Manny Pacquiao has thrown the first punch in his anticipated megafight with Floyd Mayweather Jr.
Unfortunately for boxing fans, this strike came in the form of a lawsuit, one that alleges Mayweather and his father — among others — campaigned to defame Pacquiao's reputation by alleging that he uses performance-enhancing drugs, The Associated Press reports.
Last Friday, Pacquiao declared publicly that he intended to file a suit.
"Enough is enough," Pacquiao said. "These people, Mayweather Sr., Jr., and Golden Boy Promotions, think it is a joke and a right to accuse someone wrongly of using steroids or other performance-enhancing drugs. I have tried to just brush it off as a mere pre-fight ploy but I think they have gone overboard."
Pacquiao's lawyer said the accusations could cost Pacquiao tens of millions of dollars.
"Mayweather Jr. and the others set out on a course designed to destroy Pacquiao's career, reputation, honor and legacy and jeopardize his ability to earn the highest levels of compensation," the suit says, according to the AP.
The good news for fight fans? The lawsuit isn't expected to kill the chances of the proposed fight. Granted, the past few weeks haven't gone smoothly, but this is boxing. Anything can still happen.
Talks stalled quickly when Mayweather requested that the two fighters undergo random blood testing in the 30 days leading up to the fight. Pacquiao agreed to blood testing 30 days before the fight and immediately after it, but did not want to submit blood samples during his training leading up to the fight.
Blood tests can reveal human growth hormone in bodies; simple urine tests cannot. Mayweather and Golden Boy Promotions have used that fact to jump to the conclusion that Pacquiao has something to hide.
The suit also includes Oscar De La Hoya and Golden Boy Promotions chief Richard Schaefer, who said the suit was not surprising.
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