- (Photo: Reuters/Danny Moloshok)
Manny Pacquiao, 33-year-old high-profile Filipino boxer and congressman, recently said he would pray for rival undefeated pugilist Floyd Mayweather after he recently alleged that the Asian athlete was using performance-enhancing drugs.
Mayweather, a 35-year-old boxer who has won seven world titles in five divisions, responded to a question about why he and Pacquiao have seemingly dodged fighting one another for years. While promoting his upcoming fight against Miguel Cotto on May 5, Mayweather alluded to his safety being at risk due to Pacquiao's alleged drug use.
The Michigan-raised championship boxer explained that Pacquiao seemed to un-naturally increase in weight while taking on stronger fighters.
"It took me years to get to here -- years," Mayweather explained in an ESPN report. "I'm going up in weight but I'm not walking through no fighters. (Pacquiao) is 106; now he decides to walk through (Miguel) Cotto? Cotto can't knock down (Shane) Mosley, but can he?"
The incident was not the first time that Mayweather alluded to Pacquiao using performance enhancing drugs since negotiations for their high-profile fight were first reported in 2009. According to ESPN, the fight did not happen because Pacquiao refused to undergo blood testing.
Pacquiao spoke to the Filipino press about Mayweather's most recent comments from his Baguio City training camp where he is preparing for a June 9 fight against Tim Bradley.
"I am aware of Mayweather's latest statements and those (statements) were derogatory," Pacquiao said in a Manila Bulletin report.
Although Pacquiao said he would take legal action against Mayweather, he also spoke about praying for the fighter.
"My advisers and (American) lawyers are handling the matter and they will take appropriate legal recourse," Pacquiao said. "Let's just pray for him."
Pacquiao, nicknamed "Pacman," is a Roman Catholic who has talked recently about ending his fighting career to focus on his religious beliefs. The boxer told ABS-CBN News that his fight against Timothy Bradley Jr. at the MGM Grand in Las Vegas on June 9 might be the last of his career.