MANILA, Philippines – Boxing champion Manny Pacquiao said he is determined to press his lawsuit against Floyd Mayweather Jr. and 4 others, especially after the court found malice in Floyd’s allegation that the Filipino boxer used performance enhancing drugs (PEDs).
“Hindi pwedeng i-atras natin (It’s unlikely that we’d back down),” said the Fighter of the Decade of his defamation suit he filed against Mayweather.
Also included in the defamation suit filed by Pacquiao in Las Vegas are Floyd’s father, Floyd Sr.; his uncle, Roger; Golden Boy Promotions (GBP) owner Oscar de la Hoya; and GBP chief executive officer Richard Schaefer.
“Nakita naman ng judge na napakaganda ng kaso namin (The judge saw that we have a strong case),” said Pacquiao.
US District Judge Larry Hicks ruled that Pacquiao’s case can proceed because there is sufficient evidence of malicious acts in allegations against Pacquiao “being a dope cheat”.
"The truth did not stop Mayweather and the others," Pacquiao's lawsuit contends. "That is because they are motivated by ill will, spite, malice, revenge and envy."
"Mayweather and the others set out on a course designed to destroy Pacquiao's career, reputation, honor and legacy and jeopardize his ability to earn the highest levels of compensation."
Pacquiao has never tested positive for PEDs. In the 2009 lawsuit, he claimed that the respondents conducted a campaign in a set of interviews to make people think he used them.
"Defendants argue that Pacquiao has failed to sufficiently allege malice because defendants could not have known one way or the other whether Pacquiao had actually taken PEDs when they made the alleged defamatory statements," Hicks wrote in the order upholding the lawsuit.
"However, the court finds that Pacquiao has sufficiently pled malice in the amended complaint."
Pacquiao’s legal counsel Dan Petrocelli said his client's career would suffer major damage if fans believe that he used banned substances.
"Manny has an unblemished reputation and has earned all of his achievements through hard work and his natural-born talent and to call him a cheater is something he cannot and will not tolerate," Petrocelli said.
"None of these defendants have had any evidence to back up the assertion that he has taken performance-enhancing drugs because he didn't." – With reports from Dhobie de Guzman, ABS-CBN News North Luzon, and Agence France-Presse