According to the Manila Times, eight division former world champion Manny Pacquiao has refused to get in a war of words over the ongoing claim that his promotional contract expired with Top Rank.
In the last few weeks, several of Pacquiao's camp members have claimed that Pacquiao is now promotional free agent, with his contract allegedly expiring in the aftermath of his twelve round decision loss at the hands of Jeff Horn last July in Brisbane.
What the 39-year-old boxer did confirm, is that his promotional company, MP Promotions, will handle everything related to a planned fight with WBA "regular" welterweight champion Lucas Matthysse - which the Filipino star is targeting to take place in Malaysia.
The fight with Matthysse was scheduled, per Pacquaio, for June 24 - and is now being pushed back to July 8.
Pacquiao says he invited Top Rank CEO Bob Arum to attend the event - and he wants to face two-time Olympic champion Vasyl Lomachenko in the near future. Lomachenko returns to the ring on May 12 when he challenges WBA lightweight champion Jorge Linares.
“He (Arum) is invited and there’s no problem. I think after my fight with Matthysse, we will talk regarding the possible Pacquiao-Lomachenko fight in the future,” Pacquiao told reporters during the 18th Gabriel “Flash” Elorde Awards Night and Banquet of Champions on Sunday at the Grand Ballroom of Okada Hotel Manila.
Arum recently told BoxingScene.com that Pacquiao is still under contract with Top Rank, and he said there was a lengthy amount of time remaining.
When asked if Arum was confused about the contract terms, Pacquiao refused to answer either way.
“MP Promotion will handle that fight. I’m not claiming anything. I just formed the MP Promotion,” said Pacquiao, referring to the existence of any live contract with Top Rank.
“That is a good fight (Matthysse) because he is a champion and I’ll be challenged to become a champion again. At the same time, I don’t want the people to say that’s just a tune-up fight."