The two greatest boxers of the last decade, Manny Pacquiao and Floyd Mayweather Jr., are continuing to spar back and forth…through their lawyers.
If only we could get this stuff to happen in the ring.
In the latest chapter of the never-ending saga that is Pacquiao v. Mayweather, Mayweather’s attorneys filed a 22-page opposition to Pacquiao’s motion for default and dismissal on August 22 to the U.S. District Court of Nevada in Las Vegas. In the proceedings, Mayweather’s lawyer Mark G. Tratos offers to pay the fees related to Mayweather’s non-appearance to deposition, but asks for the court to deny Pacquiao’s “motion for default and dismissal.”
And while the legal jabber is interesting, what’s far more interesting is the excuse that Mayweather’s team is offering for their request. Apparently, they believe that Pacquiao is attempting to disrupt Mayweather’s training for his upcoming bout versus Victor Ortiz this September. Furthermore, they also think that Pacquiao and his Top Rank family have some sort of vested interest in seeing Ortiz one-up Mayweather when the pair meets in the ring.
“Although Pacquiao is lauded for his skill in the ring as well, no other elite boxer in history has remained undefeated for 15 years as Mayweather has. As such, ” Tratos said, “it would be very convenient for Pacquiao if Mayweather’s training for his upcoming fight was disrupted.
“Additionally, it has been reported in the press that Top Rank, the promotions company that is promoting Pacquiao, has a financial interest in Mayweather’s opponent, Victor Ortiz.”
The sheer stupidity of this retort by Mayweather’s attorneys to the equally stupid lawsuit filed by Pacquiao’s team is mind-boggling. They would have you believe that Pacquiao and Top Rank -- who have arguably the biggest payday in boxing history in front of them if they can come to terms for a bout against Mayweather -- want him to fall to Ortiz and lose his undefeated record, thereby killing any reason for him to Pacquiao to meet up. There is no way to spin this notion for it to make any sense whatsoever.
What’s equally laughable is this idea that Mayweather is spending all of his waking moments preparing for Ortiz and can’t find the time to attend deposition. Keep in mind, when he filed his motion for default and dismissal, Pacquiao’s lead lawyer David Marroso pointed out that while Mayweather was supposed to be training for his upcoming bout on July 9 and 10 of this year, that infamous photo of the undefeated fighter burning a hundred dollar bill at some gathering began to circulate the web.
Similarly, Mayweather made it known he was unavailable for June 20, July 1,2,3 and countless other dates because of activities related to his upcoming match – only for each of his excuses to be exposed as false.
Again, neither Mayweather nor his team has any ground to stand on in this matter. There were plenty of occasions for Floyd to attend deposition that wouldn’t have interfered with his “strenuous” training schedule and they simply opted not to find any such time. Similarly, the furthest thing from Pacquiao and Top Rank’s mind is rooting for Ortiz to beat Mayweather, as such an occurrence would hurt their bottom line just as much as it would hurt Mayweather’s legacy and checkbook.
Of course, none of this changes the fact that Pacquiao’s lawsuit is ludicrous and should have never seen the light of day. A defamation suit that comes as a result of trash talking between two fighters is an embarrassment to the sport, and makes Pacquiao look soft and petty.
That’s not to say Mayweather didn’t technically defame Pacquiao, he probably did. All of Mayweather’s baseless comments regarding Pacquiao’s alleged performance-enhancing drug (PED) usage no doubt irritated the Filipino superstar plenty. Still, there is an unwritten rule that what happens in sports (as it relates to talking and fighting) stays there, and doesn’t ever need to involve lawyers or police.
Muhammad Ali, widely regarded as one of the five greatest boxers of all time made it a personal mission to insult, slander and offend any potential opponent he came across. He went after their looks, intelligence, families, personality and any other potential weakness – and he was embraced for it.
Not too long ago, prior to his match with Pacquiao, Antonio Margarito openly mocked Freddie Roach’s battle with Parkinson’s disease – and nothing ever came of it. Countless fighters, both past and present, have mocked and teased and slandered and poked their opponents and never did it reach a courtroom until now.
Is Pacquiao really so thin-skinned that he can’t just deny Mayweather’s unfounded claims without an attorney by his side?
So, for those keeping score at home – Mayweather and his team opted to respond to Pacquiao’s ridiculous lawsuit with an equally ridiculous defense.
The two best fighters in the world, as of this point in time, are still content to let their lawyers do the fighting for them. This is the state of boxing today.
Is it any wonder that the UFC is swallowing up combat sports fans in the midst of this idiocy?