A U.S. appeals court on Thursday said boxing fans who felt cheated after learning that Manny Pacquiao had been injured before fighting Floyd Mayweather Jr. cannot pursue class-action litigation because the 2015 welterweight bout dubbed the "Fight of the Century" proved a letdown.
The 9th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals ruled 3-0 that fans and pay-per-view subscribers who paid hundreds of millions of dollars to watch a "yawner" of a fight "got what they paid for" when Mayweather and Pacquiao stepped into a Las Vegas ring, with Mayweather winning a unanimous 12-round decision.
Circuit Judge Jacqueline Nguyen said the plaintiffs demonstrated no legal injury from Pacquiao's failure to reveal a four-week-old injury in his right shoulder until three hours before the May 2, 2015, fight started.
She said letting the litigation proceed could also fundamentally alter professional sports by requiring athletes to disclose even minor injuries, which opponents could use to their advantage, or risk a slew of lawsuits.
"Although the match may have lacked the drama worthy of the pre-fight hype, Pacquiao's shoulder condition did not prevent him from going the full 12 rounds," Nguyen wrote. "Plaintiffs therefore essentially got what they paid for -- a full-length regulation fight between these two boxing legends."