As unrelenting of a fighter as he is, Manny Pacquiao refuses to back down from Floyd Mayweather Jr. even in a war of words.
In the Power & Play program hosted by former PBA Commissioner Noli Eala, Pacquiao fired back at the 44-year-old American, who attributed the Filipino legend's intention to square off with Errol Spence Jr. as a means to ease financial concerns.
"Hindi ako katulad ng iba diyan na pera-pera lang, kahit na hindi boksingero ang kalaban hinahamon para lang may pera," said Pacquiao, alluding to Mayweather's recent exhibition match against social media star Logan Paul.
(Translation: "I'm not like anyone who just fights for money, even if the opponent is not a legitimate boxer," said Pacquiao, alluding to Mayweather's recent exhibition match against social media star Logan Paul.)
"Ako kasi gusto ko 'yung (Personally, I want to) fight to challenge the best," he continued.
Pacquiao, who was also looking at the undefeated Terence Crawford or Mikey Garcia as a potential opponent before setting up a bout with Spence Jr., said that if he were to fight to increase his wealth, he would have done the same thing as Mayweather.
"Alam mo kung pera-pera ay kumuha ako ng pipistugin na hindi boksingero. Kung pera-pera 'yung habol ko, bakit kukuha ako ng undefeated?...This is the real fight. Hindi 'yung fight na hindi boksingero 'yung kalaban mo," Pacquiao sounded off.
He then continued, "Lumalaban ako kasi passion ko ito. Sanay ako na gusto ko 'yung tinatalo ko 'yung mga undefeated tapos nakapagdadala ako ng karangalan sa ating bansa."
(Translation: "If it's all about the money, I would've set up a bout against someone who's not a professional. If it's really about the money, why would I pick a fight against someone undefeated?... This is the real fight. Not one that matches you against an unprofessional boxer."
"I'm fighting because it's my passion. I'm used to facing and defeating undefeated boxers to bring honor to my country.")
True enough, the lone eight-division world boxing champion has shattered numerous undefeated records over the years. To be exact, nine fighters experienced the bitter taste of defeat for the first time in their respective careers at his hands, the last of which was Keith Thurman in 2019.
Pacquiao is looking to add another victim to his list in the 31-year-old Spence. He is set to leave for the US on July 3 ahead of his much-anticipated match against the WBC and IBF world welterweight champion on August 21.
Ohmer Bautista is a sports journalist who has covered local and international sporting events in the Philippines. The views expressed are his own.
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