‘Force At 40’: Philippines Goes Wild For Pacquiao

Manny Pacquiao gets ready for the start of his WBA welterweight title fight against Keith Thurman at MGM Grand Garden Arena on July 20, 2019 in Las Vegas, Nevada. Steve Marcus/Getty Images/AFP

 

Fans in the Philippines roared their approval and rose to their feet Sunday, imitating the punches of Manny Pacquiao, as they declared that their idol was still a boxing force at the age of 40 with his stunning victory over American Keith Thurman.

Filipinos from street vendors to lawmakers went wild, pumping their fists in the air during the first round of the welterweight fight as Pacquiao floored the WBA champion 10 years his junior, and went on to win by split decision.

Despite Thurman’s threat to send Pacquiao into retirement in the Las Vegas showdown, fans of the eight-division world champion were thrilled to see him eat his words as they packed into gyms, military camps and movie theatres all over the country to watch the fight.

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“It was wow, wow, wow! He is amazing. He showed himself a true Filipino, a hero,” 51-year-old Raquel Sanders told AFP after watching the bout in a Manila sports complex.

The excitement also lit up the online world with fans in the social media-obsessed nation using the hashtag #StillA40rce.

“Senator Pacquiao proved that age is just a number and (he) still can make another legend,” said Twitter user @rinrin_irene.

However, tragedy dampened the mood in Manila’s Marikina suburb where a 68-year-old fan collapsed as he was watching the bout in a gym. He was rushed to the hospital but declared dead on arrival, police said.

The man had a heart illness and could have gotten “excited” and “overjoyed” upon watching Thurman getting knocked down, Marikina police said, but added doctors had yet to issue a medical report.

Pacquiao is considered a national hero by many as his athletic feats have put the Philippines on the boxing map.

His rags-to-riches rise from high school dropout to millionaire champion is a source of inspiration in a nation mired in poverty.

In Pacquiao’s heyday, authorities said his fights stopped traffic and crime.

But Pacquiao, also an elected senator, stirred controversy when he entered politics as he endorsed the death penalty and issued gay slurs in 2016 for which he later apologised.

President Rodrigo Duterte’s spokesman hailed his ally’s victory.

“Our pound-for-pound King did not show any signs of intimidation as he embodied what a Filipino spirit is all about – a fighter,” Salvador Panelo said in a statement.

Some Pacquiao fans said while their idol had proven his mettle, he showed signs of ageing.

“He can still fight but not a long bout because he gets tired. A younger fighter would have more endurance than an older fighter,” said Willieboy Ramos, 50.

Pacquiao, who reversed a 2016 decision to retire, repeatedly says boxing is his passion and he still feels young.

Philippine boxing chief Ed Picson said only Pacquiao could decide on his future.

“His place in world boxing as a legend is secure … He has nothing more to prove,” said Picson, secretary-general of the Association of Boxing Alliances in the Philippines.

AFP

Manny Pacquiao Defeats Thurman To Capture WBA Crown

Filipino boxer Manny Pacquiao (R) slams a right to the face of US boxer Keith Thurman during their WBA super world welterweight title fight at the MGM Grand Garden Arena on July 20, 2019, in Las Vegas, Nevada. Pacquiao won a 12 round split decision. PHOTO: John Gurzinski / AFP

 

Father Time may be undefeated, as the old boxing saying goes, but Manny Pacquiao is not going down without a fight.

The 40-year-old Filipino legend wrote another improbable chapter in his glittering career on Saturday, with an age-defying split decision victory over the hitherto unbeaten Keith Thurman.

Pacquiao, a full decade older than the 30-year-old Thurman, rolled back the years with a vintage performance that had a sold-out crowd at the MGM Grand Garden Arena roaring in delight.

It was the Filipino’s 62nd win of a 71-fight career that has spanned 24 years. Veterans at ringside described the performance as Pacquiao’s best since his dazzling win over Antonio Margarito in 2010.

