Home Box Office (HBO) have hinted that they considered dropping the Manny Pacquiao v Timothy Bradley pay-per-view offering following controversial comments by the Filipino headliner.
Eight-weight champion Pacquiao caused outrage by airing his views on the gay community in recent frank and upsetting interviews and there had been calls for the fighter to be boycotted by protesters.
In light of the media storm, HBO have now confirmed that the April 9 event at the MGM Grand in Las Vegas will go ahead as planned, although not without reprimanding Pacquiao for his actions.
“Next month Manny Pacquiao and Timothy Bradley Jr. are scheduled to meet in a Pay-Per-View bout. We have an obligation to both fighters and, therefore, will proceed to produce and distribute that event. However, we felt it important to leave no uncertainty about our position on Mr. Pacquiao’s recent comments toward the LGBTQ community. We consider them insensitive, offensive and deplorable. HBO has been a proud home to many LGBTQ stories and couldn’t approach this event without clearly voicing our opinion,” read the HBO statement.
Pacquiao’s previously good reputation has been tarnished somewhat by his public condemnation of homosexuals, leading to sports brand Nike and other sponsors dropping the boxer as their highest profile star.