GENERAL SANTOS CITY, Philippines - Manny Pacquiao downplayed criticism from promoter Bob Arum on Monday after the injured Philippine boxing hero missed a doctor's visit for a shoulder injury, saying he was carrying out his own rehabilitation.
Arum hit out at his own boxer last weekend for missing a rehab visit and said he has no idea when "Pacman" might fight again after his right shoulder was hurt fighting Floyd Mayweather in May.
"I respect Bob Arum. He's just like a father to me. I believe he's just voicing out his concern (for) me and I appreciate it. I don't take it negatively," Pacquiao said in a statement.
"But he has nothing to worry about (regarding) my injury. I'm doing the rehab myself. I'm recovering faster than expected." Pacquiao had surgery on May 7 to repair a tear to his right rotator cuff sustained in the unanimous points defeat against Mayweather in the richest fight of all time in Las Vegas.
He cancelled a scheduled check-up with his surgeon Neal ElAttrache at the Kerlan-Jobe Orthopaedic Clinic in Los Angeles on July 4, prompting sharp criticism from the 83-year-old head of Top Rank promotions, who said "he's not acting very professionally." Pacquiao did not say if he was receiving medical advice or treatment from another doctor but said his situation was improving, adding: "I can now raise my right arm."
The Filipino, winner of an unprecedented eight world titles in separate weight divisions, did not respond to his American promoter's remark that as far as he was concerned the boxer is "not an active fighter."
Just days after missing the July 4 appointment, Pacquiao travelled to Indonesia in a much-publicized trip to film a television advertisement and visit a Filipina on death row who is seeking clemency.
Arum insisted that Pacquiao's first priority should have been his appointment with his LA surgeon to decide on his rehabilitation programme.
"When you have an operation like that you've got to get into rehab. You've got to get the doctor to look at it and to guide you as to the kind of rehab that you've got to do," Arum told AFP.
Pacquiao is regarded as a national hero in the Philippines and has parlayed his fame into a career in film, commercial endorsements and even election as a congressman.
He has also used his boxing renown to pursue other interests, becoming a Christian preacher and professional basketball coach and player despite criticism that he is devoting himself to too many projects.