Thurman, who had returned to boxing in January after a 22-month layoff, admitted he had not been able to cope with Pacquiao’s relentless energy.

Post-fight statistics told the story, with Pacquiao outpunching Thurman by 686 to 571.

A weary Thurman later said he had been chasing the fight from the moment he was sent crashing to the canvas by a stunning combination in the first round.

“He had a lot of momentum from that point,” Thurman said. “I ended up paying attention to the number of rounds. By the time we got to the seventh I was like ‘Damn, we’re in the seventh already’.”

 

‘So many wars’

Pacquiao’s experience and conditioning had proved crucial at key moments, Thurman added.

“He’s been in so many wars, he just knows what to do at the right time,” he said. “I had a good training camp but I felt like I needed a better output to go toe to toe with Manny Pacquiao.”

Thurman wasted no time after the fight in requesting a rematch.

While fans would happily line up for a sequel to what is a strong candidate for the fight of the year, Pacquiao’s camp were more circumspect.

Pacquiao, who paid tribute to Thurman’s “heavy hands” and punching power after the fight, pocketed an estimated $20 million from Saturday’s contest.

By recapturing a slice of the welterweight division in such dazzling style, he has thrust himself back into relevance.

Even more lucrative paydays are his for the asking if he chooses to pursue them.

A unification fight with Errol Spence Jr, the International Boxing Federation’s welterweight champion, would sell itself.

The question of a rematch of his 2015 “Fight of the Century” against Floyd Mayweather also continues to linger.

Mayweather, who was at ringside to watch Pacquiao’s masterclass on Saturday, remains firmly retired and has not fought since his cross-combat spectacle with mixed martial arts star Conor McGregor nearly two years ago.

Long rest

Leonard Ellerbe, the chief executive of Mayweather Promotions and a close confidant, said last week Mayweather has “zero interest” in a second Pacquiao fight. Whether that interest could be piqued by the prospect of a gargantuan payday remains to be seen.

Pacquiao, whose departure from Las Vegas for the Philippines was delayed until 6pm (0100 GMT) on Sunday as a precaution, suggested he will not fight again this year.

Long-time trainer Freddie Roach, meanwhile, told AFP that Pacquiao’s camp would take their time before choosing their next opponent.

“Someone just asked me ‘What’s next?’,” Roach said. “Well, you know what? We don’t need to think about what’s next for a while.

“Manny can go away and rest and we’ll think about it later on. We need to see what’s out there.”

Roach acknowledged however that he thinks a Mayweather sequel is unlikely to happen.

“I can’t see it,” Roach said. “Floyd’s retired and his people say there is no interest. But there will be other options.”

Roach, his usual calming presence in Pacquiao’s corner, was left reflecting on his fighter’s astounding energy levels.

“Manny never gets tired in the gym, but he got tired in the middle rounds tonight,” Roach told AFP. “I was keeping a close eye on it. But Manny is so fit he got through it and finished strong.

“I think he showed tonight that there’s plenty of boxing left in him, even if he is in his 40s.”

AFP

Pacquiao Batters Broner In Lopsided Welterweight Showdown

 

Manny Pacquiao proved that age is no obstacle on Saturday with a 12-round demolition of Adrien Broner, defending his welterweight title in his first fight on US soil in two years.

Pacquiao easily won with an impressive display of superior hand speed and destructive power that landed him a unanimous decision victory over the much younger American at the MGM Grand Hotel in Las Vegas.

The Filipino star almost knocked Broner down twice in the seventh and ninth rounds and showed that he can still be a force in the highly-competitive division despite turning 40 last month.

In his 70th fight as a professional, Pacquiao retains the lesser version of the WBA’s two welterweight belts and possibly sets the stage for a rematch with Floyd Mayweather, who watched the bout from ringside.

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Pacquiao improved to 61-7-2 with 39 knockouts, winning on all three judges scorecards including by a one tally of 117-111. The other two judges also had it onesided at 116-112.

Pacquiao started the onslaught in the seventh round by hitting his 29-year-old opponent with a left hook then immediately doubling it up.

