Wednesday, October 19, 2011

Manny Pacquiao still focused on training despite lawsuit and controversy

LOS ANGELES, California - Eight-division boxing champion Manny "Pacman" Pacquiao is once again being dogged by issues outside of the ring, even as he continues his training camp in the Wild Card Gym in California.

Pacquiao's recent promotion as a lieutenant colonel in the Armed Forces of the Philippines has sparked criticism, with some saying he does not deserve the honor approved by President Benigno Aquino III, as the rank is usually reserved for college graduates.

The pound-for-pound king has responded to the people questioning his promotion, saying, "Alam nila na hindi lang basta-basta. Sila naman ang naki-alam, yung mga nasa taas."

"Hindi sila basta-basta magpo-promote ng ganoon kung hindi ako qualified," Pacquiao added.

Pacquiao has also found himself in a legal battle with his forming accounting firm VisionQwest.

VisionQwest claims they covered up Pacquiao's failure to pay his taxes, and are now suing him for $649,000 - the cost of their services, and the money they lent him to pay his taxes.

Pacquiao's financial adviser, Michael Koncz, released a statement over the weekend confirming the lawsuit, but adding that VisionQwest had breached its confidentiality clauses, and the lawsuit is now in the hands of Pacquiao's lawyers.

Koncz refused to comment further.

Despite the distractions, the US leg of Pacquiao's training has not skipped a beat, and he is even ahead of schedule, according to coach Freddie Roach.

Pacquiao sparred nine rounds with two sparring partners and worked on the punching bag after.

"Ngayon focused tayo sa fight, sa training," Pacquiao said, adding that he intends to bring honor to the Philippines and to his family through his fight with Juan Manuel Marquez.

It will be the third meeting between Pacquiao and Marquez, whom he has called his greatest rival.

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