Los Angeles:  Filipino boxing hero Manny Pacquiao has filed a lawsuit against American Floyd Mayweather for falsely accusing him of taking performance-enhancing drugs.

The lawsuit, filed in a federal court in Las Vegas, asks for damages in excess of $75,000 and includes Mayweather, Mayweather’s father Floyd Sr and uncle Roger as defendants.

Oscar De La Hoya, who Pacquiao defeated in December 2008 and Richard Schaefer, who operate Golden Boy Promotions and are promoting Mayweather, are also named in as having "stated publicly that Pacquiao has used and is using performance-enhancing drugs, including steroids."

"Mr. Pacquiao simply could not allow these false, reckless and malicious statements to go unanswered," said Pacquiao's attorney Daniel Petrocelli.

"He had no choice but to file this law suit to protect his good name and reputation which has been earned after years and years of hard work.

"He's not going to sit by and let people publicly accuse him of being a cheater. There is absolutely no basis for such statements to be made about him."

What began as a disagreement between the camps of Pacquiao and Mayweather Jr. on drug testing for their megafight - tentatively scheduled for March 13 at the MGM Grand in Las Vegas - has spiraled so out of control and placed in jeopardy the potential biggest money fight in boxing history.