Broner went into a shell mode, absorbing more blows but managed to hold on to the end of the round.

Pacquiao landed his best punch in the ninth with a blistering left on the chin that sent Broner backpeddling towards the ropes. But Broner showed he can take a punch as he stayed on his feet and survived another punishing round.

Pacquiao is now hoping to avenge his 2015 loss to Mayweather which became the richest one-day sporting event in history.

 

AFP

Pacquiao Turns 40 With Lavish Birthday Bash

This photo taken on December 17, 2018, shows Philippines’ President Rodrigo Duterte (C) attending the 40th birthday celebration of boxer Manny Pacquiao (3rd L) in General Santos City on the southern island of Mindanao. PHOTO: FERDINANDH CABRERA / AFP

 

Philippine boxing legend Manny Pacquiao said he is “stronger and faster” than ever ahead of his world title defence as he threw a lavish party with thousands of guests and a mass giveaway to mark his 40th birthday.

A car, pickup trucks and appliances were raffled off and President Rodrigo Duterte and celebrities were among the well-wishers at the all-night event, held at a sprawling shopping mall in his home city of General Santos.

“I feel stronger and faster, and by God’s grace I am wiser at 40, feeling 25,” Pacquiao said, making clear he’s looking forward to facing American Adrien Broner next month.

“I believe the best is yet to come. You have not yet seen the best of Manny Pacquiao,” he added.

The Filipino southpaw, 60-7 with two draws and 39 knockouts in a career that began in 1995, is to stake his World Boxing Association’s regular welterweight crown against Broner on January 19 in Las Vegas.

Pacquiao, the winner of an unprecedented eight world titles in as many weight classes, has continued fighting after reversing a decision to retire in 2016.

The rags-to-riches Pacquiao, who quit school and hawked food in the streets and later took up boxing in his teens to support his mother and his younger siblings, is also an elected Philippine senator.

“Boxing is my passion and public service is my mission,” he said, wearing a dark suit and fedora hat.

The Filipino won his last title by stopping Argentina’s Lucas Matthysse in July at Kuala Lumpur.

Speculation remains high that the Broner bout could be a warm-up for a sequel to 2015’s “Fight of the Century”, that Pacquiao lost to undefeated Floyd Mayweather on points.

A sedan and two pickup trucks as well as dozens of smaller prizes, like refrigerators, were raffled off at the party, which included a section that was open to the general public.

Entertainers put on a shadow play recounting the rise of the “people’s champ” from abject poverty to becoming a multi-millionaire who doled out free housing to the poor and visited sick people in the hospital.

Rock bands and gospel singers provided the music, children danced, and Pacquiao’s wife, Jinky, serenaded him with a ballad.

“We are so thankful. He never forgets to help us, his poor constituents,” said Sarah Bagas, a middle-aged street sweeper who lined up for her raffle ticket and food stub in mid-morning.

AFP

Pacquiao, Roach At Loggerheads Over Reunion

Pacquiao, Roach At Loggerheads Over Reunion
NEW YORK, NY – NOVEMBER 19: Manny Pacquiao smiles during a press conference at Gotham Hall in preparation for his upcoming match against Adrien Broner on November 19, 2018, in New York City. Sarah Stier / GETTY IMAGES NORTH AMERICA / AFP

 

Filipino boxing legend Manny Pacquiao said Tuesday he hopes to be reunited with long-time trainer Freddie Roach for his January bout against Adrien Broner but admitted he had not spoken to the veteran cornerman about renewing their partnership.

Pacquiao ended a 16-year association with Roach ahead of his victory over Lucas Matthyse in Kuala Lumpur in July, breaking up one of boxing’s most famous double-acts.

However, the 39-year-old raised eyebrows during a press conference in New York on Monday when he said Roach would be back in his corner for his January 19 fight against Broner in Las Vegas.

Roach though expressed bemusement about Pacquiao’s announcement in remarks to Sports Illustrated, saying he had not been in contact with his former protege.

