- (Photo: REUTERS/Danny Moloshok)
Manny Pacquiao, 33-year-old pugilist and Filipino congressman may not be best of friends with rival world champion boxer Floyd Mayweather, but the Christian political figure said he is praying for the flamboyant fighter who is currently incarcerated.
While meeting with the press in preparation for his upcoming fight against Timothy Bradley in Las Vegas on Saturday, the eight-division world champion spoke about praying for the man he first filed a defamation lawsuit against in 2009.
"I'm praying for him. I'm not treating him as my opponent, my enemy or anything," Pacquiao revealed. "I'm treating him as my friend, my brother. I'm praying for him that all things will be fine for him."
Mayweather reported to a Las Vegas jail last week after being sentenced to three months on domestic abuse charges.
Despite his well-wishes, things have not always been fine between Pacquiao and Mayweather. The two have teased fans with the idea of facing one another in the ring for years, which Mayweather said has not happened because Pacquiao refuses to take an Olympic style drug test.
For years, the undefeated boxer has insinuated that Pacquiao has used performance enhancing drugs, resulting in the defamation lawsuit. However, the Filipino fighter, who has recently been touting his Christian faith, told the press why he has yet to face "Money Mayweather."
"Well, if you are a fighter, would you fight if I give you 40 million and nothing to share in the (Pay-Per-View)?" Pacquiao asked. "He will be laughing [behind] my back if I do that. It's not a proper negotiation, if you're a businessman."
Still, Pacquiao was focusing on his upcoming fight against 28-year-old Bradley, a fighter with enough confidence to match Mayweather. At a recent press conference, Bradley presented a rematch fight ticket to his wife, predicting Pacquiao's loss before their bout even begin Saturday night.
However, Pacquiao laughed off Bradley's actions, saying he was happy to fight his opponent on Saturday.
"This fight? This is my job. I have a job to make people happy," Pacquiao said. "Yes, I'm happy doing this. This is what God made me to do."