Bob Arum says he and former prized ward Pacquiao 'still very friendly'
Promoter Bob Arum says he remains cordial with Manny Pacquiao. Alvin S. Go

FRESNO, CALIFORNIA – Despite parting ways, Manny Pacquiao and Top Rank promoter Bob Arum remain very cordial to each other.

“We’re still very friendly,” a smiling Bob Arum said when asked about his relationship with his former prized ward at the end of their 12-year promotional partnership.

The 39-year-old boxing great is now on his own by promoting his next fight against Lucas Matthysse of Argentina for the World Boxing Association (WBA) welterweight title on July 15 in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia.

Pacquiao’s MP Promotions will handle the entire fight card in partnership with Golden Boy Promotions, marking the first time Arum won’t be promoting a Pacquiao bout in more than a decade.

Still, Top Rank has a little bit of a stake in the match, the first for the boxing legend from General Santos City in over a year, or since yielding his World Boxing Organization (WBO) welterweight belt to Jeff Horn in Brisbane, Australia in July of 2017.

“We (Top Rank) agreed to distribute the fight in the United States (and North America),” said the 83-year-old Arum during the final presser for the Jerwin Ancajas-Jonas Sultan world super-flyweight title showdown here on Thursday (Friday, Manila time).

Arum believes his promotional outfit will also do the pay-per-view and the closed circuit broadcast of the fight in the US.

Both Pacquiao and Matthysse are now in the thick of their preparations for the 12-round fight despite recent rumors the event would be postponed, which the Filipino boxing great dismissed as ‘malicious and untrue.’

Arum said he doesn’t know exactly what the status of the promotion is, although from what he learned, the purse of Matthysse to be held in escrow in the US could likely be delivered within the next few days, adding ‘the money will be here at the end of the week.’

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Too bad, the Top Rank chairman won’t be around for the July 15 slugfest between two of boxing’s biggest punchers.

“I’m going to be in New Orleans. We have a fight on ESPN earlier that leads to Manny’s fight,” he said.

Follow the writer on Twitter: @gerardmos