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Pacquiao settles defamation case against De La Hoya

May 31, 2011 |  5:44 pm

Mannypac Manny Pacquiao said Tuesday that he has settled his lawsuit with boxing promoters Richard Schaefer and Oscar De La Hoya, two of the four individuals he alleged defamed him.

Pacquiao filed a suit in December, 2009 in federal court in Las Vegas alleging that boxer Floyd Mayweather Jr. and his father defamed him with their comments saying the Filipino star has used performance-enhancing drugs, including steroids. Pacquiao also named the Mayweathers and his promoters De La Hoya and Schaefer as defendants.

Conditions of Tuesday's settlement were not released. Pacquiao's promoter Bob Arum said that Pacquiao's defamation case continues against the Mayweathers.

But the settlement could restore relations between Arum's Top Rank and De La Hoya's Golden Boy Promotions, who haven't made a major fight together since May 2009.

"I hope we can work together again and put great fights together," Schaefer said in a telephone interview. Schaefer and De La Hoya made a joint statement released by Top Rank:

“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.

"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.”

Schaefer wouldn't comment specifically on how the agreement might influence talks to stage a possible  megafight between Pacquiao and unbeaten Floyd Mayweather Jr., whom Golden Boy has helped promote in the past.

"The goal of any promoter is to put together the biggest and best fights," Schaefer said. "Let's see what the future brings. ... We've broken the ice."

For now, Pacquiao has a fight scheduled Nov. 13 against Juan Manuel Marquez and Mayweather is in seclusion, facing a variety of criminal charges in Las Vegas.

Arum has previously said he would not work with Golden Boy until the promoters apologized for statements Arum said could be used to hurt Pacquiao's political aspirations in the Philippines, where he is serving his first term as a congressman.

--Lance Pugmire

Photo: Manny Pacquaio salutes Philippine army troops in Manila Tuesday. Photo credit: Reuters / Romeo Ranoco.