Neither Floyd Mayweather Jr., his father, Floyd Mayweather Sr., nor the fighter’s uncle and trainer, Roger Mayweather, ever “intended to claim that Manny Pacquiao has used or is using any performance enhancing drugs,” according to a statement issued on their behalf in the wake of an out-of-court settlement resolving Pacquiao’s Las Vegas-based defamation lawsuit.
Originally filed in December of 2009 seeking compensatory and punitive damages, the suit named, in part, Mayweather Jr., Mayweather Sr., and Roger Mayweather.
The suit charges that the Mayweathers continued to imply publicly that Pacquiao’s success over eight weight classes is the result of having used performance-enhancing drugs.
But in the statement, which was included as part of the resolution, the Mayweathers denied that they intentionally set out to impugn the eight-division titlewinner. The case was dismissed by U.S. District Judge Larry R. Hicks.
“Floyd Mayweather Jr., Floyd Mayweather Sr., Roger Mayweather and Mayweather Promotions wish to make it clear that they never intended to claim that Manny Pacquiao has used or is using any performance enhancing drugs,” read the prepared statement, issued from the San Francisco-based office of retired judge and mediator Daniel H. Weinstein.
“Nor are they aware of any evidence that 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.”
The development could pave the way for the highly coveted Mayweather-Pacquiao clash, since past negotiations between Mayweather and Pacquiao failed over the notion of drug testing.
Pacquiao’s advisor, Michael Koncz, referred questions to the boxer’s lawyers, David Marroso and Dan Petrocelli, of the Los Angeles-based O’Melveny and Myers law firm, who could be reached for an immediate comment.
Athough he was not directly involved in the case, Top Rank CEO Bob Arum, Pacquiao’s promoter, called the settlement “totally irrelevant to any boxing issue.”
Pacquiao is set to face four-division titlewinner Juan Manuel Marquez a fourth time on Dec. 8 in Las Vegas, having won a disputed majority decision in November. Pacquiao has also battled to a draw and won by split decision over Marquez.
Pacquiao has chosen to face Marquez over a return bout with Tim Bradley, whose controversial split decision in June dethroned Pacquiao as the WBO’s welterweight titleholder and ended his 15-bout winning streak that included eight stoppages.
On Thursday, Pacquiao said he is willing to take the lower half of a 45-55 split to make a bout with Floyd Mayweather Jr. should he get beyond Marquez.
Photo by Tom Hogan, Hogan Photos, Golden Boy Promotions
Photo by Chris Farina, Top Rank
Lem Satterfield can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org