Boxing legend Manny Pacquiao has issued an apology following strong criticism to controversial remarks he made on the subject of same-sex marriage.
Pacquiao is running for a senate seat in the Philippines, and the 37-year-old sparked outrage after expressing his views on homosexuality in an interview with local broadcaster TV5.
During the interview, the Filipino fighter stated that the approval of same-sex marriage would show "man is worse than animal".
Pacquiao subsequently moved to clarify his position, saying that his Christian beliefs mean he cannot support gay marriage, while insisting he was "not condemning LGBT".
"I'm sorry for hurting people by comparing homosexuals to animals. Please forgive me for those I've hurt," he posted on Facebook.
"I still stand on my belief that I'm against same-sex marriage because of what the Bible says, but I'm not condemning LGBT.
"I love you all with the love of the Lord. God Bless you all and I'm praying for you."
Pacquiao, the only man to have won world titles in eight different weight divisions, is set to retire after fighting Timothy Bradley for the third time in Las Vegas on April 9.