Manny Pacquiao might be planning to fight in boxing under the RIZIN banner, but his next bout will take place in a courtroom.
A lawsuit filed by Paradigm Sports against the legendary boxer is set to go to trial on March 3 in Orange County, Calif. over an alleged breach of contract. The lawsuit filed back in 2021 was attempting to recoup a $3. 3 million payment made to Pacquaio as well as seeking an injunction to stop a fight he had scheduled against Errol Spence Jr.
Paradigm Sports was led by Audie Attar as CEO. However, Pacquiao was signed in 2020. The relationship quickly soured with the filing of a lawsuit just one year later.
Wednesday’s statement by Attar regarding the forthcoming trial was released by Walter P. Schwarm. Paradigm will be represented by Judd Burstein in court.
“Manny’s days of thumbing his nose at our contractual rights are almost at an end,” Attar said in the statement. “We have an overwhelming case against him and look forward to justice being served. A court order has been entered stating that Pacquiao has admitted to violating Paradigm’s contract and has caused Paradigm more damages than $20 millions.
“If any promoters, managers, fighters or broadcasting networks are considering entering into an agreement with Manny prior to the trial, they are now on notice that Paradigm will immediately commence an action against them for tortious interference with contract and seek both an injunction and damages. Paradigm will win the March trial and we will immediately stop 100-percent Manny from earning money in America. Any revenue generated will also be attached to its judgment. Paradigm will vigorously enforce its judgment in all foreign countries where Manny tries to fight .”
When the original lawsuit was filed, Paradigm — an agency that also represents UFC superstar Conor McGregor — alleged that the agency had set up a fight between Pacquiao and four-division boxing champion Mikey Garcia. The deal fell apart after Pacquiao’s business associates including longtime advisor Sean Gibbons and Winchell Campos ended up doing a separate deal with Al Haymon’s Premier Boxing Champions for the fight with Spence.
Although Spence sustained an injury, the fight did not take place. However, Pacquiao was able to compete against Yordenis Urgas that August and lost. This fight would be his final professional fight. Just over a month after Spence’s injury, Pacquiao declared his retirement.
Pacquiao, much like Floyd Mayweather’s former opponent, now participates in exhibition bouts. After signing an agreement with RIZIN, he already participated in one exhibition bout.
Obviously, Paradigm hopes for a legal resolution that would prevent Pacquiao from competing anywhere for the time being, although the 44-year-old fighter had previously disputed the merits of the lawsuit when he filed a cross complaint via his attorney Dale Kinsella.
“Manny Pacquiao’s cross complaint filed today reveals in detail the complete sham nature of Paradigm’s complaint,” Kinsella said in 2021. “We look forward to exposing Paradigm’s conduct in front of a jury and recovering both general and punitive damages.”
It appears that the parties will try to reach an agreement through the March trial.