FILIPINO boxing icon and Senator Manny Pacquiao has brushed off the lawsuit filed by sports agency Paradigm Sports against him which seeks to stop his upcoming bout with American boxer Errol Spence Jr.
“Paradigm Sports’ lawsuit against me has no merit. Under the agreement with Paradigm, I have an absolute right to engage in the upcoming bout with Errol Spence,” he said in a statement on Monday, June 28.
“Sadly, this frivolous lawsuit intends to distract my preparations for a historic fight. But it does not bother me a bit,” he added.
Pacquaio also said that his legal team is ready to counter the suit.
“My lawyers are on top of this lawsuit and are ready to file counter charges against Paradigm Sports,” he said.
In May, Pacquiao announced his return to the boxing ring with a fight against Spence, who holds the International Boxing Federation (IBF) and World Boxing Council (WBC) titles, set for August 21.
Paradigm Sports head Audie Attar later filed a breach-of-contract lawsuit against the Filipino boxing champion, seeking to “recoup a $3.3 million advance” and block Pacquiao-Spence.
As per The Athletic, Attar claimed in the lawsuit that he was negotiating for Pacquiao to meet four-division champion Mikey Garcia. However, Pacquiao’s associates Sean Gibbons and Winchell Campos “veered Pacquiao back to powerful boxing manager Al Haymon’s Premier Boxing Champions,” which led to Pacquiao signing to fight Spence in August.
“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,” Paradigm attorney Judd Burstein said in the lawsuit.
“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,” he added.
In response, Pacquiao attorney Dale Kinsella called the lawsuit filed by Paradigm Sports “frivolous.”
“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,” he said in a statement.
“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,” he added.
Pacquiao signed with Paradigm Sports back in February 2020.
Kinsella, for his part, threatened to assert their own claims against the sports agency.
“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,” he said. n