It may just be the year of boxing lawsuits.
Audie Attar, a combat sports manager who represents Conor McGregor among others, has filed a lawsuit against Manny Pacquiao claiming the boxing legend breached a contract by setting up his upcoming fight against Errol Spence Jr., according to The Athletic's Lance Pugmire.
Attar, who runs Paradigm Sports Management, reportedly claims that he was in the process of negotiating a fight between Pacquiao and four-division champion Mikey Garcia on Pacquiao's behalf when the Spence fight was scheduled. He is reportedly attempting to recoup a $3.3 million advance from Pacquiao and seeking an injunction against the Spence fight, currently scheduled for Aug. 21.
Garcia has since ended his brief relationship with Paradigm, per the report.
The lawsuit reportedly alleges that competing Pacquiao associates, including longtime adviser Sean Gibbons and friend Winchell Campos, pushed Pacquiao to work with competing manager Al Haymon to set up the Spence fight.
From The Athletic:
In the lawsuit, Paradigm attorney Judd Burstein wrote, “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.”
Manager wanted Pacquiao-McGregor fight
Pacquiao and Paradigm reportedly worked together in February 2020 to pursue a four-fight deal with DAZN, which would have included a Garcia fight in Saudi Arabia. Attar had even planned for a Pacquiao-McGregor boxing match in 2021, but McGregor's loss to Dustin Poirier threw a wrench in those plans.
The lawsuit claims Paradigm believed Pacquiao would sign to fight Mikey Garcia the very day that Pacquiao announced he was fighting Spence instead, leading to Garcia dropping them as a client.
Boxing fans can't be blamed for being a little concerned about the litigation surrounding one of the year's most anticipated fights. After all, just a month ago, heavyweight champions Anthony Joshua and Tyson Fury were set for a long-awaited unification bout. The two fighters had even signed on the dotted line ... until an arbitrator ruled that Fury still owed Deontay Wilder a trilogy fight.
Will Pacquiao-Spence go the way of Fury-Joshua? That fight is up to the courts now.
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