MANILA, Philippines – Manny Pacquiao’s close friend and cornerman Restituto “Buboy” Fernandez has issued a public apology for attacking sports photographer Al Bello shortly after the Pacquiao-Juan Manuel Marquez fight last weekend.
Fernandez and Pacquiao’s adviser, Michael Koncz, have been criticized for attacking Bello.
Bello was taking photos of the Filipino boxer while he was lying face down the canvass and this infuriated Pacquiao's aides.
Fernandez sought the help of Philboxing columnist, Ed de la Vega, to send his message across to Bello.
“Please help me tell the gentleman involved in the incident that I am deeply sorry for what happened,” Fernandez said. “I did not mean any harm. My reaction was just a result of the heat of the moment.”
He said he was confused and didn’t know how to react after seeing his best friend down.
“Please tell him I am truly sorry.”
Fernandez said he has decided to stay behind in Los Angeles to clear the air before heading home to the Philippines.
Koncz has also offered an apology for his role in the fracas.
Although he refused to comment on the details of the incident, he said the situation was caused by a misunderstanding.
“If it was construed any other way, then he has my sincerest apology," he said.
Bello was taking photos of Pacquiao, who was unconscious after being knocked out by Marquez, when he was attacked by Koncz and Fernandez.
The photographer quickly jumped off the ring to avoid the confrontation.
"Had I not gotten off the ring," said Bello, who works for Getty Images. "I have no doubt the two of them would have beaten the [expletive] out of me and I might have been seriously hurt."
Bello said he didn’t want to press charges, but was asking for an apology from Fernandez and Koncz.