In February 2020, news broke that Manny Pacquiao signed with the same management team as Conor McGregor. The relationship seems to have quickly deteriorated though, and Paradigm Sports Management is now suing the Filipino boxer for breach of contract.
Pacquiao is currently set for a boxing match against Errol Spence Jr. on August 21. This was said to be booked without the involvement of Paradigm, and the lawsuit is looking to prevent the match from happening.
Paradigm attorney Judd Burstein told ESPN that they’re also seeking millions in damages in the “high sevens or eights” range, while citing a $3.3 million contractual advance that Pacquiao allegedly refused to return.
As first reported by The Athletic, Paradigm noted that signing the boxing star was supposed to be their main move into a new sport, but “Pacquiao has left its reputation as a boxing representative in tatters.” They also claim that Pacquiao’s associates in Sean Gibbons and Winchell Campos worked to move Pacquiao back to Al Haymon’s Premier Boxing Champions.
“Pacquiao knew full well that Paradigm had exclusive rights to schedule his next two immediate fights,” the complaint read.
According to ESPN, the lawsuit also detailed some supposed plans Paradigm had with Pacquiao, including a bout with Mikey Garcia in Dubai and a crossover match with McGregor.
Paradigm says it was able to negotiate a $25 million fight purse for Pacquiao for a bout with Mikey Garcia that would have taken place May 15, 2021, in Dubai, United Arab Emirates. Pacquiao was to receive a $5 million purse advance. That deal fell apart after Pacquiao attempted to make that $5 million advance a guarantee, even if he did not compete, per the complaint.
There were also talks about McGregor being the first of Pacquiao’s two final fights, though that idea was pushed back because of a McGregor injury and his loss to Dustin Poirier in January, Burstein wrote in the complaint.
There was a lot of talk about a potential McGregor vs Pacquiao boxing match in 2020, with the former UFC champion saying it was “good as done” until he lost to Poirier. The timeline and injury noted in the complaint wasn’t specified, but it could just be McGregor’s badly swollen leg after taking all those calf kicks.
Pacquiao’s camp has since responded to the complaint with a statement saying “Paradigm Sports’ lawsuit against me has no merit. I have an absolute right under the agreement with Paradigm to engage in the upcoming bout with Errol Spence. If this frivolous lawsuit continues, I will be proven correct in court.”
“(The complaint) can and will fail for numerous reasons,” Pacquiao’s attorney Dale Kinsella said. “Had Manny Pacquiao known that Paradigm Sports appears to have had no intention of fulfilling its contractual obligations, he never would have entered into any relationship with them.”
The Filipino boxing legend is no stranger to management issues through the years. The 42-year-old Pacquiao has been known to have a massive entourage, with multiple people that tend to speak or sometimes even negotiate on his behalf.
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