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Manny Pacquiao is in hot water after a breach of contract lawsuit was filed against him by Paradigm Sports’ Audie Attar. (Photo : rcelis from Pixabay)
Manny Pacquiao’s preparations for his upcoming title fight against Errol Spence Jr. have taken a huge hit after a lawsuit was filed against the eight-division world champion for breach of contract. Audie Attar filed the complaint after Pacquiao agreed to fight Spence Jr. next instead of Mikey Garcia.
Attar and his company Paradigm Sports announced a tie-up with Pacquiao in February 2020. Pacquiao was delighted with the partnership back then, saying “I am proud to partner with Paradigm Sports Management and am excited for the opportunities that Audie Attar and PSM have to offer.”
What happened to Attar and Pacquiao?
Attar is thought to be the one responsible for making the blockbuster Floyd Mayweather vs Conor McGregor boxing match come to fruition. With that bout becoming one of the most lucrative fights in sporting history, Pacquiao also wanted a piece of the action and many believed that a fight with McGregor was near with his signing with Attar.
Attar was also bullish about his partnership with Pacquiao at that time, saying “I’m honored to have the opportunity not only to maximize Manny’s boxing career but to help him continue to leave a legacy he is proud of through the lens of business and sport.”
Of course, the COVID-19 pandemic happened and threw a monkey wrench into their plans. Pacquiao’s supposed fight against Mikey Garcia in Saudi Arabia failed to push through last year. The Pacquiao-McGregor extravaganza didn’t materialize as well with McGregor losing his MMA rematch with Dustin Poirier back in January.
Attar tried to set up the Pacquiao-Garcia fight again this year but Pacquiao in a surprise announcement opted to challenge Spence Jr. instead. Paradigm Sports alleges that Pacquiao’s associates, namely: Sean Gibbons and Winchell Campos “veered Pacquiao back to powerful boxing manager Al Haymon’s Premier Boxing Champions,” for that fight against Spence Jr.
With the Pacquiao bout no longer in the cards, Garcia decided to end his brief partnership with Paradigm Sports. It’s now reported that Attar is seeking to recoup a whopping $3.3 million that he advanced to Pacquiao and is requesting an injunction to prevent the Spence bout from happening.
According to the lawsuit obtained by The Athletic, Paradigm Sports attorney Judd Burstein said that: “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. 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’s camp insists Spence fight will go on as scheduled
Pacquiao’s camp is adamant however that the championship fight against Spence Jr. on August 21 will push through. Pacquiao’s lawyer Dale Kinsella, in a statement provided to local media outfit ABS-CBN News, said that Paradigm’s complaint “is a frivolous effort to interfere with Manny Pacquiao’s upcoming mega fight” and that “it can and will fail for numerous reasons.”
Pacquiao’s fight against Spence is one of the biggest boxing matches of the year. Pacquiao (62-7-2, 39 KOs), who last fought against Keith Thurman for the WBA (Super) welterweight championship back in 2019, will be looking to hand Spence (27-0, 21 KOs) his first career defeat and snatch the WBC and IBF welterweight titles.
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