[box type=”default” size=”large”] ‘Fight of the Century’ promo is just a puffery [/box]
CHICAGO – When a boxer promotes his bout in the media with the use of exaggerated blustering called “puffery,” the fans, who watched the fight and were disappointed with the result, are not entitled to ticket refund.
American boxer Floyd Mayweather, in his response to lawsuits filed against him, said the fans’ “claims fail because they rely on statements that are nothing more than puffery – ‘exaggerated advertising, blustering and boasting upon which no reasonable buyer would rely.”
This argument was contained in Mayweather’s 65-page answer to the complaint filed against him by more than 15 complainants in all the 26 actions in this MDL (multi-district litigation) all over the United States and Puerto Rico.
This came after Filipino boxer Manny Pacquiao revealed that he concealed his injury before the May 2, 2015 “Fight of the Century” in Las Vegas, Nevada.
Citing the case of Presidio Enterprises, Inc. v. Warner Bros. (784 F.2d 674, 681 (5th Cir. 1986), Mayweather, the best pound-for-pound boxer in the world, said, a “claim that a movie would be “biggest and best” was non-actionable, noting there are multiple ways something can be “biggest.”
“’An event you cannot miss’ means nothing; this was not the first, nor is it likely to be the last, boxing match referred to as ‘the Fight of the Century.’ These statements are classic puffery and cannot give rise to any viable claim against the Mayweather defendants.”
Mayweather’s lawyers also cited the case of Castillo v. Tyson. Boxing fans demanded ticket refunds after boxer Mike Tyson was disqualified for biting the ear of fellow American boxer Evander Holyfield.
The class of complainants led by fan, Damian Castillo, sought for a refund because they were “’entitled to view a legitimate heavyweight title fight’ fought ‘in accordance with the applicable rules and regulations’ of the governing boxing commission.”
But the U.S District Court in Southern District of New York rejected each cause of action and dismissed the Castillo v. Tyson case that was affirmed by the New York Appellate Division, noting, “a boxer’s disqualification is a result a fight fan reasonably can expect when watching a boxing match.”
Mayweather’s defenses were part of a memorandum of points and authorities filed by Mayweather’s long-time Las Vegas-based lawyer Mark G. Tratos before Judge R. Gary Klausner of the U.S. District Court of Central District of California – Western Division in Los Angeles, California, who is presiding over the consolidated “Pacquiao-Mayweather Boxing March Pay-Per-View Litigation.” He was earlier appointed by the U.S. Supreme Court as a judge on a judicial panel on multidistrict litigation court.
Mayweather was sued in his capacity as a boxer and owner of his promotions company, Mayweather Promotions, LLC, and Home Box Office, Inc. They are called collectively as Mayweather defendants, who, the complaining fans claim, knew of Pacquiao’s torn rotator injury prior to the Fight and yet kept quiet about it so fans would be encouraged to buy the Fight tickets.
The Mayweather defendants also claimed that they have no “duty to disclose” Pacquiao’s health because Mayweather had no “duty to disclose any information they may have had about Mr. Pacquiao’s injury.”
Also sued by the fans for not disclosing Pacquiao’s injury prior to the Fight were Filipino Senator Emmanuel Pacquiao, Top Rank Inc., Top Rank Founder and CEO Robert Arum, Top Rank President Todd DuBoef and Pacquiao’s business manager and advisor, Michael Koncz.
The complainants said before the start of the Fight on May 2, 2015, Pacquiao and fellow defendants “were aware that in early April 2015, Pacquiao had suffered a torn rotator cuff and that this serious shoulder injury would hinder his performance as a professional boxer in the Fight.”