Manny Pacquiao has apologised after he sparked outrage by calling homosexuals "worse than animals".
Pacquiao, the only eight-weight world champion in the history of boxing, has embarked on a political career in the Philippines and is currently running for a senate seat in the country's May elections.
But the 37-year-old - who plans to fight for the final time in April when he challenges for Timothy Bradley's WBO welterweight title - provoked controversy in a TV interview aired earlier this week.
In a message posted on his Facebook page on Tuesday, the boxer asked for forgiveness and insisted he was "not condemning LGBT" - but also maintained he is "against same sex marriage".
Gay marriage is outlawed in the Philippines due to strong opposition from the Catholic Church.
Eighty per cent of the country's 100 million people subscribe to the faith.
Gay marriages are officiated at small churches but these unions are not recognised by the church or the state.
His remarks on homosexuality have prompted calls for voters to boycott him in the senate elections, with Filipino gay rights organisations and political group Ladlad condemning the boxer's comments.