“I still have never directly spoken to Manny (since 2017),” Roach said.

“I’m not going to make a move until Manny calls me. I’ve been like a father to Manny for 15 years. If he can’t call me, there will be no deal.”

When asked to clarify the situation by AFP on Tuesday, Pacquiao said he hoped Roach would work as a “supervisor”, with long-time associate Buboy Fernandez taking a lead role in training.

“I don’t have any problem with Freddie Roach,” Pacquiao said at a media roundtable. “All I say is that I think the other work in training should be assigned or designated to Buboy.

“Freddie can supervise or instruct Buboy, this is what we’re going to do.”

When pressed on whether he had spoken to Roach, however, Pacquiao admitted that there had been no contact.

“We have scheduled to talk today,” he said. “My idea is to let Buboy handle the mitts, and (Freddie) should just supervise and correct the training situation, or techniques, or anything like that.”

Pacquiao said he plans to divide his training camp into two parts, with the first half taking place in the Philippines and the final part in the United States.

– ‘A long time ago’ –

He said Roach would play no part in the Philippines leg of his training camp. “He can just wait here,” he said. “I’ll be here next month in December.”

If Pacquiao and Roach are reunited, it will come after a striking and pronounced divorce.

Despite the father-son-like bond they had shared for over a decade, Pacquiao said he could not remember the last time he spoke to Roach, blaming demands of his role as a Senator in the Philippines for the rupture.

“It’s been a long time ago,” Pacquiao said. “A long time ago that I didn’t speak to Freddie. I was busy in the Philippines.

“I don’t even have time to come to the United States for a vacation for relaxation. It’s really busy being a Senator.”

Pacquiao, who turns 40 next month, has not fought in the United States for two years.

His last bout in Las Vegas in 2016 was a convincing victory over Timothy Bradley that had been billed as his retirement fight.

Pacquiao, however, told AFP that “loneliness” had prompted him to return to the ring.

“When I stopped boxing I just realised after watching some fights, I feel so lonely,” Pacquiao said.

“Despite my work in the Senate as a public servant, I really miss boxing. I feel lonely. Boxing is my passion, I grew up in boxing.”

Pacquiao, 60-7 with two drawn and 39 knockouts in a career that began in 1995, said he still hopes to negotiate a rematch of his 2015 super fight with Floyd Mayweather.

Mayweather, who won a fight widely regarded as a letdown, has frequently teased the possibility from his retirement.

Pacquiao said any move for a rematch would have to come from Mayweather.

“We met in Japan. I said ‘I’m the champion, I have the belt. It’s up to you if you want to come out of retirement and challenge me.’ I’m ready any time.”

AFP

Pacquiao Rematch Possible This Year – Mayweather

Mayweather and Pacquiao were expected to split about $230m (£150m) after their first meeting in 2015.

 

Former world welterweight champion Floyd Mayweather said Saturday he will face Manny Pacquiao later this year in a rematch of their 2015 superfight.

In a posting on Instagram, Mayweather said he will come out of retirement to fight Pacquiao, three years after scoring a comfortable points victory over the veteran Filipino.

“I’m coming back to fight Manny Pacquiao this year another 9 figure pay day on the way,” Mayweather wrote on Instagram. No further details were given.

A video accompanying the post showed Mayweather and Pacquiao talking to each other at an event but their exact exchange of words could not be heard clearly.

Mayweather earned an estimated $220 million from his first fight with Pacquiao, which finally took place after years of on-off negotiations.

Pacquiao earned around $100 million from the contest.

Mayweather retired later in 2015 after his 49th victory but returned to the ring last year for a lucrative victory over mixed martial arts star Conor McGregor.

The 41-year-old’s announcement on Saturday comes as Las Vegas prepared to stage the biggest fight of the year, the middleweight showdown between Gennady Golovkin and Saul “Canelo” Alvarez.

While Mayweather’s remarks on Saturday are the latest in a long line of mischievous social media postings hinting at a comeback. Speculation about a rematch with Pacquiao has rumbled for years.

