After being dumped by shoes and apparel behemoth Nike for his anti-gay remarks, the camp of Manny Pacquiao said the Filipino icon may consider other brands such as Under Armour and Mizuno whose equipment and clothes he may wear when he fights Tim Bradley on April 9.
According to Mike Koncz, Pacquiao’s adviser, they are thinking of using the brand of shirt he wore when he fought Mexican fighter Marco Antonio Barrera in 2003.
“He might even use the (Mizuno) brand that he wore when he fought Barrera,” said Koncz yesterday who was in General Santos City for Pacquiao’s training.
Though Nike has dropped Pacquiao as an endorser, the eight-division world champion continues to wear its line of products from cross training shoes to boxing boots to quick-drying shirts and shorts during his workouts.
But during a game of basketball on Sunday night, Pacquiao wore an Under Armour rubber shoes. This did not surprise Koncz because Pacquiao’s chief trainer Freddie Roach is among the athletic firm’s endorsers. Koncz said a tie up between Under Armour and Pacquiao is possible.
Under Armour’s clients include Golden State Warriors star Stephen Curry and world No. 1 golfer Jordan Spieth.
Koncz recalled that Pacquiao wore Mizuno apparel, a Japanese brand, when he scored a breakthrough win on US soil in Nov. 2003, stopping Barrera in the 11th round at the Alamodome in San Antonio, Texas.
Nike ended more than a decade of partnership with Pacquiao after the boxer said last week that people of the same sex who marry are “worse than animals.” Pacquiao’s remarks were widely criticized around the world, particularly in the United States where gay rights such as same-sex marriages are supported by a number of politicians although many also opposed them including all the Republican candidates for president.
Pacquiao stood his ground and shrugged off Nike’s abrupt decision, saying he is only basing his statements on what’s written in the Bible.
Nike’s business manager Eric Pineda downplayed Nike’s departure, saying that the contract with Nike ended three years ago but that Pacquiao continued to use the brand as a gesture of gratitude for Nike’s past support.
He also said that Pacquiao did not give up a lucrative sum following the Nike decision. “There was no money component to Nike’s decision to drop Pacquiao,” he said.
But he conceded that before the contract ended three years ago, Pacquiao received what he described as a “huge financial package from the deal.”
Courtesy of Nick Giongco of the Manila Bulletin. Follow Nick on Twitter @NickSpeaks