Pacquiao to sue Top Rank over unpaid broadcast fees for Matthysse fight

Dino Maragay - Philstar.com
Pacquiao to sue Top Rank over unpaid broadcast fees for Matthysse fight
Manny Pacquiao celebrates after his win over Lucas Matthysse at the Axiata Arena in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia.
Rupert Wendell Alinea / MP Promotions

MANILA, Philippines – Manny Pacquiao announced he is taking legal action against his former promoter Top Rank Inc. and other parties over what he claimed as “non-payment” of fees for the broadcast rights of his fight with Lucas Matthysse last July.

In a press release emailed to reporters late Monday, Pacquiao said his legal team is preparing the 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.”

Pacquiao knocked Matthysse out to become the WBA welterweight champion at the Axiata Arena in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia last July 15. The Filipino icon’s MP Promotions co-promoted the bout with Oscar Dela Hoya’s Golden Boy Promotions, which represents Matthysse.

Bob Arum’s Top Rank, meanwhile, entered the picture to handle the fight card’s broadcast component. But Pacquiao claimed Arum has not yet remitted his share of the earnings from the fight’s live streaming in the US, Canada and Puerto Rico.

Pacquiao’s camp said that under their deal with Top Rank, the boxer is entitled to an 85 percent share of the broadcast revenue, with the rest going to the promotional firm.

“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,’” the statement read.

“Under the same contract, Top Rank was granted the right to broadcast the fight, but only in the ‘Territory,’” it added.

Additionally, Pacquiao’s camp said 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,” the statement continued.

Pacquiao’s legal team claimed that Top Rank has refused to recognize a letter they sent to the company detailing the boxer’s concerns.

One of Pacquiao’s lawyers, who requested anonymity, said that instead of settling the matter in a positive way, Top Rank instead “has taken positions that are inconsistent and sidestepped the legal implications of the situation.”

Pacquiao’s team also claimed that boxer’s 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.” 

Pacquiao, however, did not sign the amended deal before July 15, the actual date of the Matthysse fight.

According to Pacquiao’s lawyer, the amendment incorrectly and inaccurately stated the "Territory" as including the US, Canada and Puerto Rico.

“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 lawyer added.

Pacquiao’s team also claimed that Arum and Top Rank president Todd duBoef flew in from the US to General Santos City to personally ask Pacquiao to retroactively sight the amended deal, but to no avail.

Also, the boxer’s camp said Top Rank told MP Promotions that they consider the contract void, a move that Pacquiao’s lawyer called “a dubious proposition.”

“If the contract is void, then no one had the right to broadcast the fight anywhere, whether inside or outside the ‘territory,’" said Pacquiao’s lawyer.

Pacquiao said he will ask ESPN to produce all documents needed to determine the net profits generated by Top Rank from distributing the fight worldwide.

  • Latest
  • Trending
Are you sure you want to log out?

Philstar.com is one of the most vibrant, opinionated, discerning communities of readers on cyberspace. With your meaningful insights, help shape the stories that can shape the country. Sign up now!

or sign in with