Race on between Paradigm, PBC to deliver Pacquiaoâs next opponent
In this July 20, 2019 photo, Manny Pacquiao celebrates his victory over Keith Thurman in their WBA welterweight title fight at MGM Grand in Las Vegas, Nevada.
AFP/File photo

Race on between Paradigm, PBC to deliver Pacquiao’s next opponent

Dino Maragay (Philstar.com) - February 18, 2020 - 5:44pm

MANILA, Philippines — In signing with Paradigm Sports Management, Manny Pacquiao has given the US-based agency that also handles UFC star Conor McGregor the right to negotiate his future fights.

But this doesn’t mean Premier Boxing Champions — which has promoted Pacquiao’s last two fights — is already out of the picture.

Pacquiao’s local management team on Tuesday insisted that the Filipino icon will still honor whatever existing pact he has with PBC despite aligning himself with a new entity.

“We'll get the best deal available,” Pacquiao’s business manager Arnold Vegafria told the media in a press briefing at Sofitel Manila to announce the boxer’s new partnership with Paradigm.

Vegafria and his team, which includes Pacquiao’s lawyers Brando Viernesto and Bong Gacal, and longtime Team Pacquiao standout Jayke Joson, said they just want to make the most out of the fighting senator’s remaining years as a major boxing draw.

They are confident that Paradigm can get the job done.

“We wanted a partner that is aggressive, not only in sports but also in business, media and entertainment,” said Vegafria of the sports agency whose clients include McGregor and women’s MMA star Cris Cyborg.

Pacquiao’s team did not reveal the terms of their deal with Paradigm — citing a non-disclosure agreement — but said the firm now has exclusive rights to negotiate both fight- and business-related deals on behalf of Pacquiao, but only in the US.

This latest arrangement could be in conflict with Pacquiao’s current deal with the Al Haymon-led PBC, which has promoted Pacquiao’s bouts with Adrien Broner and Keith Thurman last year.

“It's now up to them (Paradigm) to discuss which contract is applicable in the US. If there are issues involving PBC, that's up to them (Paradigm) to resolve those,” Vegafria added.

The 41-year-old Pacquiao hasn’t fought since outpointing Thurman last July, and the latest development would mean either Paradigm or PBC can seal his next fight.

But in aligning himself with Paradigm, Pacquiao has positioned himself at a showdown with McGregor, possibly by next year.

“Whoever between Paradigm and PBC can show a concrete contract for a fight, that's who the senator could go to. He will probably entertain it,” said Joson, insisting that Pacquiao will have the final say.

“We just want the senator to end his career on his own terms. I mean, he has been under several promoters already, and he served them well,” said Viernesto.

Viernesto explained that Pacquiao’s contract with Paradigm concerns both the boxing and business — including marketing, entertainment and sponsorships — aspects of his career.

“He has entertained the people, he has given them so much. So at this stage of his career, we just want to end it in his own terms,” he added.

Philstar.com reached out to Tim Smith, PBC’s Vice President of Communications, for comment but has yet to receive a response as of posting time.

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