Pacquiao, who claimed to have been hampered by an injured shoulder in his first fight with Mayweather, has long talked enthusiastically about a rematch.

“Mayweather? If he decides to go back to boxing then that is the time we are going to call the shots,” he said in July.

“I have the belt, so it’s up to him. If he wants to come back in boxing let’s do a second one.”

Pacquiao (60-7-2, 39 knockouts) made a return to the ring in July after a one-year absence, defeating Argentina’s Lucas Matthysse in the seventh round in Kuala Lumpur.

AFP

Pacquiao To Regain Title After Matthysse’s Fight

Philippines’ Manny Pacquiao (L) and Argentina’s Lucas Matthysse pose for pictures after the weigh-in event in Kuala Lumpur on July 14, 2018, ahead of their world welterweight boxing championship bout on July 15. Mohd RASFAN / AFP

 

Filipino legend Manny Pacquiao weighed in Saturday comfortably under the 147-pound (67-kilogramme) limit and said he was “ready” to win back the welterweight belt against WBA champion Lucas Matthysse of Argentina.

Pacquiao, the only man to have won world titles in eight weight divisions in a glittering 23-year career, tipped the scales at 146 pounds.

“I am ready. Everything is under control,” said the 39-year-old Pacquiao. “I am motivated, I am happy and I am hungry.”

The heavily tattooed Matthysse played up his one-inch height advantage by looking down on Pacquiao as the two came face-to-face for the last time before Sunday’s 12-round showdown in Kuala Lumpur.

“I am feeling good,” Matthysse told AFP as he was about to demolish a fruit platter for his post-weigh-in meal after coming in the heavier man, just under the limit at 146.7 pounds.

“I made the weight, I’m ready to eat and I’m ready for the battle tomorrow.”

The weigh-in was held in mildly chaotic scenes at a packed auditorium in the Malaysia International Trade and Exhibition Centre in Kuala Lumpur.

Hundreds of mainly Filipino fans pushed forward to get a glimpse of the fighters as they left prompting fears the stage might collapse under their weight before order was restored.

Pacquiao is challenging “The Machine” Matthysse for the World Boxing Association welterweight belt at the Axiata Arena on Sunday, knowing defeat could lower the curtain on one of the greatest careers in boxing history.

Pacquiao faced calls to retire from friends, family and even his Hall of Fame trainer Freddie Roach when he lost the WBO belt to journeyman Australian Jeff Horn a year ago.

Roach has been replaced for the fight by Pacquiao’s long-term friend and cornerman Buboy Fernandez and another defeat could see the veteran “National Fist” hang up his gloves for good.

But victory for Pacquiao (59-7-2, 38 KOs) would see him become a five-time welterweight world champion and extend his legendary status and his life in the ring beyond his 40th birthday in December.

Pacquiao is going for his 60th victory since turning pro in 1995, but despite winning 38 of his first 47 fights by knockout, he has not stopped an opponent in nine years.

Knock-out specialist Matthysse has finished 36 of his 39 wins inside the distance and took the vacant WBA belt after an eighth-round stoppage of Thailand’s Teerachai Sithmorseng in January.

But the last time he faced an opponent of Pacquiao’s calibre he was knocked out in the 10th round by Ukrainian super lightweight world champion Viktor Postol in 2015.

Matthysse suffered a fractured left eye socket after taking a beating from Postol that put him out of boxing for 19 months and this is only his third fight since.

A strong undercard features three world title fights. The interim World Boxing Association featherweight belt is on the line when Mexico’s Edivaldo Ortega (26-1-1, 16 KOs) fights unbeaten and highly rated Filipino prospect Jhack Tepora (21-0, 16 KOs).

Vastly experienced South African Moruti “Baby Face” Mthalane (35-2, 24 KOs) defends his International Boxing Federation flyweight title against the unbeaten Pakistani Muhammad Waseem (8-0, 6 KOs).

