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Manny Pacquiao drops part of defamation lawsuit, settling with Oscar De La Hoya

Suit was filed after comments alleging Pacquiao used performance-enhancing drugs

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Justin M. Bowen

Manny Pacquiao celebrates his unanimous decision win over Shane Mosely to keep the WBO world welterweight title at MGM Grand Garden Arena Saturday, May 7, 2011.

Boxer Manny Pacquiao settled his defamation lawsuit Tuesday against promoters Oscar De La Hoya and Richard Schaefer of Golden Boy Promotions. Details of the agreement were kept private.

The lawsuit, which was filed in December 2009 in Las Vegas federal court, alleged that four individuals — De La Hoya, Schaefer (the CEO of Golden Boy), boxer Floyd Mayweather Jr. and his father, Floyd Sr. — defamed Pacquiao with their public comments alleging he used performance-enhancing drugs.

“Richard Schaefer and Oscar De La Hoya, on behalf of themselves and Golden Boy Promotions, wish to make it crystal clear that we never intended to claim that Manny Pacquiao has used or is using any performance enhancing drugs, and further state that we do not have any evidence whatsoever of such use,” the promotion group released in a statement.

“Manny Pacquiao is one of the greatest fighters of all time, and we apologize if anyone construed our prior remarks as in any way claiming or even suggesting that Manny uses or has used performance enhancing drugs,” the statement continued.

The lawsuit against the Mayweathers will continue, according to media reports.

The Mayweather and Pacquiao camps couldn’t agree two years ago on drug-testing methods when trying to finalize what would be a mega-fight. Mayweather, who is promoted by Golden Boy, insisted on requiring both fighters take an Olympic-style drug test (which uses a blood sample) to guarantee an even playing field. Pacquiao refused.

“I understand Pacquiao not liking having his blood taken because, frankly, I don't know anyone who really does,” Mayweather said at the time. “But in a fight of this magnitude, I think it is our responsibility to subject ourselves to sportsmanship at the highest level. I have already agreed to the testing and it is a shame that he is not willing to do the same. It leaves me with great doubt as to the level of fairness I would be facing in the ring that night.”

The undefeated Mayweather, who is battling multiple legal problems in Las Vegas, hasn’t fought since May 2010 when he beat Shane Mosley. Pacquiao (54-3-2) beat Mosley last month to win his 13th straight fight dating to 2005.

Pacquiao, the WBO welterweight champion, will likely fight Juan Manuel Marquez this fall in Las Vegas.

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