ROBERT SIEGEL, HOST:
There are people who claim that the so-called fight of the century, the bout between boxers Floyd Mayweather Jr. and Manny Pacquiao, was more like the fraud of the century. Pacquiao had an undisclosed shoulder injury before the fight, which he says contributed to his defeat. Still, he and Mayweather each raked in more than $100 million, which NPR's Nathan Rott reports has some boxing fans suing to get their money back.
NATHAN ROTT, BYLINE: The news that Manny Pacquiao, the pride of the Philippines, had a torn right rotator cuff started leaking out minutes after he lost by unanimous decision to Floyd Mayweather Jr. His trainer Freddie Roach addressed it in Las Vegas in the post-fight press conference.
(SOUNDBITE OF PRESS CONFERENCE)
FREDDIE ROACH: We thought about at one time, you know, like, postponing the fight and so forth, but as the weeks went on, it was getting better, and he was starting to look really good in the gym. And I think he could get through the fight.
ROTT: Which he did, just not in the way the boxing fans had hoped or expected. Absent was the power and aggressiveness, the frenetic flurries that have made Pacquiao one of the best offensive fighters of all time. Many viewers who paid to watch the fight on Pay-per-view or paid thousands of dollars to see it in person felt ripped off, and now dozens are suing.
CALEB MARKER: If people knew that he was injured, they wouldn't have paid $100 to watch the fight on Pay-per-view at home. They wouldn't have paid $20 to go to the bar and watch it there.
ROTT: Caleb Marker is an attorney representing two clients in Southern California.
MARKER: I think they felt duped, you know? They spent all this money on what ended up being, you know, a pretty boring fight.
ROTT: At least 32 lawsuits have been filed against Pacquiao and his promoters for that alleged duping by litigants everywhere from Maryland and New Jersey to Texas and Nevada. Hart Robinovitch is helping represent an individual and a bar that paid $2,600 to air the fight.
HART ROBINOVITCH: This was no different than a car dealer selling a car that they knew was broken and not disclosing it to the consumer purchasing it.
ROTT: A situation, he says, where the consumer is eligible for recourse, refunds and damages.
ROBINOVITCH: This was just a fraudulent event. It should not have happened.
ROTT: What exactly that recourse is, Robinovitch says, will be worked out through the legal process. The attorney representing Top Rank, Pacquiao's promoter, was not available for comment, but he has said that the lawsuits are frivolous and that he's confident they'll be dismissed. Regardless, fans and historians of boxing say that this is just another black eye for a sport that's already fighting to stay relevant. Nathan Rott, NPR News. Transcript provided by NPR, Copyright NPR.