MANILA – Manny Pacquiao was set to file charges against certain groups, including Top Rank, Inc. of Bob Arum, for the alleged nonpayment of the broadcast rights for his fight with Lucas Matthysse in July.
Pacquiao said his legal team was preparing documents for the filing of the case against Top Rank and “several other individuals” over the unpaid fees as well as “for derailing (his) future fights.”
“I have not received the [United States] rights payment for my July 15 fight against Lucas Matthysse that was broadcast on ESPN Plus,” Pacquiao said in a statement Monday night.
The Pacquiao-Matthysse fight held on July 15 in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia was co-promoted by Pacquiao’s MP Promotions and Oscar Dela Hoya’s Golden Boy Promotions, which represents Matthysse.
“I am initiating legal proceedings against Top Rank and all other parties based on the nonpayment and attempts to restrict my future fights,” said Pacquiao.
Arum’s Top Rank was tapped to handle the fight card’s broadcast component. The longtime promoter has yet to remit his share of the earnings from the fight’s live streaming in the US, Canada and Puerto Rico, Pacquiao said.
Based on the contract between Pacquiao and Arum in March, the eight-division world boxing champion was entitled to an 85-percent share of the broadcast revenue, with the rest going to the promotional company.
“In ‘The Contract,’ Pacquiao agreed to fight ‘outside of the United States, Canada and Puerto Rico, and their respective territories and possessions.’ Such area was expressly defined in the contract as the ‘Territory,’” read part of the statement.
It added: “Under the same contract, Top Rank was granted the right to broadcast the fight, but only in the ‘Territory,’” it added. “US-based sports network ESPN aired the fight despite not having the right to do so.
“The Pacquiao-Matthysse fight was broadcast, without Pacquiao’s permission or consent, inside the United States, Canada and Puerto Rico – a glaring violation of the terms of the contract.”
Pacquiao’s camp said they tried to reach out to Arum but, instead of settling the matter in a positive way, Top Rank “has taken positions that are inconsistent and sidestepped the legal implications of the situation.”
Moreover they alleged that his TV contract with Top Rank was amended early July to “contractually obligate” Pacquiao to grant Top Rank and ESPN “so-called first/last rights for another fight after the July bout.”
“Indeed, Top Rank acknowledges that Manny outright rejected it by signing a revision of the amendment without any last right of refusal. Top Rank knows that the amendment is a nullity, as it has repeatedly demanded that Manny sign it,” the statement read.
Almost a month after the bout, Arum and Todd duBoef flew all the way from the United States to General Santos City to ask Pacquiao to “retroactively and without consideration” sign the amendment but Pacquiao refused.
Top Rank recently told MP Promotions that they consider the contract void and it was intended to apply to broadcast by PPV only. Arum’s group added that the eventual broadcast by ESPN was not subject to any of the terms and conditions in the contract./PN