Manny Pacquiao and Floyd Mayweather, two former boxing rivals, have engaged in a verbal brawl.
After years of negotiations, the two combat sports legends battled in 2015. Mayweather won the bout with remarkable ease, scoring a 12-round decision.
Mayweather only fought two more times following that victory, completing his career with a perfect 50-0 record in 2017, although he has continued to participate in boxing exhibitions since then.
He battled Japanese kickboxer Tenshin Nasukawa in 2018 and YouTuber Logan Paul earlier this month.
Meanwhile, Pacquiao has fought six more times. He knocked out Lucas Matthysse in a resounding stoppage win in 2018, defeated Adrien Broner the following year, and even knocked out Keith Thurman in his most recent encounter, also in 2019.
Pacquiao, 42, is still fighting at the greatest level of boxing, and on August 21, he will face America’s finest boxer, Errol Spence Jr., in a welterweight world title battle in Las Vegas.
While others in the business have praised Pacquiao’s competitive spirit, Mayweather has dismissed it, calling it “sad” and implying that Pacquiao must continue fighting because he needs money.
Mayweather remarked after his eight-round celebrity boxing match with YouTube entrepreneur Paul:
“I’ve been in this sport for a long time, and today I was showing people that even at my age, 44, I can still sell out 30,000 people and put up insane statistics.
“I come out and perform an exhibition or come out and box and have a good time because I want to, not because I have to. Pacquiao, on the other hand, given his age, it’s unfortunate that he has to fight.”
In an apparent response to Mayweather’s criticism, Pacquiao told Power & Play, a Filipino sports show, that he prefers to test himself against the greatest in the sport rather than face “non-boxers” for the purpose of a large payday.
“I’m not like some of the other people who are only interested in making money. Other fighters take on non-boxers only for the sake of earning money. I’m looking for a battle. I want to compete with the greatest” he stated.
Pacquiao went on to say: “If I were competing for money, I would have chosen a scrub to fight.
“If I’m looking for a payday, why would I try to face an unbeaten fighter? This is a true battle. I fight because it is something I am passionate about. I like defeating unbeaten opponents and representing my nation with pride.”
Pacquiao didn’t mention Mayweather by name, but it was clear that he was referring to Mayweather’s high-profile bouts against Paul and others.
Pacquiao will fight Spence Jr. for the 72nd time in his illustrious career as a professional boxer.
Pacquiao stated when asked if the 72nd bout will be his last: “Right now, it’s difficult to say. It’s possible, but there might be more conflicts in the future. I’m going to take it one step at a time. We have no way of knowing what will happen in the future.”