MANILA, Philippines – Long-time World Boxing Council (WBC) President Jose Sulaiman launched a scathing tirade against Fighter of the Decade Manny Pacquiao for allegedly treating the boxing establishment with “disrespect."
In his column “Hook to the Liver” posted on WBC's website, Sulaiman accused Pacquiao of ignoring the WBC’s long time rule on dual championship.
Based on WBC rules, any WBC champion “who wins two titles of different divisions, must relinquish one of those within the 15 following days after conquering the dual championship, with such title being declared vacant.”
Sulaiman said most of WBC’s greatest champions who won double titles in different weight classes have been faithful to this rule.
“All of them, without exception, complied with this important rule and treated and behaved with us with respect and loyalty,” the WBC president said. “Unlike Pacquiao, his promoter Bob Arum, and to some extent his representative, Mike Koncz, who never contacted the WBC within the 89 days that went by.”
Sulaiman said that they never heard a word from Pacquiao’s camp since the Filipino superstar won his 8th world title, the WBC super welterweight crown, over Antonio Margarito last Nov. 13.
Aside from owning the WBC super welterweight title, Pacquiao also holds the World Boxing Organization (WBO) welterweight crown which he will defend against Shane Mosley on May 7.
This has prompted the WBC to strip Pacquiao of the crown. The title is now being offered to the winner between super welterweight boxers Saul Alvarez and Matthew Hatton.
The move drew controversy in the international boxing scene because neither Hatton nor Alvarez has ever been super welterweight contenders.
“The WBC is the organization that gave Manny the opportunity 12 years ago to win his first world title, the flyweight, and later on five world championships in different divisions, as well as the maximum WBC award, which is the WBC Diamond Belt, that has been won only by Pacquiao in the 49 years of the WBC,” said Sulaiman.
"The WBC is not a beggar nor a sack of trash, and we have never, ever asked for pity," he added.
Sulaiman, earlier, demanded Pacquiao’s camp to settle the sanctioning fees he was supposed to pay in his past fights.
Pacquiao reportedly still has to pay up $30,000 for the rematch against Marquez in March 2008 and $50,000 for the fight against Oscar de la Hoya in December 2008.
The WBC sanctioned the Pacquiao-Marquez rematch where the super featherweight title was at stake. The WBC has also fined the Filipino for opting to fight De la Hoya instead of defending the WBC lightweight belt he won over Mexican-American David Diaz.
In reaction to that demand, Koncz said they intend to settle the dues.
“I am going to send an e-mail to Top Rank instructing them to pay $50,000 for the De la Hoya fight because that was [the] agreement,” said Koncz.
Pacquiao’s camp revealed that they no longer intend to pit the Filipino champion against opponents heavier than welterweight (147 pounds).
Koncz said the Margarito fight, where Pacquiao was outweighed by 17 pounds, placed the Filipino boxing icon's life at risk.