With a career record of 62 wins, eight losses and two draws, Manny Pacquiao is used to winning in the boxing ring. But in an Orange County (Calf.) trial court, the former holder of 12 world championships is now 0-1.
On Tuesday, jurors found Pacquiao, 44, liable for breaching his contract with Paradigm Sports, a major sports agency that also represents Conor McGregor and other star athletes in MMA, wrestling, kickboxing, soccer and football. Pacquiao has been ordered to pay $5.1 million in damages, plus Paradigm can collect 10% annual interest on the amount dating back three years and attorneys’ fees for a total amount more in the ballpark of $8 million.
Paradigm successfully argued that Pacquiao concealed a conflicting business arrangement after the agency signed him in 2020. The contract granted Paradigm exclusive rights to Pacquiao’s marketing contracts, endorsements, copyrights, trade secrets and other intellectual property, along with 10% of income received. The contract also barred Pacquiao from engaging with another person or firm on subject areas covered by the contract.
Paradigm then negotiated on Pacquiao’s behalf with DAZN and Matchroom Boxing on a four-fight deal worth at least $100 million. Two of the fights would have been held in Saudi Arabia, with the first expected to be against Mikey Garcia.
But before a deal could be struck, associates of Pacquiao negotiated on Pacquiao’s behalf with other parties. Paradigm argued that Pacquiao was responsible, including because he “refused to publicly denounce their interference and confirm Paradigm’s authority.” Through his representatives, Pacquiao tried to exit his deal with Paradigm, but Paradigm refused.
A year later, Paradigm again negotiated a fight for Pacquiao against Garcia. Then Pacquiao tweeted that he would be fighting Errol Spence—a deal negotiated without Paradigm’s involvement or approval. Paradigm sued Pacquiao in June 2021.
“We are elated to learn of the jury’s ruling in Paradigm’s favor in our suit against Manny Pacquiao,” Audie Attar, Paradigm Sports founder and CEO, said in a statement. “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.”
Attorney Judd Burstein represented Paradigm in the trial, which was held before Judge Walter Schwarm.
Kurt Badenhausen contributed to this report.