Boxer, politician and all-around celebrity Manny Pacquiao has never been shy about the idea of “changing partners” as it were, in both sports and politics, if doing so will offer him an advantage he needs at such critical times. In boxing, he is most famous perhaps for fighting under the promotional banner of Top Rank by Bob Arum. For a time in the 2000s it seemed he would be changing promoters to Golden Boy, only to return his signing bonus to stay in Top Rank. Theirs was a mostly successful and highly profitable partnership, but recently cracks have been forming.
CNN Philippines reports that Manny Pacquiao is considering taking legal action against Top Rank Boxing. This came out in a post from Instagram, where at the same time that Pacquiao was congratulating the broadcast partnership between Top Rank and ESPN, he also remarked that he has yet to receive payment for the US broadcasting rights of his triumphant match against Lucas Matthysse of Argentina last July 15, which in turn was shown on ESPN Plus. Bob Arum’s Top Rank was not involved in the fight, but Pacquiao is under the impression that they have prevailed on ESPN to delay the payment of US broadcast fees.
“I am initiating legal proceedings against Top Rank and all other parties based on the non-payment and attempt to restrict my future rights,” announced Pacquiao on social media, marking the first significant point of conflict between him and the Bob Arum promotion. Aside from the US, the ESPN broadcast of the Pacquiao-Matthysse fight was seen in Canada and Puerto Rico; and Top Rank Boxing was associated by virtue of partnership with the global sports network.
The boxing match between Manny Pacquiao and Lucas Matthysse, under the billing “Fight of Champions”, was held at the Axiata Arena in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia two months ago. The promoters involved were Oscar De La Hoya’s Golden Boy (for Matthysse) and Pacquiao’s own MP Promotions banner representing himself. At stake was the Argentinian’s WBA (Regular) Welterweight title. After seven rounds full of fierce exchanges of punches, the Fighting Senator of the Philippines prevailed over Matthysse by TKO, the first time in close to a decade that Pacquiao has knocked out a foe.
Such was the gravity of the Filipino’s victory over him that Matthysse was spurred to announce his retirement from professional boxing the following month, after a 14-year career of 39W-5L-1D and 36 knockouts.
Image from The Philippine Star.net