It’s getting to be messy for Pacquiao

PHILIPPINE NEWS SERVICE — GMA-7 has thrown itself into the war between Manny Pacquiao and Solar Sports, saying that the Filipino boxing hero has an existing contract with its network that prohibits the best pound-for-pound fighter from appearing on any other local TV channel.

The statement was released yesterday barely 24 hours after Pacquiao made a formal announcement from Los Angeles, California that he had already severed ties with Solar Sports with regards to the rights to air his fights.

Pacquiao signed a new deal with ABS-CBN last Friday despite having a live contract with Solar Sports that runs through May 6, 2011. News reports said that Pacquiao chose ABS-CBN because of its dominance in the Mindanao island.

GMA-7, however, in a statement said that it has not given Pacquiao any consent to appear in other TV networks.

“Moreover, according to GMA’s legal counsel, Atty. Dick B. Perez, Manny Pacquiao has a separate contract with GMA Network which prohibits him from appearing on ‘any television program, show, promotion or event of any other broadcast media entity other than GMA and its subsidiaries and affiliates without the written consent of GMA.’”

Likewise, Pacquiao has two shows with GMA-7 — ‘Totoy Bato’ and ‘Pinoy Records.’

It is possible, too, that GMA-7 will sue Pacquiao if matters don’t get settled in the near future. Solar Sports will hold a media conference today to air its side and bare its actions against Pacquiao.

This is the last thing that Pacquiao needs at this time — a distraction — as he prepares for his tough May 2 fight against British slugger Ricky ‘The Hitman’ Hatton in Las Vegas, Nevada.

This is not the first time, though, that Pacquiao has done this. In 2007, he signed a deal with Bob Arum’s Top Rank after receiving money from Golden Boy Promotions of Oscar De La Hoya. The issue was resolved after Pacquiao returned the money to GBP.

At the same time, GMA-7 clarified that it has ‘superior signal’ in the General Santos area and its nearby towns.

“It was also reported that Pacquiao favored the other network because of ABS-CBN’s dominance in Saranggani and the international presence of their reporters. GMA Network’s news teams and existing contributors in key areas worldwide adequately cover important events like those of Pacquiao’s activities. GMA also has a superior signal in General Santos City and environs,” GMA-7’s statement said.