After being slammed by users and Nike, which cancelled its sponsorship deal with him over his comments on gay couples, Manny Pacquiao seems to have moved on, Agence France-Presse (AFP) reported Tuesday. The boxer from the Philippines, who is also running for a seat in the Philippines senate in the upcoming elections in May, had compared gay couples to animals in an interview last week, leading to severe criticism in the country and internationally.

Pacquiao's business manager Eric Pineda said Tuesday, according to AFP, that the 37-year-old is already negotiating with other sports apparel brands for sponsorship after the Oregon-based Nike announced last week that it had ended the partnership with him. Nike had said that it had a long history of supporting the LGBT community and that it “strongly opposes discrimination of any kind.”

“There are several already now in the pipeline. They (the Pacquiao camp) were actually negotiating with some already,” Pineda told AFP, without revealing the names of the companies.

However, Pineda said that the negotiations included a “multi-million dollar” brand that could replace Nike to supply gear to Pacquiao. He also added that none of the brands based in Philippines had backed off their sponsorship due to the comments.

“They will still be sponsoring Manny. Just look at his shorts,” Pineda told AFP.

Pacquiao had said in his interview: “It’s common sense. Do you see animals mating with the same sex” adding: “Animals are better because they can distinguish male from female. … If men mate with men and women mate with women, they are worse than animals.”

After the comment received flak, Pacquiao, who is set to fight American boxer Timothy Bradley in April, issued a statement apologizing for hurting people. However, he defended his views on same-sex marriages through a post on Instagram.


His upcoming match with Bradley has also received opposition from another senatorial candidate in the Philippines — Walden Bello — who filed a petition against it. Bello claimed that the match would give Pacquiao undue advantage over other candidates as he would receive more media time than other candidates.

According to the election laws in the country, all candidates should have equal access to media. Bello urged the election commission to halt the match saying that the match would flout election laws.