Filipino boxer Manny Pacquiao has reportedly been banned from one of the Los Angeles area's most popular malls this week in response to anti-gay comments attributed to him recently.
As reported by TMZ, Pacquiao - who is in town preparing for an April 9 comeback fight against Timothy Bradley Jr. - was barred from The Grove mall by its owner after he and his 16 person entourage had visited the venue to watch a movie.
The move appears to be a reaction to homophobic comments Pacquiao made on a Philippine television channel in which he claimed homosexuals were "worse than animals." The veteran boxer has since posted a video online apologising for his offensive remarks.
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Rick Caruso, the owner of The Grove mall which is located just 10 miles from the Wild Card Boxing Gym Pacquiao is using for his pre-fight camp, elaborated on his decision to ban the fighter. He told TMZ:
"These are statements of hatred...A lot of people from the gay community come to The Grove and they have a right not to feel uncomfortable. Manny Pacquiao is no longer welcome."
Pacquaio - who also drew criticism after posting to his official Instagram account a bible verse claiming homosexuals should be "put to death" - has ran into trouble with the shopping venue before.
Back in 2012, The Grove briefly enforced a ban on the eight-division boxing champion after reports linked him to further gay slurs. This was only in place for a short time after the source of the story was brought into question.
This week's ban, however, appears to be set firmly in place.
The 37-year-old boxer has seen his reputation take a hit in recent months, both in and out of the ring.
After leaving millions of fans disappointed following a poor, injury-hit performance against Floyd Mayweather back in May 2015, Pacquiao's actions away from the canvas has seen him alienate a lot of fans.
Moreover, it has also seen several businesses distance themselves from him. The biggest of which, Nike, discontinued their relationship with Pacquiao back in February in response to the footage referenced above.
With his comeback fight in Las Vegas now under one month away, the veteran will be hoping to win back some support when he faces Bradley at the MGM Grand.
It will be the third time he has faced his American opponent, they have both registered one victory each.
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