THE August fight between boxing legend Manny Pacquiao and American champion Errol Spence, Jr. was thrown a roadblock in the lead-up after a lawsuit was filed against the Filipino fighter in the United States.
In a report by The Athletic, Paradigm Sports founder and sports manager Audie Attar filed a breach of contract lawsuit on Friday (Saturday, Manila time) against “Pacman” in an Orange County civil court.
The lawsuit is seeking to get back a $3.3-million advance it gave to Mr. Pacquiao and an injunction on the scheduled Aug. 21 fight between the eight-division world champion and the undefeated World Boxing Council (WBC) and International Boxing Federation (IBF) welterweight champ Spence in Las Vegas.
Paradigm claims it had exclusive rights to negotiate Mr. Pacquiao’s next two fights after the latter signed up with it in February this year, and that the Spence fight was not one of them.
The firm was pushing for Mr. Pacquiao to fight Mikey Garcia until it fell through for reasons Paradigm said still baffle it. The Filipino boxing superstar was also lined up to fight mixed martial arts fighter Conor McGregor, a client of Paradigm as well, in a “crossover” fight.
The Pacquiao-Spence fight was announced in May, which Paradigm said it had no part of.
Dale Kinsella, Mr. Pacquiao’s attorney in the States, in a statement released on Sunday called the complaint “frivolous” and that the boxer will defend himself.
“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. 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,” read Mr. Kinsella’s statement.
“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.”
Mr. Pacquiao, 42, who is also a sitting senator of the republic, is currently training in preparation for the Spence fight.
It is being geared as possibly one of his last fights before calling it a career. — Michael Angelo S. Murillo