Boxing superstar Manny Pacquiao and his promotions company, Top Rank Inc, had been working hand-in-glove for ages.
That once-solid relationship, however, showed signs of fraying on Monday, with the Filipino boxing great revealing that their camp had filed of a court case against his longtime promoter over unpaid pay-per-view TV rights fees.
This was confirmed by Pacquiao in an Instagram post late on Monday.
Congratulations and good luck to @TRboxing and @ESPN on your 7-year partnership agreement. I know both of you have been very busy finalizing the deal. However, I have not received the US rights payment for my July 15 fight against Lucas Matthysse that was broadcast on ESPN plus. Therefore, I am initiating legal proceedings against Top Rank and all other parties based on the non-payment and attempt to restrict my future rights. Thank you.
Pacquiao's move was widely reported by Philippine media on Monday, saying the legal action against his ex-promoter and other parties pertains to the “non-payment” of fees for the broadcast rights of his fight with Lucas Matthysse in Kuala Lumpur last July.
To prepare for the court battle, the legal team of the 39-year-old senator is now compiling all documents needed.
Pacquiao stopped Matthysse in the seventh round to win the World Boxing Organization (WBO) welterweight crown.
Pacquiao claimed he has yet to receive any share from the broadcast earnings of the fight which was carried by ESPN Plus and live-streamed in the United States, Canada, and Puerto Rico.
Pacman's camp claimed that under the contract signed by Top Rank and Pacquiao, who heads MP Promotions, the Filipino boxing champ is entitled to an 85% share of the pay-per-view earnings, while the 15% will go to the promotions outfit.
Pacquiao recorded his 60th win when he demolished Argentinian boxer Matthysse in the 7th round, to bag the WBA world welterweight title in the Malaysian capital on July 14.
Pacquiao's lawyers already sent a formal letter to Top Rank, but the latter has not replied on the matter until now, they claimed.
Top Rank Inc. is founded by Robert "Bob" Arum, an American lawyer and businessman, and is the company's current CEO. The professional boxing promotion outfit is based in Las Vegas.