By Keith Idec
The longtime promotional partnership between Manny Pacquiao and Bob Arum’s Top Rank Inc. took another negative turn Monday.
Pacquaio announced through his Instagram account that he intends to initiate legal action against Top Rank. According to Pacquiao’s posts, he will sue Top Rank for failing to pay him his portion of the revenue from American streaming rights to his knockout victory over Lucas Matthysse nearly two months ago.
Top Rank streamed the Pacquiao-Matthysse match and part of its undercard live on ESPN+, ESPN’s new app. Arum’s promotional company has an exclusive content deal with ESPN, which was renegotiated into a seven-year partnership earlier this summer.
Pacquiao also charged in his Instagram post that he’ll sue Top Rank and “all other parties” for trying to restrict television and streaming rights to his future fights. British star Amir Khan (33-4, 20 KOs), who’s represented by Matchroom Boxing’s Eddie Hearn, is a potential opponent for the Filipino legend’s next fight.
His fight against Matthysse marked the first time Top Rank was not involved in the promotion of a Pacquiao fight in more than a decade-and-a-half. Top Rank served as a distributor for the television/streaming rights to Pacquiao-Matthysse, but the event was co-promoted by Manny Pacquiao Promotions and Oscar De La Hoya’s Golden Boy Promotions, which represented the since-retired Matthysse.
Pacquiao-Matthysse took place July 15 at Axiata Arena in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia. It was streamed live in the United States on July 14.
The 39-year-old Pacquiao (60-7-2, 39 KOs) ended a one-year layoff when he knocked out Argentina’s Matthysse (39-5, 36 KOs, 1 NC) in the seventh round to win the WBA world welterweight title.
Here is Pacquiao’s entire post to an Instagram account that has 4.3 million followers:
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.
Keith Idec is a senior writer/columnist for BoxingScene.com. He can be reached on Twitter @Idecboxing.