Another big boxing bout is on the verge of being cancelled after Paradigm Sports Management (best known for representing Conor McGregor) has filed an injunction to stop Manny Pacquiao from fighting Errol Spence on August 21st.
Paradigm and Pacquiao have been legally battling each other for months now, with Paradigm accusing Manny of accepting a $3.3 million advance as part of a management agreement and then bouncing on them. They also complained that they put together a big money fight for Pacquiao in Dubai against Mikey Garcia, only to have Pacquiao announce he’d be fighting Errol Spence instead.
From Paradigm’s request for a preliminary injunction, filed on July 30th: “On May 21, 2021, after verbally accepting Paradigm’s fight offer, Pacquiao instead tweeted that he is participating in the Spence bout, which was never discussed with Paradigm in violation of Pacquiao’s express contractual obligations. Pacquiao’s blatant violation of Paradigm’s exclusivity rights caused Paradigm to suffer money damages consisting of the revenue it would have earned on the Pacquiao/Garcia fight and the $3.3 million advance Pacquiao has kept; as well as irreparable injury to its reputation.”
“Paradigm’s reputation throughout the professional boxing world and beyond has been besmirched by Pacquiao’s breaches. If the Spence bout proceeds without Paradigm’s involvement, its inability to enforce its rights will be public knowledge. With no consequences for Pacquiao’s violation of Paradigm’s exclusive rights, it will be unable to rehabilitate its reputation in the sport of boxing and lose out on a huge swath of new business opportunities.”
Paradigm is asking the court to either stop the fight or force Pacquiao to put over $8 million in escrow to cover the potential damages Paradigm is seeking from the boxer. Pacquiao’s team has filed a strongly worded cross-complaint in response, which we get to see part of thanks to WorldBoxingNews.
“PSM frivolously seeks to enjoin that bout based on a series of fraudulent promises, contractual and fiduciary breaches, and shady backroom dealings with one of Pacquiao’s trusted advisors without Pacquiao’s knowledge or consent,” it read. “To say that PSM has unlawfully attempted to take advantage of Pacquiao is an understatement.”
“Through the foregoing fraud, deceit, and concealment, PSM induced Pacquiao to sign and enter into (a revised) management agreement with PSM in October 2020,” the cross-complaint continued. “However, shortly thereafter, PSM informed Pacquiao that the promised bout with McGregor would not happen. PSM also informed Pacquiao that there were no endorsement deals, contrary to what it promised him.”
“Paradigm has done nothing for Pacquiao. PSM has swindled him and selfishly attempted to exploit Pacquiao’s name to expand its business to include professional boxers in addition to MMA fighters.”
In the end this will come down to the wording of the management agreement signed by Pacquiao. His team claims the contract recognizes a previous promotional agreement with TGB Promotions, the people behind the Spence fight. Paradigm obviously disagrees. How clear the language in the various contracts are will really determine whether this injunction goes through. All the rest regarding shady back room behavior and betrayals by agents will have to be sorted out later in court.