Filipino boxing legend Manny Pacquiao lost a legal battle with Paradigm Sports Management, a company that also manages UFC superstar Conor McGregor. All of it stems from a 2021 breach of contract lawsuit that Paradigm filed against “Pacman.”
Now, Pacquiao is ordered to pay a sum of $5.1 million to Paradigm. According to reports, he also owes the company $2 million in legal fees as well as ten percent annual interest that Paradigm can collect on the amount that dates back three years.
Lawsuit: Manny Pacquiao vs. Paradigm Sports
It all began in February 2020, when Pacquiao signed with Paradigm. He even received a personal welcome from “The Notorious,” and around the same time, talks about a super fight between the two superstars began to float around.
Things came to a head in 2021 when Manny Pacquiao signed on for a bout with Errol Spence Jr. This urged Paradigm to file a lawsuit, alleging that Pacquiao asked for a $3.3 million advance for a supposed fight with one of its talents, Mikey Garcia. At the time, Paradigm also requested an injunction to stop Pacquiao’s scheduled fight with Spence for August 21st of that year.
In the lawsuit, Paradigm also alleged that Manny Pacquiao did not disclose a previous management deal when he signed a two-fight deal in 2020. In turn, Paradigm wanted $20 million from Pacquiao for “straightforward economic loss” and “damage” to the company’s reputation.
“Just when Paradigm was at the cusp of establishing itself as a major player in professional boxing, Pacquiao has left its reputation as a boxing representative in tatters,” Paradigm attorney Judd Burstein wrote in the lawsuit.
The verdict against Manny Pacquiao
On Wednesday, a jury in Orange County ruled in favor of Paradigm via a 9-3 verdict. While the company did claim a total of $26.1 million in damages, the jury awarded them $5.1 million. This covers the $3.3 million advance that Pacquiao supposedly requested, along with $1.8 million in damages.
Paradigm CEO and founder Audie Attar is celebrating this win.
“We are elated to learn of the jury’s ruling in Paradigm’s favor in our suit against Manny Pacquiao,” he said in a statement. “The jury plainly found that Pacquiao testified falsely in denying Paradigm’s claims against him, and his excuses for his conduct proves our case that a breach of contract was committed.
“We are appreciative of the court’s time and the jury’s careful attention to the facts of this case. Hopefully, Manny will have learned a lesson from the verdict and will henceforth act with the honesty and integrity that was so lacking in his treatment of Paradigm.”
Judd Burstein had this to say about the eight-division world champion.
“It’s always nice to have justice done. Manny Pacquiao’s behavior, in this case, was disgraceful,” he told the jury.
Team Pacquiao’s side of the story
Team Pacquiao, meanwhile, refuses to go down without a fight. According to attorney Jason Aniel, a final judgment has not been made, and they are looking towards another hearing, which is set for June 6th.
“A judgment has not yet been entered,” he said (via local outlet ABS-CBN News). “The court has scheduled a hearing in June and there are still legal issues that need to be addressed by the court before the case is fully resolved. We look forward to the final decision by the court.”
From their end, Pacquiao’s legal team claimed that their client signed the contract under the condition of a fight with McGregor, as well as other endorsement deals. Pacquiao also maintained that Paradigm was aware of his prior commitment with TGB Promotions.
“PSM repeatedly, emphatically and falsely promised Pacquiao that PSM would immediately secure a mega fight between Pacquiao and McGregor if Pacquiao signed with PSM,” a statement from Pacquiao’s legal counsel reads.
Manny Pacquiao fights on
In 2021, Pacquiao announced his retirement from professional competition after losing to Yordenis Ugas via decision. 43 years old at the time, his sole focus was on his Philippine presidential bid.
After losing the elections in 2022, Pacquiao took part in an exhibition match against YouTuber and martial arts practitioner DK Yoo in the latter’s home country of South Korea last December. He won the six-round bout via decision. Pacquiao is also signed under Rizin and will engage in another exhibition bout sometime in 2023.
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