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MANILA, Philippines – A California jury found that Manny Pacquiao violated his contract with Paradigm Sports Management (PSM), ordering the boxing legend to pay US $5.1 million (over P282 million).
The jury accepted Paradigm’s claims that Pacquiao’s actions made it impossible for the US sports management group to fulfill its contract obligations, leading to a multi-million loss in revenue.
The jury, voting 9-3, awarded Paradigm $1.8 million in damages, according to a report by ABS-CBN News’ Los Angeles correspondent Steve Angeles on Wednesday, May 3.
It also ruled that Pacquiao pay back the $3.3-million advance.
The decision came a week after Pacquiao, the only eight-division world champion, personally testified, sitting on the witness stand for over six hours.
The Filipino boxer answered questions from his defense lawyer Bruce Cleeland and a cross-examination from PSM lawyer Judd Bernstein.
Cleeland argued that Pacquiao was taken advantage of by Paradigm, which had never worked with boxers before.
He added that Paradigm was not able to bring fights, endorsements, and follow through on a $4-million advance, thus nixing the contract since it was not met.
In 2021, Paradigm sued the former senator and presidential candidate for an alleged breach of contract.
The sports firm, which represents mixed martial arts superstar Conor McGregor, claimed that Pacquiao concealed agreements with another company, as well as other matchmakers.
PSM’s founder and CEO Audie Attar also testified in several hearings last April.
The opposing sides gave their closing arguments last Friday.
Bernstein questioned Pacquiao’s credibility, after plans of a megafight between Pacquiao and McGregor were nixed.
The lawyer argued that Pacquiao’s supposed breach of contract led to a $22-million loss of revenue, adding up to the $3.3 million advance payment they gave Pacquiao.
Pacquiao opted to fight Errol Spence Jr. with another sports management group, which Paradigm sought to block.
Spence later claimed injury and eventually pulled out of the fight, leading to a showdown with Cuban pugilist Yordenis Ugas.
It turned out to be Pacquiao’s last professional fight before retiring, losing via unanimous decision to Ugas in August 2021.
Pacquiao then announced that he would run for president, coming up a distant third in the May 2022 elections behind Ferdinand Marcos Jr. and former vice president Leni Robredo. – Rappler.com