by Nick Giongco
Manny Pacquiao will bring Hall of Fame promoter Bob Arum to court for the non-payment of broadcast rights involving his July 15 fight in Malaysia.
Under the agreement involving Pacquiao and Arum, the Filipino fighter is supposed to receive 85 percent of the revenue from the US telecast of his knockout win over Argentine Lucas Matthysse in Kuala Lumpur.
According to Pacquiao, Arum’s Top Rank Inc. has yet to remit $1.7 million despite repeated calls.
“I have not received the US rights payment for my July 15 fight against Lucas Matthysse that was broadcast on ESPN plus,” Pacquiao said on his Twitter account posted late Monday night (Monday morning in the US).
“I am initiating legal proceedings against Top Rank and all other parties based on the non-payment and attempts to restrict my future fights,” said Pacquiao, whose plan to return to the ring on Dec. 1 is also being affected allegedly by Top Rank.
Pacquiao’s MP Promotions staged the fight at the Axiata Arena and Top Rank and ESPN’s sole involvement in the event was broadcasting it to the US, Canada and Puerto Rico.
Last month, the 86-year-old Arum and his stepson, Top Rank president Todd Duboef traveled to General Santos City to confer with Pacquiao in the hopes of assuming the lead role in the eight-division champion’s next fight.
Pacquiao’s promotional contract with Top Rank has lapsed and Pacquiao is determined to call the shots in the remainder of his stellar career.
Pacquiao’s legal team insists that Top Rank “has taken positions that are inconsistent and sidestepped the legal implications of the situation.”
Pacquiao’s promotional pact with Top Rank started in 2005 although Arum had promoted the Filipino southpaw a few times before they agreed to forge a partnership that saw Pacquiao score landmark wins that established him as an all-time great.
During his Top Rank days, Pacquiao went up against boxing’s marquee names and almost beat them all and his bouts with Oscar De La Hoya, Floyd Mayweather, Miguel Cotto, Shane Mosley, Antonio Margarito, Tim Bradley, Ricky Hatton, Juan Manuel Marquez, Marco Antonio Barrera and Erik Morales defined his status as a ring immortal.
Pacquiao wants to fight just before he turns a ripe 40 on Dec. 17 with a showdown with former sparmate Amir Khan of England on Dec. 1.
The case, according to Pacquiao’s legal advisers, is going to be filed in Los Angeles.