IS Manny Pacquiao courting a new legal issue after signing a new contract with Paradigm Sports Management recently?
Key members of Pacquiao’s group hope it doesn’t end that way especially with the legendary boxer known to be affiliated with Al Haymon’s Premier Boxing Champions (PBC) the past two years.
But if ever, they’re banking on the Paradigm group under Audie Attar to take care of the business.
“Sana walang mangyaring legal matters dito kasi maganda naman yung intention dito of signing with Paradigm,” said Arnold Vegafria, business manager for entertainment and others by the 41-year-old Filipino senator.
On Tuesday, Vegafria formally announced Pacquiao partnering with Paradigm in a ‘flexible contract’ aimed to ‘get the best deal for him (Pacman) in the last two years of his career.’
Vegafria was joined by Pacquiao’s long-time associate and business manager Jake Joson and Pacquiao’s senate legal counsel and consultants Atty. Brando Viernesto and Atty. Bong Gacal, who also serves as the senator’s chief finance officer.
Viernesto explained the Paradigm contract has two sides.
“The one is about the fight of the senator, and the other involves the business side such as marketing, commercial, media, entertainment, and sponsorship,” he said.
The legal question however, could arise on the boxing side since Pacquiao has signed with PBC in late 2018 with hopes of landing a rematch with long-time rival Floyd Mayweather Jr. who’s a close associate of Haymon.
The Filipino boxing icon had two fights under PBC last year against Adrian Broner and Keith Thurman, although the return bout with Mayweather has yet to materialize as the unbeaten American fighter remains retired until now.
The tenure of Pacquiao’s contract with PBC, however, is undisclosed and it’s a matter Paradigm would rather not delve into.
“We have no idea what’s the content of the PBC contract, and Manny will honor it if he still has an existing contract with PBC,” said Vegafria.
“But there is also an existing contract now with Paradigm, which also has the right to negotiate for a fight.”
Manny Pacquiao (MP) Promotions president Sean Gibbons, however, stressed the senator still has a ‘100000000 percent’ contract with PBC.
Be that as it may, Viernesto said it’s up to Paradigm to sort out any legal issue that may arise out of it.
Joson however, said it’s a good dilemma facing the fighting senator.
“If PBC comes up with a fight for Senator Pacquiao, he will entertain it. He won’t say no. Pero kung wala namang laban na maipakita ang PBC, what’s the point?,” said Joson.
“So si Audie Attar ang makikipag-negotiate kasi siya may concrete na ipapakita kay senator. So kung sino sa dalawa ang makakapag-pakita ng konkretong kontrata na meron na siyang laban, yun ang susundin ni senator.”
Vegafria said as of now, Paradigm is working on a June or July fight for Pacquiao or exactly a year after he scored a split decision against Thurman to win their world welterweight title match.
“What we’re saying here is that his last fight was last July, and until now he has not fought. So we have to move on,” added Viernesto.
The lawyer, however, made it clear a mega-fight with UFC superstar Connor McGregor, who’s also being handled by Paradigm, won’t be happening within the year.
“The fight with McGregor is down the road since he (Connor) still has fights with UFC,” he said. “So possibly, it will be next year.”