Manny Pacquiao has gotten back into the ring recently for exhibition bouts, with another planned to be handled by RIZIN this year in Japan, and there has also been some chatter here and there about the 44-year-old returning to the ring for a real, sanctioned fight, having not competed since his Aug. 2021 loss to Yordenis Ugas.
But Paradigm Sports are still actively in litigation against Pacquiao, alleging that he “engaged in bouts in violation of the firm’s exclusive rights.” You may recall from back in Oct. 2020 that Pacquiao signed with Paradigm, which at the time looked like it may have been setting up a Pacquiao vs Conor McGregor boxing match. (A deal with Pacquiao and Paradigm had originally been reported eight months earlier, but wasn’t active by October.)
That never happened. In June 2021, Paradigm sued Pacquiao for opting to fight Errol Spence Jr, which wound up not happening, instead of their planned deal with Mikey Garcia, which also didn’t happen. Two months later, Paradigm’s request for injunction to prevent the Spence fight was “tentatively denied”; that fight didn’t happen, and Pacquiao instead fought and lost to Ugas, which was still the same deal that Paradigm had attempted to block.
The case is now set to go to trial on March 3 in California,
The following is a statement from Paradigm Sports Founder and CEO Audie Attar:
Manny’s days of thumbing his nose at our contractual rights are almost at an end. We have an overwhelming case against him and look forward to justice being served. The Court has already entered an Order stating that – due to his consistent violation of court orders – Pacquiao is now deemed to have admitted that he breached his contract with Paradigm and that Paradigm has suffered more than $20 million in damages.
If any promoters, managers, fighters or broadcasting networks are considering entering into an agreement with Manny prior to the trial, they are now on notice that Paradigm will immediately commence an action against them for tortious interference with contract and seek both an injunction and damages.
Once Paradigm wins at trial in March, we will cut off 100% of Manny’s opportunities to earn money in the United States from any source because any revenue he generates will be attached to his judgment. Additionally, Paradigm will aggressively pursue enforcement of its judgment in any foreign country where Manny seeks to fight.
It’s obviously an aggressive statement from Paradigm, but they’ve also spent nearly two years now going after this, and they do feel they’ve been wronged.
Pacquiao is at an age where his star has declined considerably and I’m not even sure how much interest there would be in him making a full boxing comeback anymore, but yeah, there’d be interest. I mean, no offense to them, but Pacquiao fighting someone would be a bigger deal money-wise than Cody Crowley or Radzhab Butaev fighting someone, and it would get a lot more attention, so there is still money for Pacquiao to make, however sad some may find it, and Paradigm are aiming to prevent him from doing it, at least in the United States.