In 2020 Manny Pacquiao signed with Paradigm because he was under the impression they would secure him a fight with Conor McGregor. This is just one of the details that emerged during a recent court case in which the boxer was ordered to pay the management company $5.1 million USD.
Paradigm’s lawyer, Judd Bernstein, was extremely critical of the boxer turned politician. He told the jury that,
It’s always nice to have justice done. Manny Pacquiao’s behaviour, in this case, was disgraceful.
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Pacquiao will also have to pay Paradigm’s legal fees and interest has been added to the money meaning that the total cost to the retired boxer could reach $8mn USD. With a reported net worth of $220mn USD he can probably afford it but it represents a blow to his reputation as well as his bank account.
Lawyers for Pacquiao claimed that he only accepted the money because he was promised a fight with Conor McGregor stating in court that,
PSM repeatedly, emphatically and falsely promised Pacquiao that PSM would immediately secure a mega fight between Pacquiao and McGregor if Pacquiao signed with PSM.
Conor McGregor 153 lbs
Floyd Mayweather 149.5 lbs
It's on. pic.twitter.com/HyTnsXvmd0
— ESPN (@espn) August 25, 2017
Pacquiao did sign with PSM in 2020 and the fight never materialized. The Filipino clearly wanted to face McGregor, and you only have to look at the Irish star’s fight with former opponent Floyd Mayweather to see why.
It was one of the most lucrative fights of all time, generating a reported $600mn USD. It was also an easy night’s work for Mayweather who stopped the mixed martial artist in the 10th round of a very one sided fight.
Pacquiao would have been relishing the prospect of a big money pay day for a bout he would have been a strong favourite for. But Paradigm was unable to secure the Filipino the fight he clearly craved.
He did take a deposit from the management company and has been forced to pay it back, with interest. No-one comes out of this court case looking good but it is interesting to know that Pacquiao really did want the McGregor fight.
Last year Pacquiao fought DK Yoo in an exhibition. He has agreed to compete on a Rizin card in 2023 but none of these fights is quite as big, or quite as lucrative, as the one with McGregor would have been.