Two fans from Vegas want some money back after Manny Pacquiao's shoulder injury is disclosed
Periscope app allowed users to stream fight to others who didn't have to pay to watch bout
British man sneaks into VIP areas, meets celebrities and the two boxers
The Floyd Mayweather-Manny Pacquiao fight is over, but the action is finally getting started.
The two fighters look like they are headed from the ring to court, albeit for two very different issues, that may take away from the big payday.
Fans seem peeved for a slew of reasons: the fight was one-sided and kinda boring, Pacquiao had a bum shoulder and kept it a secret, and some people in the United States paid $100 to watch that thing while others paid absolutely nothing.
People also are mad because not much happened in the ring, but both fighters are getting a serious amount of coin. Some media broke it down by the second, but think of it this way; Pacquiao took in about $1.4 million per punch landed.
Or check this out, Mayweather made more ambling across the ring at the beginning of each round than most people pay for a house. After the bout, he showed two ESPN announcers an initial payment check – and there will be another after the pay-per-view sales are figured out – that had a 1 and eight zeroes. I thought only Mega Millions and Powerball wrote checks that big.
Fans want some money back
Two guys who live in Las Vegas feel ripped off, and they think there are thousands of others who feel the same way. So, Stephane Vanel and Kami Rahbaran filed a class-action suit Tuesday against Pacquaio and his promoter for at least $5 million. The plaintiffs say in the court filing that the legal action is brought on behalf of people who bought a ticket for the bout, purchased it on pay-per-view or made a (legal) bet on the match.
Pacquaio, his adviser and Top Rank Boxing should have let everyone know he had a shoulder injury, they say.
A Top Rank lawyer told ESPN the suit is hogwash.
“The allegations in this lawsuit are demonstrably false,” Daniel Petrocelli told the network.
The Pacquiao team said Monday that the fighter was injured during training. His shoulder was getting better, but still needed treatment.
Nevada boxing officials denied them the chance to give Pacquiao a shot on the night of the fight. That’s because on a medical questionnaire someone from Pacquiao’s camp checked “No” when asked if the fighter had a shoulder injury that required evaluation.
The lawsuit alleges fraudulent concealment, consumer fraud and conspiracy to commit fraud, because the injury was not revealed until after the fight.
Pacquaio’s lawyers will be busy. There was a second suit, this one filed Tuesday in California by two people who bought the pay-per-view. Heather McDonald and Payman Shanin gave the same reason for their legal action and also seek $5 million for people like them.
“Having had knowledge of defendant Pacquiao’s injury and its severity prior to the bout, plaintiffs would not have purchased the bout pay-per-view or would have paid less for it,” the suit says.
Mayweather also was sued Tuesday. The suit was brought by the mother of three of his children, who alleges he lied about her during one of his interviews in the buildup to Saturday’s match with Pacquiao. Mayweather told Katie Couric that Josie Harris was on drugs during an incident that led to him spending two months in jail for domestic violence.
Periscope gives fans new look at fights
In the United States, there have usually been two ways to watch the big fights the night they happen. We won’t count in person, because those tickets are too expensive and too hard to get.
But there’s pay-per-view – the legal way – and there are some dubious ways like pirating the signal or using websites – the kind that keep your popup blocker busy – that enable some people to watch the fight without paying.
Now there’s another option, because there is an app for that.
Periscope was a big “winner” Saturday night. The Twitter-owned live-streaming app was used all over the world, according to Mashable, to show the fight as dozens of users were streaming the fight from their own TVs. One streamer was reportedly in the arena. Some of the watchers were new to Periscope.
It wasn’t just Periscope; there are other video streaming apps like Meerkat, based in Israel.
On Tuesday, a co-founder of Periscope downplayed the piracy issue, Variety reported. Kayvon Beykpour told a conference in New York the press was making a little too much of the number of violators.
“Generally there’s way more media attention than there is a problem,” said Beykpour, according to the entertainment publication.
Beykpour tweeted Sunday that he was one of the Periscope employees working during the fight to take down streams.
“Piracy does not excite us,” he wrote.
This seems destined for a court fight of its own.
The Los Angeles Times talked to Todd DuBoef, the president of Top Rank, who said the company was forming its legal strategy. Top Rank will “have to pursue” the people streaming the fight and the companies that are making it possible.
CNNMoney asked HBO and Showtime, who broadcast the fight, whether they warned Twitter or Meerkat before the bout or if they’re going to chase down the people who livestreamed the fight. Showtime, speaking on behalf of both companies, declined to comment. CNN, like HBO, is owned by Time Warner.
I’m with him
Not all the news from the fight was so serious. Newspapers in Great Britain discovered the story of a 24-year-old man from Hull, England, who sneaked into the VIP area by joining Leonardo DiCaprio’s entourage.
Steve Carruthers made quite a night of it, snapping photos with both boxers and celebrities like Christian Bale, Mark Wahlberg, Michael Keaton, Don Cheadle and Jimmy Kimmel.
Carruthers said he was waiting in a hallway when he saw his chance. DiCaprio came by with six other people
“He had a cap on and his sunglasses and head down so that nobody recognized him, but I did and followed him in,” Carruthers told the Telegraph. “I just walked in with him to the ballroom.”
Once in, the Englishman went to the VIP bar and then into the seating area close to the ring, where he took photos with the big shots.
He had to go to his regular seat during the bout, but that was just a minor setback.
He must have been feeling pretty confident, because he went back to the VIP area and made his way past security with a group of people who were wearing official credentials, the Daily Mail reported.
It almost ended poorly for Carruthers when he met the fighters after they came out of the locker rooms. Things with Pacquiao went smoothly but security guards seemed to catch on when he asked Mayweather for an autograph. They were ready to toss him when, Carruthers claims, Mayweather said, “I got him.”
It’s quite an impressive story, even if the last part is a little much to be believed. But Carruthers does have the pictures to prove he met everyone he says he met, including one with the champ.
Security guards at the movie and television studios in Hollywood should watch out. Word is Carruthers headed there after his memorable stop in Las Vegas.
CNN’s Jill Martin and Cheri Mossburg contributed to this report.