(Update) Pacquiao agrees to honor contract with Solar
March 21, 2009 10:19pm

MANILA, Philippines – Back in each other’s arm.

Solar Sports and boxing sensation Manny Pacquiao came to terms Friday (Saturday in Manila), paving the way for the airing of the Filipino southpaw’s May 3 title fight with Ricky Hatton over GMA-7 and Solar Sports.

In a statement, Solar said Pacquiao agreed to honor the television rights agreements he had with the sports cable channel and fully comply with its terms and conditions therein.

“In the spirit of utmost good faith, Solar Entertainment Corporation, Manny Pacquiao and MP Promotions have favorably resolved their unfortunate misunderstanding."

Through his lawyer Atty. Jing Gacal, Pacquiao later confirmed over GMA-7 that the contract he had with Solar Sports is “valid and binding.’

“Walang sinumang lumabag sa amin ng Solar Sports. Ang kontratang aking pinangha-hawakan ay napatunayang valid at binding," Gacal read in a prepared statement as he was flanked by Pacquiao adviser Michael Koncz and MP Promotions’ Eric Pineda.

“Dahil dito, humihingi ako ng paumanhin kung kayo man ay naguluhan," said Pacquiao in his statement, while continuing to stress that he’ll just try to concentrate in his coming title fight with Ricky Hatton.

The major development came after Solar Sports president and chief executive officer Wilson Tieng and chief operating officer Peter Chanliong personally flew to Los Angeles to talk to Pacquiao regarding his decision to rescind the four-year contract he had with Solar Sports.

Both Tieng and Chanliong visited the 30-year old Pacquiao in his posh Palazzo apartment to thresh out the problem.

Until late Friday night, the world’s pound-for-pound fighter has remained adamant of his decision to dump Solar Sports and media partner GMA-7 in exchange of giant network ABS-CBN, whom he gave the rights to air his May 3 title fight against Englishman Ricky Hatton.

Apparently, Solar Sports’ delay in paying a percentage of the fee Pacquiao will receive in the fight against Hatton triggered the controversy.

The Filipino ring icon was supposed to receive 25 percent of the payment 10 days after the fight contract was signed last January. But Solar apparently deposited the money just last March 17.

But lawyers of the cable outfit denied being remissed in their financial obligation to the boxing star.
The statement also noted that “MP Promotions and Manny Pacquiao have withdrawn in writing their rescission letter dated March 17.’

“We have always looked after Manny’s best interest because his fights are not his alone, but that of the entire Filipino nation," the statement added.

Solar Sports stressed it will be airing Pacquiao’s first fight for 2009 over GMA-7, with which it already agreed to be a blocktimer on the day of the fight itself.

“We are happy that now he (Pacquiao) can concentrate on preparing for his fight with Ricky Hatton on May 3 and to be shown on GMA-7 and Solar Sports. Preparation for the fight should be his priority," part of the statement said.

In the end, Solar Sports said, “we hope that we can put all of this behind us." – GMANews.TV


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