Manny Pacquiao is ready to go the distance in court to ensure that he can proceed to the ring on his own terms.
The record-setting eight-division titlist remains hard at work for an upcoming challenge of unified WBC/IBF welterweight titlist Errol Spence Jr. (27-0, 21KOs). Their bout tops a Fox Sports Pay-Per-View event presently slated to take place August 21 at T-Mobile Arena in Las Vegas, where tickets are already moving at a brisk pace.
That is, of course, assuming the bout moves forward in present form.
Recently coming to surface is a breach of lawsuit filed against Pacquiao by Paradigm Sports and its founder/combat sports manager Audie Attar, alleging that the legendary Filipino southpaw was advanced $3.3 million for business arrangements that never transpired. Paradigm—whose legal team is headed by well-known boxing attorney Judd Burstein—has also filed an injunction seeking to block Pacquiao-Spence.
“[The] Paradigm Sports lawsuit against me has no merit,” Pacquiao told BoxingScene.com in a statement through his MP Promotions. “I have an absolute right under the agreement with Paradigm to engage in the upcoming bout with Errol Spence.”
The heart of the lawsuit filed by Paradigm indicates a four-fight deal reached after the two sides connected last February. According to the complaint, part of the deal was to include a fight between Pacquiao (62-7-2, 39KOs) and former four-division titlist Mikey Garcia (40-1, 30KOs)—which Paradigm expected Pacquiao to announce earlier this spring upon revelation that he had big news to share with his public.
Instead came the surprise reveal that the full-time Senator will return to face Spence in a potential three-belt unification match pending his reinstatement as WBA “Super” welterweight champion. The announcement was made in late May, confirming Pacquiao’s first fight since a July 2019 win over then-unbeaten Keith Thurman atop a Fox Sports PPV event from MGM Grand Garden Arena in Las Vegas.
The development has since left Paradigm and Attar to take action to protect their alleged investment. Their actions were met with resistance from Pacquiao’s legal team.
“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,” Dale Kinsella, representing Pacquiao on behalf of Kinsella Weitzman Iser Kump LLP said in a statement issued to BoxingScene.com. “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.”
For now, the welterweight superfight will proceed as planned. Apparently, so will the lawsuit and injunction until a court rules otherwise.
Pacquiao—who has won titles at flyweight, junior featherweight, featherweight, junior lightweight, lightweight, junior welterweight, welterweight and junior middleweight—plans to be just as ready for a legal battle as the next one he faces in the ring.
“If this frivolous lawsuit continues, I will be proven correct in court,” vows Pacquiao.
Jake Donovan is a senior writer for BoxingScene.com. Twitter: @JakeNDaBox