And the war of the press releases continues. Manny Pacquiao has filed a federal defamation lawsuit against Floyd Mayweather Jr., Oscar de la Hoya et al. What a time to be a publicist. And a blogger.

Here's the release:

On December 30, 2009, pound-for-pound boxing champion Manny Pacquiao filed a lawsuit in Nevada federal court against Floyd Mayweather, Jr., Floyd Mayweather, Sr., Roger Mayweather, Mayweather Promotions, LLC, and Golden Boy Promotions executives Oscar de la Hoya, and Richard Schaefer for making false and defamatory statements accusing Pacquiao of taking performance-enhancing drugs.  

The lawsuit claims the Mayweathers, de la Hoya, and Schaefer knew that Pacquiao has never taken performance-enhancing drugs, knew their statements were false, but made them anyway out of "ill-will, spite, malice, revenge, and envy."

 Pacquiao has retained Daniel Petrocelli of the Los Angeles-based law firm of O'Melveny & Myers LLP.  About the filing of the complaint, Petrocelli stated: "Manny Pacquiao's achievements come from God-given talent and an indefatigable work ethic -- not steroids.  He cannot and will not allow others to deliberately misrepresent his years of hard work and tarnish his reputation."

 The lawsuit was filed in federal district court in Las Vegas, Nevada, and seeks compensatory and punitive damages for defendants' wrongful conduct.

And with all this wrangling and posturing and promises of Pacquiao against Yuri Foreman or Paulie Malignaggi, two pretty well placed sources in the boxing industry told the Neutral Corner not to count out Mayweather vs. Pacquiao. There's just way too much money on the table for everyone.

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 See photos of Manny Pacquiao