Top Rank says payment issue with Manny Pacquiao being handled


One day after Manny Pacquiao threatened to sue Top Rank for failing to pay him money he claimed it owed him for the United States broadcast rights of his last fight, Top Rank chairman Bob Arum told ESPN on Tuesday the issue was being handled.

The Philippines’ Pacquiao, 39, the only fighter in boxing history to win world titles in eight weight classes, returned from a one-year layoff and scored three knockdowns in a seventh-round knockout victory over Lucas Matthysse to win a secondary welterweight world title on July 15 at Axiata Arena in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia.

Top Rank, which had been Pacquiao’s longtime promoter, did not promote the fight but handled the American distribution of the event, which was streamed on ESPN+ as part of Top Rank’s long-term deal with ESPN.

On Monday, Pacquiao (60-7-2, 39 KOs) wrote on his Instagram page that he had not yet been paid by Top Rank for the U.S. rights.

“Congratulations and good luck to Top Rank Boxing and ESPN on your 7-year partnership agreement,” Pacquiao wrote. “I know both of you have been very busy finalizing the deal. However, I have not received the U.S. 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.”

Arum said it was a matter of Pacquiao having not signed and returned the proper contract for the event, but the issue was being taken care of.

“We read the Instagram post and [Top Rank attorney] Harrison [Whitman] handled it with Pacquiao’s attorney, and it looks like everything will be resolved,” Arum told ESPN.

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