Wednesday, August 17, 2011
Floyd Mayweather Jr. facing lawsuit
LAS VEGAS -- Superstar boxer Floyd Mayweather Jr. is facing a civil lawsuit from a pair of men who say he orchestrated a shooting attack on them two years ago outside a Las Vegas skating rink.
The lawsuit obtained Wednesday by The Associated Press accuses Mayweather, Ocie Harris and others of making threats since the attack.
Leonard Ellerbe, CEO of Mayweather Promotions, said the undefeated boxer had nothing to do with the shooting or any of the alleged acts.
"As in most civil cases this is just another attempt to extort money," Ellerbe said.
"An educated observer would examine the background of these individuals and immediately question their credibility," he said.
A lawyer for Harris, who is accused of firing shots in the incident, was not immediately available for comment. Harris has pleaded not guilty to criminal charges in the shooting. His trial is scheduled for February.
Mayweather attorney Mark Ferrario said Mayweather looks forward to resolving the dispute in court but declined further comment.
Lawyers for Quincey Williams and Damien Bland said in the lawsuit filed Tuesday that they want Mayweather and his associates to stop contacting their clients, plus an unspecified amount of money for damages.
Robert Adams and Robert Eglet, the lawyers who filed the suit, were not available Wednesday because they were preparing for an unrelated trial, their office said.
Mayweather is undefeated in 41 fights and has won titles in five divisions. He currently is training for a Sept. 17 fight against Victor Ortiz.
According to police, Mayweather argued with Williams on the night of the shooting inside the Crystal Palace Skating Center. Police say the Aug. 23, 2009, incident started over a text message Williams sent Mayweather saying he hoped the boxer would lose his upcoming fight.
At the time, Mayweather was preparing to face Juan Manuel Marquez. Mayweather won that bout by unanimous decision.
Authorities have never accused Mayweather of firing shots and he has never been criminally charged in the case. Witnesses told police they saw Harris fire at least five shots at a BMW sedan with the two men inside after having earlier spoken with Mayweather. Neither man in the vehicle was wounded.
Mayweather later denied knowing Harris or having any knowledge of a shooting. But police said they linked the boxer and Harris through witnesses, surveillance videotapes and records seized when authorities served search warrants at Mayweather's home.
The lawsuit, which was first reported by the Las Vegas Review-Journal, said the men now live in "immediate and mortal fear" of being hurt by Mayweather and the other people they say are responsible for the shooting.
Williams told the Review-Journal last year that he used to work for Mayweather years ago, but quit because of pay.
"(Mayweather) feels like he's entitled to do whatever he wants and get away with it," Williams told the newspaper.
Mayweather has a history of court dealings.
He has been accused in a federal lawsuit alleging he defamed boxing rival Manny Pacquiao. Mayweather also faces felony charges stemming from a domestic argument and misdemeanor charges in other cases.
Pacquiao and Mayweather have come close to agreeing to terms on what likely would be the richest fight in boxing history, only for the discussions to repeatedly break down.