Manny Pacquiao has made it clear that he remains friends with Top Rank Inc. chief executive Bob Arum, whom he now considers his "former promoter."
"Wala na. I'm free to promote my own fight," Pacquiao said in an interview with ABS-CBN News reporter Dyan Castillejo during Monday night's Elorde Awards for excellence in boxing.
Pacquiao was referring to his upcoming bout against world welterweight champion Lucas Matthysse, which could take place in July.Pacquiao's lawyer, Eldibrando Viernesto, was previously quoted as saying that the former 8-division world champion is no longer under contract with Top Rank.
Viernesto said Pacquiao's last fight under Top Rank was in July 2017 during the “Battle of Brisbane” against Jeff Horn.
“I reviewed the contract and I found out that Bob Arum has no more say even in the rematch, should there be any, between Manny Pacquiao and Australian boxer Jeff Horn,” Viernesto said in an article posted on Philboxing.com.
But this doesn't mean that Pacquiao has turned his back on Arum.
Pacquiao stressed that he owes a debt of gratitude to Arum, who helped him become one of the most popular and highest-paid fighters in the world.
"I'm not angry with Bob, I'm thankful to Bob for everything," Pacquiao said. " 'Yung tulong, suporta galing sa kaniya. Marunong akong tumanaw ng utang ng loob."
He also addressed those who want to sow intrigue between him and Arum.
"Nakikiusap lang ako sa mga tao na nagsusulat about Bob Arum at sa akin na itigil na nila (ang paninira)," Pacquiao said.
-- From a report by Dyan Castillejo, ABS-CBN News
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