A Nevada man claims boxer Floyd Mayweather Jr. directed his bodyguards to attack him at a Las Vegas casino last year after the man tried to take a photograph of the undefeated champion and asked about a fight with another star boxer, according to a lawsuit filed Friday in state court in Las Vegas.
The lawsuit alleges Mayweather’s bodyguards attacked Anthony Cliff near a valet parking stand at the Palms Casino Resort on March 27, 2010, after Mayweather accused Cliff of “disrespecting” him.
Mayweather’s bodyguards allegedly struck Cliff in the face, slamming his head into the ground. They then kicked him repeatedly in his back and side, the lawsuit says.
Mayweather’s attorney and a spokesman for the Palms did not immediately respond Monday to requests for comment.
The suit accuses Mayweather of assault and battery, intentional infliction of emotional distress and negligent hiring, training, supervision and retention of employees.
Cliff claims he first spotted the boxer inside the casino and tried to take his photo. He was told by a bodyguard that he could not do so. The lawsuit alleges Cliff walked away, but later ran into Mayweather again at the valet stand. Cliff then asked someone in Mayweather’s entourage about a possible match between Mayweather and another boxer.
The question seemed to infuriate Mayweather and his group, who surrounded Cliff and began threatening him, according to the lawsuit. Mayweather told Cliff he was disrespectful and allegedly give his bodyguards a “thumbs down” gesture, “which was a sign for the bodyguards to attack,” the lawsuit claims.
The lawsuit does not clarify which Mayweather rival Cliff was asking about.
The Palms also was named in the 43-page lawsuit for allegedly failing to provide adequate security. Cliff claims the casino’s valet and security staff did nothing to help him during or after the alleged beating.
Cliff claims he feared for his life after the assault.
Mayweather is scheduled to fight Victor Ortiz on Sept. 17. Meanwhile, fans have anxiously eyed stalled negotiations to pit Mayweather against Manny Pacquiao.
Mayweather has a history of court dealings.
Most recently, he failed to turn up for a court-ordered deposition in Las Vegas earlier this month in a federal lawsuit alleging he defamed Pacquiao. Mayweather and Pacquiao are considered among the best fighters in the world, though they’ve never met in the ring, partly because Mayweather’s camp questioned Pacquiao’s refusal to submit to strong drug testing.
Mayweather also faces felony charges stemming from a domestic argument and misdemeanor harassment and battery charges in separate cases.
The Las Vegas boxer is undefeated in 41 fights, having won titles in five divisions.
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