THE camp of dethroned Manny Pacquiao has criticized the “cold treatment” given to them by Top Rank boss Bob Arum during the title-defense of the Filipino ring icon against Australian Jeff Horn last Sunday at the Suncorp Stadium in Brisbane, Australia.
Aquiles Zonio, Pacquiao’s media relations chief, felt the veteran international boxing promoter could be looking for a new “cash cow” to replace the 38-year-old Pacquiao (59-7-2 win-loss-draw record with 38 knockouts), who is now close to retirement.
“You can see it in the body language of Arum that he’s probably searching for a new cash cow,” Zonio told The Manila Times in a phone interview on Tuesday. “He’s a user in my opinion. He’s treating Senator Manny (Pacquiao) differently now, unlike before.”
Zonio said Arum might be looking for a contract extension with Pacquiao but as far as he’s concerned, the fight with Horn was their last with Top Rank promotions.
“He’ll bargain with that (rematch) and use it as his leverage to re-sign Manny for long term,” he claimed.
“If you ask me, I will not [give in]because I believe Pacquiao could get offers from other promotions.”
In a story by Mike Coppinger of ringtv.com, Arum said Pacquiao seemed to have had difficulty managing his time for the Horn fight and his duties as a senator.
“I think you cannot spend so much time as a senator and expect to be a world-class fighter,” Arum told Coppinger.
But Zonio said Pacquiao was good for two more fights.
“If you’re going to ask me, he’s good for two more fights. The rematch should not happen in Brisbane, Australia,” he said. “Aside from that, our boss (Pacquiao) should be given a chance to select the judges and the referee. I can’t blame him if he wants to get a rematch with Horn.”
“It could happen in Las Vegas or in any neutral ground,” he added.
Horn shocked Pacquiao in their so-called “Battle of Brisbane” Sunday, pulling off a controversial unanimous decision to become the new World Boxing Organization welterweight champion.