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Ex-Pacquiao associate blasts retired boxer for reneging on Paradigm deal

October 19, 2021 | 2:18pm

MANILA, Philippines – A former longtime associate of Sen. Manny Pacquiao chided the retired boxing icon for allegedly turning his back on a live contract with a management firm aligned with UFC star Conor McGregor.

In an interview with SMNI News on YouTube last Monday, film producer and former actor Jayke Joson stressed that the eight-division world champion did not honor his commitment with Paradigm Sports Management (PSM), leading to a falling out between them.

Joson, who used to be among the most prominent members of Pacquiao’s entourage, also claimed that Pacquiao — now a presidential aspirant — had asked PSM for an advance payment of more than $2 million (approximately Php100 million).

“And then since he already signed it, he already asked us to get an advance payment from the Paradigm which is not part of their system. So we talked to the Paradigm to make way for the request of the senator because we knew he would use the money to help the people, is it right?” Joson said.

“And then, we got it and Paradigm delivered the money. This is on record, so Paradigm gave $2 million since he would be fighting against anyone Paradigm wanted him to fight. He even attempted to ask for additional $2 million but the fight against [Conor] McGregor didn’t push through,” he said.

Pacquiao aligned himself with PSM in the hopes of landing a boxing match with McGregor, who is being managed by PSM. But the UFC star lost his rematch with Daniel Porier last January, dashing hopes for a Pacquiao-McGregor bout.

“Then, Paradigm declined the senator’s additional $2 million request. To please the senator, we tried to raise the amount coming from our own pocket. Me and Arnold Vegafria were able to collect P65 million and we gave the money to him.”

PSM, claiming a breach of contract, took Pacquiao to court prior to his fight with Yordenis Ugas, with the management firm saying it already had arranged for Pacquiao to take on welterweight contender Mikey Garcia. PSM claimed Pacquiao gave them the impression that he would fight Garcia, but the senator instead signed on to fight Errol Spence Jr. under Premier Boxing Champions (PBC).

A US court eventually ruled in Pacquiao’s favor, denying PSM’s attempt to stop the Pacquiao-Spence bout.

Ugas stepped in for Spence after the latter went down with an eye injury, and the Cuban stunned Pacquiao in their fight at the T-Mobile Arena in Las Vegas last August.

Joson, for his part, insisted that Pacquiao did not return the money advanced by PSM.

“After he got the money from the Paradigm, he ran away with the money and he didn’t honor and follow what’s in the contract,” Joson added. “Our friendship for so many years was just simply forgotten.”

Joson recalled that Pacquiao tasked him and business manager Arnold Vegafria to find a lucrative fight for the boxer last October 2019.

“Our interest was just for his own good — that’s what we’ve been thinking always,” said Joson, the first nominee Frontliners party-list, which is eyeing a Congress seat in next year’s polls.

“But he just left us,” he said.

Meanwhile, Pacquiao’s camp on Tuesday categorically denied Joson’s claims, saying they will file a cyber libel case against the boxer’s former aide.

In a report by ABS-CBN News, Pacquiao’s legal counsel and spokesperson Atty. Nikki de Vega said they will sue Joson for what they claimed as “fabricated statements”.

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