay Z attend the welterweight unification championship bout on May 2, 2015 at MGM Grand Garden Arena in Las Vegas, Nevada. (Photo by Al Bello/Getty Images)
LAS VEGAS, NV - MAY 02: Floyd Mayweather Jr., Burger King and Justin Bieber walk backstage at 'Mayweather VS Pacquiao' at MGM Grand Garden Arena on May 2, 2015 in Las Vegas, Nevada. (Photo by Jason Merritt/WireImage)
Manny Pacquiao gestures while standing on the scales for the weigh-in on May 1, 2015 in Las Vegas, Nevada one day before their 'Fight of the Century' on May 2 at the MGM Grand Garden Arena. AFP PHOTO / JOHN GURZINSKI (Photo credit should read JOHN GURZINSKI/AFP/Getty Images)
Floyd Mayweather (2L) takes questions following the weigh-in on May 1, 2015 in Las Vegas, Nevada one day before their 'Fight of the Century' on May 2 at the MGM Grand Garden Arena. AFP PHOTO / JOHN GURZINSKI (Photo credit should read JOHN GURZINSKI/AFP/Getty Images)
Floyd Mayweather (L) and Manny Pacquiao (R) gesture following their weigh-in on May 1, 2015 in Las Vegas, Nevada one day before their 'Fight of the Century' on May 2 at the MGM Grand Garden Arena. AFP PHOTO / JOHN GURZINSKI (Photo credit should read JOHN GURZINSKI/AFP/Getty Images)
LAS VEGAS, NV - MAY 01: CEO of HUBLOT Ricardo Guadalupe (L) and President of HUBLOT Latin America Rick De La Croix celebrate a knockout partnership at HUBLOT and Floyd Mayweather Jr.: The perfect combination for the fight of the century at the MGM Grand Garden Arena on May 1, 2015 in Las Vegas, Nevada. (Photo by Gabe Ginsberg/Getty Images for HUBLOT)
LAS VEGAS, NV - MAY 01: WBC/WBA welterweight champion Floyd Mayweather Jr. arrives at HUBLOT and Floyd Mayweather Jr.: The perfect combination for the fight of the century at the MGM Grand Garden Arena on May 1, 2015 in Las Vegas, Nevada. (Photo by Gabe Ginsberg/Getty Images for HUBLOT)
LAS VEGAS, NV - MAY 01: (L-R) President of WBC Mauricio Sulaiman CEO of HUBLOT Ricardo Guadalupe, WBC/WBA welterweight champion Floyd Mayweather Jr. and President of HUBLOT Latin America Rick De La Croix celebrate a knockout partnership at HUBLOT and Floyd Mayweather Jr.: The perfect combination for the fight of the century at the MGM Grand Garden Arena on May 1, 2015 in Las Vegas, Nevada. (Photo by Gabe Ginsberg/Getty Images for HUBLOT)
Floyd Mayweather (Center L) and Manny Pacquiao (Center R) face off following their weigh-in on May 1, 2015 in Las Vegas, Nevada one day before their 'Fight of the Century' on May 2 at the MGM Grand Garden Arena. AFP PHOTO / JOHN GURZINSKI (Photo credit should read JOHN GURZINSKI/AFP/Getty Images)
Floyd Mayweather gestures while standing on the scale for his weigh-in on May 1, 2015 in Las Vegas, Nevada one day before their 'Fight of the Century' on May 2 at the MGM Grand Garden Arena. AFP PHOTO / JOHN GURZINSKI (Photo credit should read JOHN GURZINSKI/AFP/Getty Images)
Floyd Mayweather arrives for the weigh-in on May 1, 2015 in Las Vegas, Nevada one day before their 'Fight of the Century' on May 2 at the MGM Grand Garden Arena. AFP PHOTO / JOHN GURZINSKI (Photo credit should read JOHN GURZINSKI/AFP/Getty Images)
Fans show their support for boxers Manny Pacquiao and Floyd Mayweather at the weigh-in on May 1, 2015 in Las Vegas, Nevada one day before their 'Fight of the Century' on May 2 at the MGM Grand Garden Arena. AFP PHOTO / JOHN GURZINSKI (Photo credit should read JOHN GURZINSKI/AFP/Getty Images)
Manny Pacquiao gestures while standing on the scale for the weigh-in on May 1, 2015 in Las Vegas, Nevada one day before their 'Fight of the Century' on May 2 at the MGM Grand Garden Arena. AFP PHOTO / JOHN GURZINSKI (Photo credit should read JOHN GURZINSKI/AFP/Getty Images)
LAS VEGAS, NV - MAY 01: Manny Pacquiao holds up the WBO belt during his official weigh-in on May 1, 2015 at MGM Grand Garden Arena in Las Vegas, Nevada. Pacquiao will face Floyd Mayweather Jr. in a welterweight unification bout on May 2, 2015 in Las Vegas. (Photo by Jamie Squire/Getty Images)
Floyd Mayweather and Manny Pacquiao on stage after facing-off with one another following their weigh-in on May 1, 2015 in Las Vegas, Nevada one day before their 'Fight of the Century' on May 2 at the MGM Grand Garden Arena. AFP PHOTO / FREDERIC J. BROWN (Photo credit should read FREDERIC J. BROWN/AFP/Getty Images)
Floyd Mayweather and Manny Pacquiao face off following their weigh-in on May 1, 2015 in Las Vegas, Nevada one day before their 'Fight of the Century' on May 2 at the MGM Grand Garden Arena. AFP PHOTO / FREDERIC J. BROWN (Photo credit should read FREDERIC J. BROWN/AFP/Getty Images)
LAS VEGAS, NV - MAY 01: Fans of boxer Manny Pacquiao cheer before the official weigh-in for Floyd Mayweather Jr. and Pacquiao on May 1, 2015 at MGM Grand Garden Arena in Las Vegas, Nevada. The two boxers will face each other in a welterweight unification bout on May 2, 2015 in Las Vegas. (Photo by Jamie Squire/Getty Images)
LAS VEGAS, NV - MAY 01: Rapper Flo Rida performs before the official weigh-in for Floyd Mayweather Jr. and Manny Pacquiao on May 1, 2015 at MGM Grand Garden Arena in Las Vegas, Nevada. The two boxers will face each other in a welterweight unification bout on May 2, 2015 in Las Vegas. (Photo by Jamie Squire/Getty Images)
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"The fight was not great, not entertaining, not electrifying. It was boring, slow and lackluster," according to a lawsuit filed in Texas alleging racketeering, a claim usually reserved for organized crime.

