A jury on Wednesday sided with Paradigm Sports Management in its civil lawsuit against Filipino boxing icon Manny Pacquiao for breach of contract, after weeks of testimonies from both camps.
Believing it was Pacquiao’s lone fight promoter, Paradigm had alleged that the 8-division champion violated his contract when he allowed other associates to arrange the August 2021 fight between him and Errol Spence.
Yordenis Ugas eventually substituted for an injured Spence in what would eventually be Pacquiao’s final professional fight.
Pacquiao contended that Paradigm had failed to deliver fights or endorsements, and maintained that he had to the opportunity to pursue fights under his contract with TGB Promotions.
Voting 9-3, the jury awarded Paradigm Sports $1.8 million in damages and ruled that Pacquiao should pay back the $3.3-million advance that the firm gave him.
During closing arguments, Paradigm’s counsel Judd Burstein claimed that the boxer made it impossible for the company to successfully fulfill its duties.
Paradigm alleged that Pacquiao concealed his preexisting agreements with TGB Promotions and that other people interfered with their efforts to secure a fight.
Burstein said Pacquiao’s alleged breach of contract caused them to lose $22 million in revenue, on top of the $3.3-million advance payment they gave him.
Meanwhile, Pacquiao’s camp had said he was taken advantage of by the company which had not worked with boxers in the past.
Pacquiao's defense attorney Bruce Cleeland said Paradigm failed to deliver on fights, endorsements, and complete a $4-million advance.
Cleeland contended that Pacquiao did not breach his contract and had the right to terminate his partnership with Paradigm since those obligations were not met.
In Pacquiao’s countersuit that accused Paradigm of breach of contract, concealment, and misrepresentation, the jury voted 10-2.
Unlike criminal proceedings, civil cases only need 9 out of 12 jurors to agree.
Neither Pacquiao nor Paradigm CEO and founder Audie Attar were present in the courtroom as the jury handed in their verdict.
Pacquiao’s legal team declined to issue a statement outside the courtroom, while Paradigm lawyer Burstein welcomed the decision.
"It’s always nice to have justice done. Manny Pacquiao’s behavior in this case was disgraceful. As I said to the jury, he’s an extraordinary athlete, and he has an extraordinary story, but that doesn't mean he gets a pass on being a decent human being," Burstein said.
"He signed the contract, didn’t live up to it, he took money likely because he was in desperate need of it, and he was dishonest throughout the process, hiding relevant facts and think that he’s had to pay a price for it which is fair.