BEAUMONT, Texas -- An attorney for light heavyweight Valerie Mahfood has sued a Southeast Texas nightclub, contending that bouncers injured the boxer
when they ejected her for using the women's restroom.
Papers filed in the lawsuit claim that security personnel were negligent when they threw her out of the club, making her face and skull hit the
Mahfood, who fought and lost to Muhammad Ali's daughter, Laila, during a super middleweight fight in June, is seeking unspecified damages for
permanent bodily impairment, physical disfigurement, loss of earnings, loss of future earning capacity, physical pain and mental anguish from the
defunct Hunters Club in Beaumont.
The club's employees allegedly injured the fighter's shoulder, said Mahfood's attorney, Tom Oxford of Beaumont.
"It was pretty outrageous conduct," Oxford told the Beaumont Enterprise in Friday's editions.
The lawsuit was filed March 26 in Jefferson County.
Mahfood, 30, was arrested on a disorderly conduct charge following the March 2002 confrontation. But the charge was later dropped.
Nicknamed "The Wolfe," Mahfood is the Women's International Boxing Federation's light heavyweight world champion.
The alleged assault occurred on ladies' night at the club, where Mahfood contends that employees behaved as if they mistook her for a man three times
during the evening.
Mahfood had entered the club without paying a $10 entry fee charged for men only, so employees knew she was a woman, Oxford said.
"I don't buy this that they mistook her for a man. I think it's something else," the attorney said. "I think they knew she was a female boxer and they
had an impression of her sexual orientation that they didn't like."
The attorney claimed that bouncers also ripped two shirts off of Mahfood and led her through the club in her bra and pants.
The club along Interstate 10 closed about one year ago.
Reached by telephone Thursday at the Texas Department of Criminal Justice's Richard P. LeBlanc Unit, where she is a guard, Mahfood declined to comment
on the case.
She has said in earlier published reports that she sports a Mohawk, doesn't wear makeup and is often mistaken for a man. Mahfood weighed in at 168
pounds before a bout with Laila Ali last November. She lost the fight.
"You talk to her and you know she's a woman," said Oxford.
Ray Bowen of Cleveland, a Liberty County sheriff's deputy also named in the lawsuit, said he has retained a lawyer and will fight the case.
Bowen, who was working as an off-duty security guard when Mahfood was ejected from the club, said Thursday, "All I did was handcuff her."