Carlos Canizares of Venezuela (20-0-1, 16 KOs) puts his WBA light flyweight title and unbeaten record on the line against Chinese rookie Lu Bin (1-0, 1 KO), who could become the first boxer in history to win a world title in his second professional fight.

AFP

Pacquiao To Launch Own Cryptocurrency

Filipino boxing idol Manny Pacquiao (L) listens as Jeffrey Lin, Chief Executive Officer (CEO) of Singapore-based Global Crypto Offering Exchange (GCOX), speaks during an interview with AFP in Manila on April 18, 2018, on the sidelines of Pacquiao’s promotional press conference for his World Welterweight championship bout with Argentinian Lucas Matthysse in July. TED ALJIBE / AFP

 

Philippine boxing icon Manny Pacquiao said Wednesday he would launch a cryptocurrency to connect with fans, but also backed the regulation of virtual currencies.

Pacquiao, one of the world’s most successful boxers, is the latest athlete to launch a virtual currency, following Floyd Mayweather and former England striker Michael Owen.

The Singapore-based Global Crypto Offering Exchange (GCOX), in which Pacquiao has invested, said it would unveil the “PAC Token” later this year, which would allow fans to buy the Filipino star’s merchandise and interact with him via live-streaming.

“It can be a way to be in touch with the fanbase and (there are) a lot of things we can do with this cryptocurrency,” Pacquiao told AFP.

Forbes magazine last year listed the boxer — once dirt-poor — as the world’s 20th highest-paid athlete of all time, with career earnings of $510 million.

His venture comes as governments across Asia take a more critical look at cryptocurrencies following wild fluctuations in recent months and the high-profile hacking of Japanese crypto exchange Coincheck.

Lawmakers in the Philippines have proposed legislation that would impose stiff penalties for crimes committed using cryptocurrencies.

Pacquiao, who is a member of the Philippine Senate, also backed the regulation of cryptocurrencies.

“It is already regulated in other countries,” he said.

AFP

Pacquiao Yet To Decide On Trainer For Matthysse Fight

Pacquiao's Age Is Question Mark For Horn Fight, Says Bob Arum
FILE COPY Manny Pacquiao                                                                        Photo Copy: AFP

 

Manny Pacquiao said Monday he had not yet chosen a trainer for his July world title fight with Lucas Matthysse, dismissing reports he has cut ties with long-standing mentor Freddie Roach.

The veteran US ring guru Roach said last week that his 15-year association with Pacquiao, who has won world titles in an unprecedented eight weight divisions, had been terminated ahead of the Matthysse bout in Malaysia.

“I would be lying if I didn’t say I wasn’t hurt that he didn’t contact me personally about his decision, but the great times we enjoyed together far outweigh that,” Roach said in a brief statement on Friday.

But Pacquiao went on social media Monday to say that he would make a decision later this week on his corner team for the Kuala Lumpur fight with the Argentine World Boxing Association welterweight champion.

“Contrary to statements which I personally did not make that are circulating in the media, I have not made my final decision who will be my head trainer for my July 14 (US time zone) fight with Matthysse,” he said.

Pacquiao — who has a record of 59 wins with 38 KOs, seven losses and two draws — told millions of followers on his official Facebook, Instagram and Twitter account that his adviser Mike Koncz “has been in contact with Freddie (Roach)’s people to keep them informed.

“I will make a final decision within the week. When that decision is made, Freddie will be the first one to be informed and then I will advise the media,” the 39-year-old added.

Roach was ever-present in Pacquiao’s corner during his rise to the pinnacle of his sport, helping mould the fighter into one of the best boxers in history.

Pacquiao has not fought since being defeated on points by Australia’s Jeff Horn in Brisbane last July, a loss that cost the Filipino star his World Boxing Organization welterweight crown.

Matthysse, who has 39 wins including 36 KOs against four defeats, won the vacant WBA belt after beating Thailand’s Teerachai Sithmorseng in January.

