Sources: Top Rank, Al Haymon settlement could open door for Mayweather-Pacquiao II

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Chris Mannix
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LAS VEGAS – Top Rank attorneys have instructed promoters involved with the $100 million lawsuit Top Rank filed last year against powerful boxing manager Al Haymon to halt requested document production, and scheduled depositions have been postponed indefinitely, multiple sources told Yahoo Sports – strong indications the two sides are moving toward a settlement.

Floyd Mayweather (L) and Manny Pacquiao embrace after their May 2, 2015 bout. (Getty)
Floyd Mayweather (L) and Manny Pacquiao embrace after their May 2, 2015 bout. (Getty)

Top Rank originally filed suit last July. The suit contended Premier Boxing Champions (PBC) — the series Haymon spearheads — is monopolistic, violates federal antitrust laws and the federal Muhammad Ali Boxing Reform Act. The antitrust claims were dismissed last October, and investment group Waddell & Reed, which invested hundreds of millions of dollars to bankroll the PBC, was removed as co-defendant.

Top Rank filed an amended, more detailed complaint against Haymon in October, and in January a judge denied Haymon’s motion to dismiss, allowing the case to proceed to discovery and depositions.

Top Rank CEO Bob Arum told Yahoo! Sports he “knew nothing,” of a potential settlement, and that the decision to halt discovery and postpone depositions were “internal mechanisms regarding the case.”

Top Rank president Todd duBoef declined comment, referring Yahoo Sports to Top Rank’s attorneys.

Daniel Petrocelli, an attorney representing Top Rank, did not immediately return a call to his office.

Details of any settlement talks are unknown, but multiple people involved in the lawsuit told Yahoo Sports of one possible outcome of a settlement: a rematch between Floyd Mayweather and Manny Pacquiao. Boxing’s biggest stars fought last May in a fight that generated 4.6 million pay-per-view buys and generated $500 million in total revenue.

While the fight was a disappointment — Mayweather cruised to an easy decision — a rematch is still the richest fight in boxing, one that could easily exceed 2 million buys. Mayweather retired last year, but has recently hinted at a possible comeback in an interview last week and his company has filed for trademarks on "TMT 50" and "TBE 50," according to ESPN. Another win would represent the 50th victory of his career.

Pacquiao retired after his win over Timothy Bradley last month, but has publicly lobbied for a rematch with Mayweather, suggesting a shoulder injury hindered his performance.

By settling the lawsuit, Pacquiao, who is represented by Top Rank, and Mayweather, who is managed by Haymon, would clear a significant hurdle in potential negotiations.