Manny Pacquiao

Pending Paradigm case could hinder possible Pacquiao boxing return in US

MANILA, Philippines – Sen. Manny Pacquiao may have a difficult time fighting again in the United States if he decides to come back from retirement even for just one bout.

The 43-year-old eight-division world champion — now intrigued by a potential boxing comeback within the year after an unsuccessful presidential run last month — is still dealing with some legal issues with Paradigm Sports Management (PSM) at the Superior Court of California.

And while there’s buzz that a Pacquiao comeback is imminent this year according to MP Promotions head Sean Gibbons, a source privy to the situation thinks otherwise.

“It’s going to be too difficult for Senator Pacquiao to fight in the US again because of the ongoing legal issues he’s been dealing with especially with Paradigm Sports Management,” they said. “He may have won the battle, but it doesn’t mean that he already won the war.”

PSM failed to stop Pacquiao’s supposed fight last year in Las Vegas with Errol Spence Jr. — who was replaced by Yordenis Ugas due to Spence’s injury — after the court in Orange County didn’t grant the company the preliminary injunction it requested.

The court case between the two parties, however, remains ongoing.

“The case is still ongoing, so every time Senator Pacquiao fights even against anyone, Paradigm Sports Management will file another legal case against him. That’s why I don’t know what Mr. Gibbons is talking about a possible Pacquiao comeback in the US,” they added.

The case filed by PSM – a sports management agency that handles UFC star Conor McGregor – stems from its allegations that Pacquiao breached an earlier agreement with them regarding a fight with welterweight contender Mikey Garcia.

Paradigm chief Audie Attar is seeking monetary damages from Pacquiao, which include recovering a $3.3 million advance that he claims Pacquiao received when he signed with the agency in February 2020.

Meanwhile, Gibbons earlier told Joe Hewlett of Planetsport that Pacquiao is open for a possible return fight but it should be done this year. It could be an exhibition fight with the Filipino icon’s one-time opponent Floyd Mayweather Jr.

But the source denied Gibbons’ claims, saying the situation is similar to what happened the last time when they failed to sign Mayweather for a rematch after the Keith Thurman fight in 2019. They said this was stipulated in the contract Pacquiao signed with promoter Premier Boxing Champions in 2018.

They added the only way Pacquiao would be able to fight again in the US is to settle his case with PSM, show remorse and apologize for turning back on his obligations.

Pacquiao retired after losing to Ugas via unanimous decision in their fight last August 21, and instead pursued his presidential bid. He finished third in last month’s presidential elections that was won by president-elect Ferdinand Marcos Jr.

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