Boxing legend Manny Pacquiao is facing a multi-million dollar lawsuit for breach of contract.
The lawsuit filed by Paradigm Sports Management — the same company that represents UFC superstar Conor McGregor and UFC middleweight champion Israel Adesanya — filed the lawsuit in Orange County, Calif. as first reported by The Athletic.
The lawsuit seeks to recoup a $3.3 million advance payment made to Pacquiao as well as seeking an injunction to stop his upcoming bout against Errol Spence Jr. on Aug. 21.
Paradigm Sports Management, led by president Audie Attar, alleges in the lawsuit that the company was negotiating for Pacquiao to meet four-division boxing champion Mikey Garcia in his next fight after striking the deal to represent the boxer. That fell apart after Pacquiao business associates including longtime advisor Sean Gibbons and Winchell Campos allegedly interfered and he ended up working with Al Haymon’s Premier Boxing Champions while signing for the fight against Spence instead.
The lawsuit is asking for a $3.3 million advance to be paid back as well as additional damages after Paradigm also lost Garcia as a client as a result of the failure to put the fight together with Pacquiao.
“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,” Paradigm attorney Judd Burstein wrote as part of the lawsuit.
“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 had previously announced in Feb. 2020 that the company had started representing Pacquiao as a full service agency while working alongside the boxer’s already established team. The lawsuit alleges that Paradigm previously attempted to orchestrate a separate deal with streaming service DAZN for a multi-fight contract that also fell apart before Attar then attempted to book Pacquiao in a boxing match against McGregor.
When McGregor suffered a second-round TKO loss to Dustin Poirier back in January, that nixed any hopes that he would face Pacquiao next and Paradigm then shifted gears yet again to work on securing the fight with Garcia.
Pacquiao then announced the fight against Spence and Paradigm played no part in those negotiations much less was the company made aware that the matchup was being booked.
While Pacquiao has made no public statement regarding the lawsuit as he continues to train for his scheduled bout against Spence, his attorney Dale Kinsella did release a statement on Saturday refuting the claims made by Paradigm.
“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 the 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.”