By: Sean Crose
Manny Pacquiao’s camp has responded to a lawsuit filed in Orange County last week alleging the fighter broke his contract with Paradigm Sports when he signed on to fight Erroll Spence later this summer. “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,” Pacquiao attorney Dalen Kinsella claims, “and it can and will fail for numerous reasons.”
As Paradigm sees it, Pacquiao essentially spurned the management company in favor of Al Haymon and Premiere Boxing Champions in order to get welterweight titlist Spence in the ring. On the surface, at least, Kinsella isn’t buying it. “Moreover,” he adds, “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.”
Kinsella indicates that Team Pacquiao is ready to go on the offensive. “Should this matter actually proceed beyond Friday’s filing in a court of law,” says Kinsella, “Mr. Pacquiao will vigorously defend this action, assert his own claims against Paradigm Sports, and seek to recover his attorney’s fees as well.” Pacquiao made news when he signed with Paradigm several months ago, because it then looked like he would be engaging in a lucrative match with UFC star, and fellow Paradgim client, Conor McGregor.
Yet McGregor ended up losing his next fight in the octagon to Dustin Poirier, which meant an opponent for Pacquiao had to be found. Paradigm reportedly wanted the Filipino legend to face Mikey Garcia. Pacquiao chose to go with Spence, however, who fights under Al Haymon’s PBC banner, as had Pacquiao previously. Interpreting the move as a breach of contract, Paradigm filed in Orange Country. Paradigm also wants the court to put a halt to the Spence-Pacqiao fight.
Although it’s argued that the cancellation of Spence-Pacquiao is unlikely, it wasn’t all that long ago – it’s been a matter of weeks, really – that an arbiter shut down the highly anticipated heavyweight title match between Tyson Fury and Anthony Joshua by ruling in favor of previous Fury opponent Deontay Wilder in a case between he and Fury. Whether or not a duplicate or similar scenario plays out here remains to be seen. Needless to say, Spence-Pacquiao is perhaps the single most highly anticipated match of the year. Should things work against Pacquiao, he might have to deal with more than the fight with Spence being cancelled – he might also find himself owing Paradigm over three million dollars.