Hopkins would rather have Pacquiao’s legacy than Mayweather’s
MANILA, Philippines—Manny Pacquiao and Floyd Mayweather Jr. are arguably the greatest boxers of their generation, but from fighting style to career paths, the two are quite different.
Pacquiao ran amok through eight divisions, facing whoever top fighter he could land his fists on while Mayweather solidified himself as one of the savviest boxers and was even criticized for choosing who of his potential opponents can provide the biggest pay day.
But for the legendary boxer Bernard Hopkins, Pacquiao’s legacy and choice of opponents are more appealing than Mayweather’s, saying that it’s not about the money.
“I’d rather have Manny Pacquiao’s legacy than Floyd Mayweather’s,” Hopkins told The Ring Magazine. “Manny fought everybody and Floyd fought guys (on his watch).”
Hopkins (55-8-2, 32 knockouts), a former undisputed middleweight champion and a two-time Ring Magazine light heavyweight champion, said that although Mayweather carefully chose who he fought, it’s unfair to say that he ducked his opponents.
“Manny fought who his promoter wanted him to fight,” said Hopkins. “And Floyd fought the guys that were financially lucrative.”
“I don’t think Floyd gave two you-know-whats about how people feel whether he fought the best guys or not. It was strictly business for Floyd.”
Pacquiao (62-7-2, 39 KOs) was the first and only boxer to win World titles in seven divisions when he defeated Miguel Cotto in 2009 for the WBO World welterweight title, he also added the special WBC Diamond welterweight belt.
The Filipino ring icon then reached insurmountable levels when he bludgeoned Antonio Margarito in 2010 to take the WBC World super welterweight title to become the only boxer to have won championships in eight weight classes.
Mayweather (50-0 27 KOs), who retired with a perfect 50-0 record, became the richest boxer in history when his much hyped 10th round technical knockout win over UFC superstar Conor McGregor earned him $433 million pushing him to billionaire status in his last professional fight.
Pretty Boy’s savvy also earned him a whopping $500 million when he finally fought and outpointed Pacquiao in 2015, which some would say was five years too late with both fighters well into their late 30s and arguably out of their physical prime.
Nevertheless, Hopkins said Mayweather’s approach in the latter part of his career won’t take anything away from his legendary career. Ater all, the self-proclaimed The Best Ever retired with an unblemished record.
“Mayweather is still a Hall of Famer,” Hopkins continued. “To me, it makes him great and smart at the business.
“When boxing is over, we have to start looking at our bank accounts and our children. A lot of boxers had big fights throughout their career but didn’t get compensated the best way they could and should have. But they have Hall of Fame recognition.”
Subscribe to INQUIRER PLUS to get access to The Philippine Daily Inquirer & other 70+ titles, share up to 5 gadgets, listen to the news, download as early as 4am & share articles on social media. Call 896 6000.