A lawsuit filed on behalf of Flights Beer Bar near LAX airport in California said Pacquiao and his promoter's actions were, "nothing but a cash-grab." The bar paid $2,600 to broadcast the fight.

As for that grabbed cash, the fighters are each expected to earn more than $100 million, Mayweather more than Pacquiao, and HBO and Showtime broke records raking in more than $400 million from 4.4 million paying to watch the pay-per-view broadcast.

Those 4.4 million paid up to $100 each to watch the fight, and the lawsuits are seeking their money back.

It isn't as easy as showing a receipt and demanding a refund, though. A federal panel of judges will likely first need to decide if the cases from multiple states and Puerto Rico should be consolidated into one case. From there, a judge would have to decide whether to certify them as class actions or not.

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Celebrities at Mayweather fight
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Fight of century becomes fight in court as fans sue Pacquiao
LAS VEGAS, NV - MAY 02: Beyonce Knowles and Jay-Z attend the welterweight unification championship bout on May 2, 2015 at MGM Grand Garden Arena in Las Vegas, Nevada. (Photo by Al Bello/Getty Images)
LAS VEGAS, NV - MAY 02: Floyd Mayweather Jr., Burger King and Justin Bieber walk backstage at 'Mayweather VS Pacquiao' at MGM Grand Garden Arena on May 2, 2015 in Las Vegas, Nevada. (Photo by Jason Merritt/WireImage)
LAS VEGAS, NV - MAY 02: Actor/director Ben Affleck poses ringside At 'Mayweather VS Pacquiao' presented by SHOWTIME PPV And HBO PPV at MGM Grand Garden Arena on May 2, 2015 in Las Vegas, Nevada. (Photo by Ethan Miller/Getty Images for SHOWTIME)
LAS VEGAS, NV - MAY 02: Actress Drew Barrymore poses ringside at 'Mayweather VS Pacquiao' presented by SHOWTIME PPV And HBO PPV at MGM Grand Garden Arena on May 2, 2015 in Las Vegas, Nevada. (Photo by Ethan Miller/Getty Images for SHOWTIME)
LAS VEGAS, NV - MAY 02: Recording artists Meek Mill (L) and Nicki Minaj arrive at 'Mayweather VS Pacquiao' presented by SHOWTIME PPV And HBO PPV at MGM Grand Garden Arena on May 2, 2015 in Las Vegas, Nevada. (Photo by Ethan Miller/Getty Images for SHOWTIME)
LAS VEGAS, NV - MAY 02: New England Patriots quarterback Tom Brady (L) and Chairman and Chief Executive Officer of The Kraft Group and New England Patriots owner Robert Kraft sits ringside at 'Mayweather VS Pacquiao' presented by SHOWTIME PPV And HBO PPV at MGM Grand Garden Arena on May 2, 2015 in Las Vegas, Nevada. (Photo by Ethan Miller/Getty Images for SHOWTIME)
Singer Jamie Foxx perfoms the US National Anthem prior to Floyd Mayweather Jr. of the US against Manny Pacquiao of the Philippines in their welterweight unification bout on May 2, 2015 at the MGM Grand Garden Arena in Las Vegas, Nevada. AFP PHOTO / FREDERIC J. BROWN (Photo credit should read FREDERIC J. BROWN/AFP/Getty Images)
