IT appears unbeaten champion Errol Spence won’t be the only one that would take away the time of boxing legend Manny Pacquiao once he departs for the US next week.
The camp of the 42-year-old boxer turned senator is priming for a looming legal battle after Paradigm Sports’ Audie Attar filed a breach-of-contract lawsuit against Pacquiao in California on Friday (Saturday, Manila time).
The development was first reported by The Athletic.
MP Promotions President Sean Gibbons, who was mentioned in the lawsuit as among those who veered Pacquiao back to Premier Boxing Champions (PBC) under Al Haymon that paved the way for the eight-time world division champion to accept the Aug. 21 fight against Spence, said they will definitely answer the lawsuit soon.
'Frivolous effort to interfere with Pacman mega fight'
Dale Kinsella, who represents the Pacquiao camp, said in a statement the complaint by Paradigm Sports is "a frivolous effort to interfere" with the Filipino’s upcoming mega fight set at the T-Mobile Arena in Las Vegas.
More so, he said the lawsuit 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,” said the lawyer of the Kinsella Weitzman Iser Kump LLP.
Under the complaint which seeks to recoup a $3.3 million advance and an injunction to the Pacquiao-Spence fight, Attar claimed he was negotiating for Pacquiao to meet four-division champion Mikey Garcia in his first fight out of the Paradigm contract he originally signed in February of 2020.
Attar claimed the bout didn’t push through as Gibbons and other people close to Pacquiao interfered, compelling him to plan instead a Connor McGregor-Pacquiao boxing match this year.
McGregor, who is among Paradigm’s contract stars, unfortunately lost to Dustin Poirier in a UFC fight in January in Dubai, shelving the supposed mega-fight between the two current combat sports superstars. McGregor instead, is poised for a rematch with Poirier on July 10.
At the same time, Attar said when the Pacquiao-Spence fight was announced last month, the firm was of the belief the Filipino ring icon was ready to sign a bout with Mikey Garcia.
“Pacquiao’s breaches of the agreement therefore, entitle Paradigm to monetary damages (and) costs associated with this proceeding, including but not limited to attorney’s fees and…injunctive relief,” said Paradigm lawyer Judd Burstein.
“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,” the lawsuit added.
“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 fought his last two bouts against Adrian Broner and Keith Thurman under PBC.
But in the lawsuit, it claims the Filipino no longer has a contractual obligation to fight for PBC unless he will be facing retired unbeaten champion Flody Mayweather Jr. in a rematch of their 2015 match, which went down as the richest in boxing history and won by Floyd Jr.
Still, Pacquiao's camp is unfazed by all this legal threat.
“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,” added Kinsella.