The eagerly-awaited clash between Filipino legend Manny Pacquiao and WBC and IBF welterweight champion Errol Spence is subject to a multi-million dollar legal action from Paradigm Sports.
Audie Attar’s Paradigm Sports, which represent UFC megastar Conor McGregor, claim a prior agreement with Pacquiao that would have seen the eight-division champion face Mikey Garcia in Dubai.
Inactive since a split decision win over Keith Thurman in July 2019, Pacquiao opted to face Spence in Las Vegas on August 21 in a more attractive fight to boxing fans. He originally partnered with Paradigm Sports in October 2020, but no fight resulted from that association.
Paradigm Sports has since filed a breach of contract lawsuit, seeking to recoup a claimed $3.3million advance to Pacquiao and requesting an injunction to prevent the Spence bout taking place. They maintain they had a two-fight deal in place with the Filipino veteran.
According to The Athletic, noted boxing attorney Judd Burstein, representing Paradigm, stated in the suit filed in Orange County civil court: “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.
“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…
“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.”
But Pacquiao’s legal team fired back strongly in a statement on Saturday evening. “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,” said lawyer Dale Kinsella of the Kinsella Weitzman Iser Kump legal firm in Santa Monica.
“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.”
Following the collapse of one August mega-fight in Tyson Fury vs Anthony Joshua, fight fans will hope Pacquiao vs Spence doesn’t follow suit.