Pacquiao’s downfall: fighting on two fronts

I am thinking of writing a book. It’s title will be”The Rise & Fall of Emmanuel D. Pacquiao.” The part about the “rise” is already completed in my mind. All I need to do is sit and watch the unfolding of the “fall”. It will be soon enough that I will be busy typing the entire book for the next six months.

With his bout against Errol Spence, Jr. only 19 days away, Pacquiao is sailing through a turbulent sea. This is period during which his preparation will reach its peak so that by the time he climbs into the ring, his mind and body are in the best shape for what is probably his final boxing match. But the civil case for breach of contract filed by Paradigm Sports will hound him and give him sleepless nights. That’s because there is a possibility the match will be cancelled.

The rule of law is sacred in America. And in American jurisprudence (as well as Philippine jurisprudence), a contract is the law between the parties. Simply put, you don’t sign a contract in which you promise to give PSM the exclusive right to arrange your next two fights, receive a $3.3 million advance, and then just walk away from the deal without even the courtesy of telling Audie Attar, its CEO, that he’s signed a contract with another promoter.

PSM has asked the Superior Court of California in Orange County to issue a temporary restraining order to cancel the scheduled fight. From my sources, the hearing for the TRO will be conducted on Thursday. PSM is also seeking a court order to require Pacquiao to depost $8.125 million in an escrow fund to answer for possible damages that may be awarded by the court.

Pacquiao’s lawyer, Dale Kinsella, described the case as a “frivolous” attempt to derail the fight and filed a “cross-claim” to alleged violations made by PSM to the terms of the agreement signed in February 2020. But is it really frivolous?

Far from it. PSM stands on solid ground. It’s linchpin to the deal is the $3.3 million advance it gave to Pacquiao, which the latter hasn’t denied. The case will be tried by a jury, a dozen ordinary American citizens who value respect for the law, fairness and equity. There’s a possibility the judge, Honorable Walter P. Schwarm, will not stop the fight on account that it is less than three weeks away. But prudence would dictate that the claim for damages would be placed in an escrow account, and the court would not have to chase Pacquiao in the Philippines.

More than the possible financial setback that this case would bring to Pacquiao, there’s also the psychological burden it is certain to fall on his shoulders in the last three weeks of his training. A major court battle in the United States brings uncertainty; nobody can predict how a jury will rule. Even the prospect of the fight being stopped thru a TRO will hang over Pacquiao’s mind like a Damocles sword. His focus would be distracted.

This is Armaggedon for Pacquiao. He is fighting on two fronts, which is a cardinal sin in warfare. His attention will be divided. The worst thing is that he might lose on both fronts. And that will usher the downfall of Pacquiao, not only as a boxer, but also as politician.

About Manuel "Boy" Mejorada
Manuel "Boy" Mejorada is a journalist and social media activist. A former Iloilo provincial administrator, he is now waging a crusade against corruption and narco-politics.

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