MANILA—World champion boxer Sen. Manny Pacquiao wants to maximize his opportunities in his remaining years, which is why he has partnered with Paradigm Sports, the same group that handles the career of MMA superstar Conor McGregor.
In a press conference held on Tuesday, Pacquiao’s legal team, including business manager Arnold Vegrafia and the boxer’s associate Jayke Joson, said Pacquiao is free to sign a non-exclusive contract with Paradigm despite an existing contract with Al Haymon’s Premier Boxing Champions (PBC).
The press conference was also attended by lawyers Brando Viernesto and Bong Gacal.
Aside from allowing Paradigm to negotiate fights for Pacquiao, the “partnership” also authorizes the management to handle endorsements, marketing and other media deals for the boxer in the United States.
“PBC can still negotiate if they have an existing agreement,” said Vegafria.
“In behalf of paradigm they’re negotiating now for the July fight. I don’t know what the PBC is doing right now, if they can deliver, whatever the best negotiation, the best deal, we’ll get it.”
When asked about the much-talked about mega-fight between Pacquiao and fellow Paradigm fighter McGregor, Vegafria said the bout is now very much possible.
“Because they have the same management, the bottom line there’s a possibility that they have a fight together. That’s a marketing strategy for Sen. Manny Pacquiao. What is the best strategy that we could help him sa last 2 years niya? That’s why we thought of the idea of partnering with Paradigm Sports Management,” he said.
Joson said Pacquiao is just opening himself to other opportunities.
“Ano na lang ba ang natitirang mega-fight na pupwedeng mangyari before he retires? Mayweather and possibly, McGregor,” Joson said.
“Para kay Senator MP, ‘yung potential ng McGregor-Pacquiao mega-fight ay mas malaki ang possibility na mangyayari kung sa Paradigm kami pipirma. Kung Mayweather, kay Al Haymon. Parehong may kontrata, parehong mega-fight. Sino’ng panalo doon? Si Senator Pacquiao.”
Vegafria said they have been in talks with Paradigm president Audie Attar for the past 2 years. The signing took place 2 weeks ago.
Viernesto said that whatever legal concerns Pacquiao will have to deal with PBC will be handled by Paradigm.
Pacquiao signed with PBC two years ago with hopes of landing that elusive rematch with Floyd Mayweather Jr., which has not yet materialized.
“His last fight was in July and until now he has not fought. So we have to move on. That’s what we’re saying here,” Viernesto said.
“The senator has already signed with Paradigm. If there are other contracts signed before, the contract (with Paradigm) says it will respect those contracts. Now it’s up to them which contract will be applicable in the US.”
Vegafria said the good thing about the Paradigm deal is that it is a partnership. Attar’s outfit will negotiate for fights and endorsements in the US, while Pacquiao’s MP Promotions will handle deals in Asia and Middle East.
“It’s not just getting a fight purse, but he’s also a promoter at the same time,” he said. “We want to share it to other countries also. Marami rin kasing other countries na very interested.”
Joson said all Pacquiao wants is to get the best deal available.
“Kapag nakapag-come up ng laban ang PBC kay Senator Pacquiao, bring it to the table . . . Kung sino sa dalawa ang may maipakitang concrete na kotrata na mayroon na siyang laban, ’yun ang susundin ni sir MP,” Joson said.
“Di naman niya binabalewala ang kontrata with PBC, okay pa rin ’yun. Pero ang point ni Sir MP dito, ipakita n’yo sa akin pareho.”
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