MANNY Pacquiao took another dig at retired rival Floyd Mayweather Jr. for taking on overmatched Tenshin Nasukawa in a nine-minute exhibition fight, and worse, going to the extent of knocking out his hapless Japanese opponent.
The 40-year-old Filipino boxing great said it was the first time he saw a fighter get knocked down by an opponent in an exhibition match.
“An exhibition (fight) is supposedly just to entertain people, nothing serious for three rounds. That’s what I understand about exhibitions,” said Pacquiao when the matter was discussed during a special media conference held for his upcoming world title fight against Adrian Broner, a transcript of which SPIN.ph got hold of.
Mayweather, 41, knocked down Nasukawa, a kickboxing star in Japan, three times during their New Year’s Eve exhibition bout in Tokyo, in a single round that lasted just two minutes and 19 seconds.
The ‘Money Man’ reportedly earned $9 million for the three-round fight.
The match with Broner for the World Boxing Association (WBA) welterweight crown is way a lot different. And neither is it a tune-up fight for a projected Pacquiao rematch with Mayweather later this year.
“He’s a former champion. He’s fast, and he moves fast and he’s a good boxer,” said Pacquiao of Broner, 29.
Broner is a four-time world division champion who once held the WBA welterweight title now owned by Pacquiao, and therefore should not be dismissed as a joke, according to the Filipino southpaw.
“It’s unfair to him that people are thinking that he’s not a serious challenge for me. No, Adrian Broner is a good boxer, he’s a high-caliber boxer,” stressed Pacquiao. “He’s a former champion and he’s the kind of fighter that you cannot underestimate or take him lightly.”
Pacquiao isn’t thinking about a Mayweather rematch or a potential unification match with Terrence Crawford, the holder of the World Boxing Organization (WBO) version of the 147-lb, who is set to defend his title against former Pacquiao sparmate Amir Khan in London this April.
“Let me take care of this January 19 (fight), and then I have to worry about who is my next opponent,” added the Filipino senator. “I have no problem to fight anybody as long as there’s no problem about negotiation. My plan is just one (fight) at a time.”
Pacquiao will spar two more times at the Wild Card gym in Los Angeles before leaving for Las Vegas on Monday for fight week.