Pacman slams rumours
Manila - Manny Pacquiao on Wednesday brushed off rumours his marriage was on the rocks amid reports the Philippine boxing superstar flew a starlet to Las Vegas to watch him win a record seventh world title.
In an interview aired over local television station ABS-CBN as he prepared to fly home to a hero's welcome after taking Miguel Cotto's World Boxing Organisation welterweight title in Las Vegas, the Pacman sidestepped the issue.
Pacquiao, 30, instead admonished the local press to report his achievements in the ring, "not the private lives of people".
"I hope they honour the achievements that I have won for my fellow Filipinos," he said.
The glow from Saturday's one-sided contest has been partly tarnished by reports that Pacquiao stayed in a different hotel from his wife, Jinkee, with whom he has three children, while they were in the United States.
According to the reports, the champ paid for the air tickets and hotel accommodation of Filipina starlet Krista Ranillo, who watched the bout live with her own family, helping fuel rumours of a romantic liaison.
"Let us avoid what I call our crab mentality. I am appealing to all of you to avoid that. Let us unite so we will all be happy," Pacquiao said in the TV interview.
He was referring to a saying that many use to explain widespread poverty in the Philippines, drawing an analogy with Filipinos and crabs trapped in a vat.
As one crab tries to claw its way out, others beneath it try to pull it back down to their own level.
Pacquiao, who claimed a historic seventh world title in as many weight divisions with Sunday's victory over Cotto, is no stranger to controversy surrounding his private life.
He had earlier been forced to deny reports of a romantic involvement with another Philippine film star, Ara Mina, after the two were photographed dancing the night away at an upscale Manila nightclub.