Wednesday, May 31, 2023  |



Manny Pacquiao loses breach of contract suit, ordered to pay Paradigm $5.1 million in damages

The boxing world may never experience a phenomenon like Manny Pacquiao again. (Photo by Steve Marcus/Getty Images)
Fighters Network

Manny Pacquiao suffered a legal setback Tuesday after a California jury ordered him to pay $5.1 million in damages to his former management firm, Paradigm Sports Management, for breach of contract.

The jury ruled 9-3 in the trial, which took place in the Superior Court of California in Orange County, awarding $1.8 in damages to Paradigm, plus ruling that the eight-division champion return a $3.3 million advance he was given after signing with Paradigm in February of 2020. At the time, the signing grew the speculation that Pacquiao could eventually fight MMA star Conor McGregor in a mega-fight crossover event, as McGregor was also represented by Paradigm.

In the lawsuit, which was filed on June 25, 2021, Paradigm claimed that Pacquiao had breached the agreement by allowing others to negotiate a deal for his August 2021 fight, which was initially scheduled to be against Errol Spence Jr. Spence withdrew from the fight and was replaced on short notice by Yordenis Ugas, who defeated Pacquiao by unanimous decision, sending the Filipino boxing legend into retirement.

In addition to the $5.1 judgment, a Paradigm statement adds that Pacquiao was also ordered to pay “at least” $2 million in Paradigm’s attorneys’ fees, plus a 10 percent annual interest on the verdict dating back three years, bringing the total figure owed to over $8 million.

The 44-year-old Pacquiao (62-8-2, 39 knockouts) alleged that Paradigm had been unable to deliver fights or endorsement deals, and claimed he had the right to pursue fights due to his pre-existing deal with TGB Promotions, which promotes many of the top events for Premier Boxing Champions.

Paradigm claimed in the trial that Pacquiao’s breach of contract led them to lose $22 million in revenue, according to a report by Steve Angeles.

We are elated to learn of the jury’s ruling in Paradigm’s favor in our suit against Manny Pacquiao. The jury plainly found that Pacquiao testified falsely in denying Paradigm’s claims against him, and his excuses for his conduct proves our case that a breach of contract was committed,” said Audie Attar, the founder and CEO of Paradigm Sports.

“We are appreciative of the court’s time and the jury’s careful attention to the facts of this case. Hopefully, Manny will have learned a lesson from the verdict and will henceforth act with the honesty and integrity that was so lacking in his treatment of Paradigm.”

Pacquiao’s legal team issued a statement of their own, saying that a judgment is not yet final.

“The court has scheduled a hearing in June and there are still legal issues that need to be addressed by the court before the case is fully resolved. We look forward to the final decision by the court,” said Attorney Jason Aniel of Haight Brown and Bonesteel, LLP.

Pacquiao echoed his legal counsel’s sentiments.

“I cannot comment at this time because the case is still pending. I will be happy to discuss further once a final judgment has been entered,” said Pacquiao in the statement.

Paradigm was represented by lead counsel Judd Burstein, while Judge Walter P. Shwarm presided over the trial.

Ryan Songalia has written for ESPN, the New York Daily News, Rappler and The Guardian, and is part of the Craig Newmark Graduate School of Journalism Class of 2020. He can be reached at [email protected].