Manny Pacquiao’s defamation lawsuit against longtime boxing rival Floyd Mayweather Jr. and others rests on firm allegations and can continue, a Nevada federal judge said in a court order Monday that denied a motion to dismiss the case.
U.S. District Judge Larry Hicks said Pacquiao has sufficient evidence to continue his lawsuit that alleges Mayweather and others acted with malice by accusing the Filipino boxer in a series of interviews of using performance-enhancing drugs.
“Moving defendants argue that Pacquiao has failed to sufficiently allege malice because moving defendants could not have known one way or the other whether Pacquiao had actually taken PEDs when they made the alleged defamatory statements,” the order reads. “However, the court finds that Pacquiao has sufficiently pled malice in the amended complaint.”
Pacquiao claimed in the suit that he has never tested positive for any performance-enhancing drugs, but that Mayweather, Mayweather’s father and uncle, Oscar De La Hoya and Golden Boy Promotions’ Richard Schaefer embarked on a campaign to make people think he used drugs.
Mark Tratos, a Las Vegas lawyer who represents Mayweather Promotions LLC, said the lawsuit was without merit and he would continue to fight for its dismissal.