LAS VEGAS, NV - MAY 02: Manny Pacquiao walks to the ring with Jimmy Kimmel before his welterweight unification championship bout against Floyd Mayweather Jr. on May 2, 2015 at MGM Grand Garden Arena in Las Vegas, Nevada. (Photo by Al Bello/Getty Images)
LAS VEGAS, NV - MAY 02: Mark Wahlberg attends the welterweight unification championship bout on May 2, 2015 at MGM Grand Garden Arena in Las Vegas, Nevada. (Photo by Al Bello/Getty Images)
LAS VEGAS, NV - MAY 02: (L-R) Actors Hugh Dancy, Claire Danes, Bridgid Coulter and Don Cheadle pose ringside at 'Mayweather VS Pacquiao' presented by SHOWTIME PPV And HBO PPV at MGM Grand Garden Arena on May 2, 2015 in Las Vegas, Nevada. (Photo by Ethan Miller/Getty Images for SHOWTIME)
LAS VEGAS, NV - MAY 02: Director Antoine Fuqua and actor Jake Gyllenhaal attend the SHOWTIME And HBO VIP Pre-Fight Party for 'Mayweather VS Pacquiao' at MGM Grand Hotel & Casino on May 2, 2015 in Las Vegas, Nevada. (Photo by Ethan Miller/Getty Images for SHOWTIME)
LAS VEGAS, NV - MAY 02: Paris Hilton attends the welterweight unification championship bout between Floyd Mayweather Jr. and Manny Pacquiao on May 2, 2015 at MGM Grand Garden Arena in Las Vegas, Nevada. (Photo by Jamie Squire/Getty Images)
LAS VEGAS, NV - MAY 02: Actor Denzel Washington (L) and director Antoine Fuqua pose ringside at 'Mayweather VS Pacquiao' presented by SHOWTIME PPV And HBO PPV at MGM Grand Garden Arena on May 2, 2015 in Las Vegas, Nevada. (Photo by Ethan Miller/Getty Images for SHOWTIME)
LAS VEGAS, NV - MAY 02: Actor Michael Keaton (L) and former boxer Sugar Ray Leonard pose ringside at 'Mayweather VS Pacquiao' presented by SHOWTIME PPV And HBO PPV at MGM Grand Garden Arena on May 2, 2015 in Las Vegas, Nevada. (Photo by Ethan Miller/Getty Images for SHOWTIME)
LAS VEGAS, NV - MAY 02: Andre Agassi and wife Steffi Graf watches the Leo Santa Cruz against Jose Cayetano featherweight bout on May 2, 2015 at MGM Grand Garden Arena in Las Vegas, Nevada. (Photo by Al Bello/Getty Images)
LAS VEGAS, NV - MAY 02: Mike Tyson shakes hands ringside At 'Mayweather VS Pacquiao' presented by SHOWTIME PPV And HBO PPV at MGM Grand Garden Arena on May 2, 2015 in Las Vegas, Nevada. (Photo by Ethan Miller/Getty Images for SHOWTIME)
LAS VEGAS, NV - MAY 02: Donald Trump (L) and model Melania Trump pose ringside at 'Mayweather VS Pacquiao' presented by SHOWTIME PPV And HBO PPV at MGM Grand Garden Arena on May 2, 2015 in Las Vegas, Nevada. (Photo by Ethan Miller/Getty Images for SHOWTIME)
LAS VEGAS, NV - MAY 02: Charles Barkley watches the Leo Santa Cruz against Jose Cayetano featherweight bout on May 2, 2015 at MGM Grand Garden Arena in Las Vegas, Nevada. (Photo by Jamie Squire/Getty Images)
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What's sought in each is the same: a jury trial and at least $5 million in damages, the threshold for federal class actions.