AFP

Eager Pacquiao ‘Can’t Wait’ To Take Matthysse World Title

Pacquiao's Age Is Question Mark For Horn Fight, Says Bob Arum
FILE COPY Manny Pacquiao

 

Manny Pacquiao said Tuesday he “can’t wait” for a crack at another world title as Lucas Matthysse’s promoter confirmed the Argentine will stake his belt against the Filipino in Kuala Lumpur in July.

Promoter Oscar De La Hoya announced on Twitter in the US that the contest was now confirmed.

“Signed, sealed, and delivered: Proud to officially announce that WBA welterweight world champion @MatthysseLucas will put his title on the line against @mannypacquiao in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia on Saturday night July 14 (US time),” De La Hoya said Monday.

Pacquiao then went onto his on his Twitter, Instagram and Facebook account to respond.

“It’s on! Can’t wait to challenge Lucas Matthysse for another world title on July 15 in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia – July 14 US time,” said Pacquiao.

Both announcements misspelled Malaysia.

The De La Hoya announcement appeared to clear lingering doubts about the contest taking place since the Filipino icon, winner of an unprecedented eight world titles in different weight divisions, first announced the contest last month.

Pacquiao, 39, had said the fight against Matthysse would take place on June 24.

Pacquiao, an elected senator in the Philippines, has not fought in the ring since being defeated on points by Australia’s Jeff Horn in Brisbane last July, a loss that cost the Filipino star his World Boxing Organization crown.

The 35-year-old Matthysse, who has 39 wins including 36 by knockout against four defeats, won the vacant World Boxing Association belt after beating Thailand’s Teerachai Sithmorseng in January.

“This is going to be a tough fight. Matthysse is also a knockout artist,” Pacquiao had said last month.

“I’m the underdog in this fight but I’m used to it. It serves as a big motivation for me to train and fight hard to win the crown,” he added.

Pacquiao has 59 wins to his name including 38 KOs against seven defeats and two draws. His last victory inside the distance was back in 2009.

Meanwhile, the Pacquiao camp announced Tuesday that Wednesday’s joint press conference with De La Hoya and Matthysse in Manila to announce the fight had been moved back a week tentatively to April 11. No venue has been set.

AFP

Pacquiao Calls Out Mcgregor For ‘Real Boxing Match’

Manny Pacquiao

Manny Pacquiao threw down the gauntlet to Conor McGregor — and took a dig at Floyd Mayweather — as he promised to give the mixed martial arts star a “real boxing match”.

McGregor lost a megabucks fight in August against the unbeaten Mayweather, who defeated Pacquiao in their disappointing ‘Fight of the Century’ in 2015.

“Happy Thanksgiving! Stay fit my friend. #realboxingmatch #2018 @thenotoriousmma,” Pacquiao posted on Twitter and Instagram, using McGregor’s social media handle.

There was no immediate reaction from McGregor on social media, and Pacquiao’s media team told AFP Friday that there were “no negotiations yet” about a McGregor match.

Pacquiao, who turns 39 in three weeks, lost his World Boxing Organization welterweight title to Australian former teacher Jeff Horn in July, having come out of retirement in 2016 to take the belt from American Jessie Vargas.

McGregor has not fought in mixed martial arts or boxing since losing to Mayweather by 10th-round technical knockout in their much-hyped bout in Las Vegas in August.

Boxer Floyd Mayweather Jr. (L) and UFC lightweight champion Conor McGregor face off during their official weigh-in at T-Mobile Arena on August 25, 2017 in Las Vegas, Nevada. Photo: Ethan Miller/Getty Images/AFP

Pacquiao’s “#realboxingmatch” reference appears to be a swipe at Mayweather, who beat the Filipino by unanimous decision in 2015 in the richest fight in boxing history.

Pacquiao, who fought with a shoulder injury that later required surgery, has insisted he beat Mayweather, saying he “didn’t do nothing. He was always moving outside”.

Mayweather retired with a record of 50-0 after the McGregor bout.

