Pacquiao allegedly switched to another sports promoter, despite having agreed to a four-fight deal with Paradigm Sports.
Sports manager Audie Attar, best known for representing mixed martial arts superstar Conor McGregor, has filed a breach-of-contract lawsuit against eight-division boxing champion Manny Pacquiao.
The lawsuit, writes The Athletic, seeks to recover a $3.3 million advance. It also requests an injunction against Pacquiao’s planned welterweight division title fight against Errol Spence, Jr., which is scheduled for August 21st.
Attar—who owns Southern California-based Paradigm Sports—claims that he had been negotiating for Pacquiao to meet four-division champion Mikey Garcia.
However, Pacquiao was reportedly influenced by several of his associates to re-enter negotiations with boxing manager Al Haymon and Haymon’s Premier Boxing Champions agency. After speaking to Haymon and his associates, Pacquiao signed to fight Spence in Las Vegas.
Spence, notes The Athletic, is boxing’s undefeated WBC-IBF champion.
In their lawsuit, Paradigm attorney Judd Burstein suggested that Pacquiao’s decision to back out of negotiations and then sign with another agency cost Paradigm massive amounts of money.
“In addition to the millions of dollars in straightforward economic loss that Paradigm stands to suffer, the damage to its reputation resulting from Pacquiao’s breaches is incalculable,” Burstein wrote in the lawsuit. “Just when Paradigm was at the cusp establishing itself as a major player in professional boxing, Pacquiao left its reputation as a boxing representative in tatters.”
“Pacquiao’s breaches of the agreement therefore entitle Paradigm to monetary damages [and] costs associated with this proceeding, including but not limited to attorneys’ fees and […] injunctive relief,” Burstein wrote.
However, Pacquiao attorney Dale Kinsella objected to the suit’s allegations, saying that his client had never signed on with Paradigm and was under no obligation to fight for the company.
“The complaint filed by Paradigm Sports in California state court on Friday is a frivolous effort to interfere with Manny Pacquiao’s upcoming mega fight, and it can and will fail for numerous reasons,” Kinsella said in a statement. “Moreover, 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.
“Should this matter actually proceed beyond Friday’s filing in a court of law, Mr. Pacquiao will vigorously defend this action, assert his own claims against Paradigm Sports, and seek to recover his attorney’s fees as well.”
The Mirror, a British tabloid, suggests that Pacquiao and Paradigm had “joined forces” in 2020, originally pursuing a four-fight deal.
Attar, adds the Mirror, had also sought to schedule a fight between McGregor—who made massive money losing to undefeated Floyd Mayweather in August 2017—but was unable to fix a date.