But the defendants differ. All include Pacquiao and his promotions team but some add Mayweather and his representatives along with HBO, Showtime and cable companies.

Representatives for Pacquiao and Top Rank Promotions, HBO and Showtime had no comment to offer on the lawsuits and Mayweather Promotions did not return multiple phone messages.

Exhibit A for most of the lawsuits is a Nevada Athletic Commission medical questionnaire that Pacquiao signed days before the fight. When asked if he had any injuries including to his shoulder he replied "no."

In fact, his shoulder was injured enough to warrant surgery shortly after the fight.

In a twist reserved for who-done-its, Pacquiao revealed for the first time in a post-fight press conference that he had torn his rotator cuff weeks before. The Nevada Athletic Commission denied him a pain reliever mere hours before the fight when regulators first learned of the injury.

Conspiracy theories abound as to how many people knew about the injury and when, including claims in a few of the lawsuits that Mayweather had a spy in Pacquiao's camp and the boxer targeted Pacquiao's right shoulder during the fight.

Experts in resolving legal disputes doubt disgruntled boxing fans will be able to claim victory.

"They'd have more lawsuits if they didn't hold the fight," said Maureen Weston, director of Pepperdine University's entertainment, media and sports dispute resolution project.

If a fight is what fans were paying for, the fighters unquestionably delivered, she said. Just because people didn't like the show doesn't mean they get their money back, she said.

Ultimately, the question is, who did Pacquiao have a legal duty to explain his injury to? Weston said.

Short answer: He didn't have to tell viewers, Weston said. The only contract viewers had was with their cable companies, which in turn had contracts with HBO and Showtime.

It's not the first time customers have taken their fight to court when things didn't go quite the way they expected in the field of entertainment.

Remember Milli Vanilli? Music fans in the 1990s argued the lip-synching pop duo owed them a refund once it was revealed they weren't actually singing.

Or the bite-fight with Mike Tyson? Sports fans may have gotten an earful but they contended they didn't pay to see a boxing match only for it to be disqualified.

Neither resulted in judgments for refund-seeking customers. Milli Vanilli fans got a buck or two back in a settlement.

So if viewers were promised a fight, and they got a 12-round fight, isn't that enough?

Lawyer Caleb Marker, who represents clients in two separate class action suits against Pacquiao, says that's arguable.

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