AFP

Undefeated And Unloved, Mayweather Eyes Final Payday

Floyd Mayweather

Two years after retiring from boxing, Floyd Mayweather climbs back into the ring on Saturday chasing history and one last mammoth payday.

The 40-year-old former welterweight champion will become the first boxer in history to post a perfect record of 50-0, if as expected, he proves too strong for Conor McGregor, the mixed martial arts star fighting in his first ever boxing contest.

The 50th bout of Mayweather’s 21-year professional career has been disparaged variously as a freakshow, publicity stunt or simply “bad for boxing.”

Mayweather, who has spent years crafting an image as the fighter that fans love to hate, is not even remotely fazed by the catcalls.

Mayweather and McGregor

Because not for the first time, the boxer who delights in displaying the trappings of his wealth across social media, will be laughing all the way to the bank.

Mayweather, whose career earnings reportedly topped $700 million following his last bout in 2015, could, according to some estimates, pocket another $200 million this weekend.

Fight With McGregor Won’t Go Distance, Mayweather Says

It is the latest money-spinning stop on a career that has seen Mayweather go from 1996 Olympics bronze medallist to be regarded as one of the greatest boxers in history.

Born in Grand Rapids, Michigan, on February 4, 1977, Mayweather was destined for the ring.

His father, Floyd Mayweather Sr., was himself a talented former welterweight who once fought 10 rounds with Sugar Ray Leonard. Floyd Sr. taught his son to box almost as soon as he could walk.

Floyd Sr. was holding his infant son in his arms when he was shot in the leg during a family dispute, an injury that effectively ended his career.

“He was training to be a fighter in the crib,” Mayweather Sr. said of his son.

Mayweather, who grew up in a cramped apartment with seven relatives, frames his early life as a battle for survival.

‘Never been easy’ 

“It’s never been easy for me. Boxing is easy but life has never been easy,” Mayweather says.

“I had a father who was a hustler and a mother who was on drugs. I was the man in the house from 16. That’s just the way it was.”

When Mayweather fought at the 1996 Olympics, his father was serving a five-year prison sentence for drug-trafficking.

In Floyd Sr’s absence, his uncle Roger had taken over the training of the young fighter, overseeing his entry to the professional ranks.

Within two years, the skilful, lightning-fast Mayweather had won his first world title, knocking out the WBC superfeatherweight champion Genaro Hernandez in eight rounds.

Years of domination followed as Mayweather plowed through the divisions up to welterweight.

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In 2006, he took the unusual step of buying out his contract with promoter Bob Arum, in order to take greater control of his career.

Since then Mayweather has been able to dictate terms for most of his fights, taking a cut of the back-end profit in exchange for upfront risk.

It means that the dollars have continued to flow in ever-increasing numbers, from $25 million to fight Oscar De La Hoya in 2007 to around $220 million for his 2015 fight against Manny Pacquiao.

Mayweather
Manny Pacquiao of the Philippines covers his face as he is punched by Floyd Mayweather, Jr. of the U.S. in the first round during their welterweight WBO, WBC and WBA (Super) title fight in Las Vegas, Nevada, May 2, 2015. REUTERS/Steve Marcus

But while the dollars have rolled in and the bank balances have swollen, Mayweather has struggled to build up a reserve of public goodwill.

Multiple convictions for domestic violence point to the fighter’s dark side, while in boxing terms he has faced accusations that he ducked his most dangerous opponents, such as Pacquiao, until they were past their peak.

His cagey, cautious style inside the ring, while earning grudging approval from purists, has also frustrated fans hoping to see him take a more aggressive approach.

Mayweather, who insists Saturday’s bout with McGregor will be the last time he ever enters a ring, is unapologetic about the tactics that have guided his career, believing his is a template that many rivals would like to emulate.

“When a person has been so dominant in his era, I think other fighters are going to pay attention,” he told reporters recently.

“The main fighters are going to pay attention because they want to be at my level and they want to do the same thing — they want to dominate with ease.”

© AFP