Eight division world champion Manny Pacquiao’s media relation chief Aquiles Zonio has claimed in several interviews that his client is a promotional free agent.
According to Zonio, Pacquiao's contract with Top Rank expired in the aftermath of the Filipino star's decision loss to Jeff Horn last July in Brisbane, Australia.
Pacquiao himself has made similar statements to media members in the Philippines.
But Top Rank's CEO, Bob Arum, disputes that claim and says the boxer is under a long-term deal with his company - although he would not discuss the particulars of the contract.
He also explained that Top Rank would be involved if Pacquiao went forward with a fight on June 24 in Malaysia against World Boxing Association welterweight "regular" champion Lucas Matthysse of Argentina.
Pacquiao had claimed in a press release that only his company, MP Promotions, would handle the June event.
“Yes, [Pacquiao] is [still under contract],” Arum told The Manila Times.
“I can’t go on with it [the details of the contract]. All I’m saying is that he is under contract with Top Rank for reasonably long period of time but I don’t know exactly when the contract will expire.
“I don’t know if the fight [with Matthysse] is going to happen because the people haven’t put up the money yet. They (Pacquiao camp) are waiting for the money. If the money doesn’t come up, there won’t be a fight. I know it is dangerous. It is not just a fight until the people involved who will be putting up the money put up the money. The fight will always be final when the money comes up. Manny has agreed to fight if the money that was promised comes up.
“We’re going to set it up as we provide the logistics and the television. We will just discuss it if the fight will happen. It is going to be ESPN [that will air the fight]. I have an idea how much money it is but I’m not going to say it.”