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OPINION: Boxing has a new obstacle

Source: MMA Fighting

Sports promoter Audie Attar and Paradigm Sports have filed a breach-of-contract lawsuit against eight-division world champion Manny Pacquiao, putting Pacquiao’s bout with Errol Spence Jr. in jeopardy.

The lawsuit claims that Attar and Pacquiao had been negotiating a bout against four-division world champion Mikey Garcia. It also requests an injunction against Errol Spence Jr., which is scheduled for Aug. 21st. However, Dale Kinsella, Pacquiao’s attorney, said that his client never signed for Paradigm and did not have any obligation to fight under their company.

If the lawsuit is successful it would be the second high-profile fight scrapped due to legal issues.

In May of this year, former WBC heavyweight champion Deontay Wilder won his arbitration case against Tyson Fury, setting up a trilogy fight between the two on July 24th. Wilder’s arbitration win put a halt to the long awaited undisputed unification bout between Tyson Fury and Anthony Joshua.

Arranging superfights is already a difficult enough venture, with the four sanctioning bodies of boxing, promoters, and boxers being signed to different networks. The perfect circumstances have to be in place in order for a big prize fight to happen.

Look at the undisputed bout between Vasyl Lomachenko and Teofimo Lopez back in Oct. 2020; Both fighters were signed to Top Rank and Bob Arum. In addition, Lomachenko held three of the four championship belts (WBC, WBA, WBO), so the only obstacle would have been negotiating with the IBF as Lopez was their titleholder.

The trilogy fight with Wilder and Fury is another highly anticipated fight that went to arbitration following multiple delays due to the COVID-19 pandemic. The Wilder arbitration ruling was more practical in my opinion, as there was already a two-fight deal with a rematch clause in place.

If Paradigm Sports wins the case with the Pacquiao lawsuit however, then it would create a lot of questions and difficulties for the boxing world in the aftermath.

Firstly, a fight between Manny Pacquiao and Mikey Garcia doesn’t have much significance in terms of their respective divisions, whereas the bout between Pacquiao and Spence would be for the WBC and IBF welterweight titles.

Secondly, Garcia is in negotiations to fight former WBA junior welterweight champion Regis Prograis in the fall, so a fight with Pacquiao wouldn’t happen in the immediate future. With Pacquiao being 42-years-old, there are not many opportunities left for the future hall-of-famer to get world title fights.

The biggest enemy to the sport of boxing is boxing itself. Let’s just hope for the fans and boxers alike that everything gets resolved and we are able to witness a historic fight.

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