- Floyd Mayweather and Manny Pacquiao are verbally jousting.
- The American boxing icon said it’s sad that his long-time rival still has to fight at 42 years old.
- Pacquiao said he’s actually fighting top athletes, rather than non-boxers like Logan Paul.
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The combat sports icons fought in 2015 after years of protracted talks. In that fight, Mayweather triumphed with relative ease, earning a 12-round decision.
Though Mayweather only fought two more times after that win, finishing his career with an unblemished 50-0 record in 2017, he has taken part in boxing exhibitions since. In 2018 he faced Japanese kickboxer Tenshin Nasukawa, and earlier this month fought YouTuber Logan Paul.
Pacquiao, meanwhile, has fought a further six times. He scored a thumping stoppage win over Lucas Matthysse in 2018, beat Adrien Broner the following year, and even knocked Keith Thurman to the canvas in his most-recent bout, also in 2019.
At 42, Pacquiao continues to fight at boxing’s highest level, and is scheduled to meet America’s best boxer Errol Spence Jr. for a welterweight world title match in Las Vegas on August 21.
While that competitive spirit has been applauded by most in the industry, it has been downplayed by Mayweather who called it “sad,” and seemingly said Pacquiao has to keep fighting because he needs money.
Speaking after his eight-round showbiz boxing bout with the YouTube creator Paul, Mayweather said: “I’ve been in this sport for so long, so long and tonight, I was letting people see that I’m able to come out at my age, at 44, and still sell out 30,000 and still do crazy numbers.
“When I come and do an exhibition or come out and box and have some fun, I do it because I want to do it, not because I have to do it. Whereas, Pacquiao at his age, which it’s sad that he has to fight.”
Seemingly responding to Mayweather’s criticism, Pacquiao told Power & Play, a Filipino sports show, that he wants to test himself against boxing’s best, rather than fight “non-boxers” for the sake of a big paycheck.
“I’m not like some other guys who are in it just for the money. Some other fighters challenge non-boxers just to get paid. I want to fight. I want to challenge the best,” he said on the show.
Pacquiao continued: “If I’m fighting for the money, then I would have picked some scrub to fight.
“Why would I try to fight an undefeated fighter if I’m chasing the paycheck? This is a real fight. I fight because this is my passion. I love beating undefeated fighters and bringing honor to my country.”
Pacquiao didn’t mention Mayweather by name, but it was obvious he was alluding to Mayweather’s big-money exhibitions against the likes of Paul.
The Spence Jr. battle will be Pacquiao’s 72nd fight in what is an extraordinarily decorated career in fighting
On whether the 72nd fight will be his last, Pacquiao said: “It’s hard to say right now. It could be, but there could also be more fights after this. I’m taking it one at a time. We can’t tell the future.”