U.S. Press Freedom Tracker

Journalist subpoenaed in legal feud over boxing match

Incident Details

Date of Incident
September 28, 2018

Subpoena/Legal Order

Legal Orders
Legal Order Target
Legal Order Venue
September 28, 2018

Journalist Lance Pugmire was subpoenaed on September 28, 2018, as part of a lawsuit around a major boxing match he covered in 2015 while a reporter at the Los Angeles Times, according to court documents reviewed by the U.S. Press Freedom Tracker.

It was the first of a total of five subpoenas Pugmire received between 2018 and 2023, in a plaintiff’s long-running lawsuit around finder’s fees for a 2015 boxing match between Floyd Mayweather Jr. and Manny Pacquiao. The match broke pay-per-view records at more than $400 million in sales, as Pugmire himself reported for the Times.

The plaintiff in the suit claims that Showtime, which televised the fight, as well as Pacquiao and his trainer, Frederick Roach, promised him a finder’s fee for helping to negotiate the fight.

In the fall of 2018, the plaintiff subpoenaed Pugmire for testimony to have him confirm that quotations from Roach in Pugmire’s articles about the fight were accurately attributed. Pugmire objected to the subpoena and refused to testify. The plaintiff filed a motion to compel his testimony, which was denied on March 5, 2019, on the grounds that it was filed too late after Pugmire’s objections.

The U.S. Press Freedom Tracker catalogues press freedom violations in the United States. Email tips to [email protected].