Suits Against Mayweather, Pacquiao and HBO Over Bum-Shoulder Fight Are Thrown OutBy
Pay-per-view watchers got what they paid for, judge says
Judge tosses lawsuits, saying sports outcomes are uncertain
Floyd Mayweather and Manny Pacquiao can’t be sued for a disappointing boxing performance.
According to a federal judge in Los Angeles, ticket buyers and pay-per-view watchers of the fighters’ May 2015 bout in Las Vegas, in which Pacquiao fought with an injured shoulder, got what they paid for: a boxing match.
The judge threw out dozens of lawsuits Friday against the two boxers and Time Warner Inc.’s HBO over the quality of the fight, saying viewers weren’t guaranteed a battled that lived up to the pre-fight hype. The ruling comes a day before Mayweather will put his undefeated record on the line against mixed martial arts’ biggest star, Conor McGregor.
“The reason that competitive sports is so compelling is precisely because the outcome is always at least somewhat uncertain,” U.S. District Judge R. Gary Klausner wrote in his decision. “Competitive strategies are ever-changing, and the quality of performance at any given event is consistently unpredictable.”
The boxers, the fight’s promoters and HBO were sued by viewers who paid as much as $99.95 to watch it on television. The plaintiffs claimed they were cheated because the promoters concealed Pacquiao’s injury. Pacquiao lost the fight in a 12-round decision and later revealed he suffered a torn rotator cuff in his shoulder during training.
Saturday’s fight is expected to sell more than $72 million worth of tickets, a record for a professional fight of any kind. According to Bloomberg Intelligence, the match-up should also set a record for pay-per-view sales, with early estimates calling for about 5 million orders. That would surpass the 4.6 million orders for the 2015 fight between Mayweather and Pacquiao.
The case is In re: Pacquiao-Mayweather Boxing Match Pay-Per-View Litigation, 15-ML-02639, U.S. District Court, Central District of California (Los Angeles).
— With assistance by Eben Novy-Williams