Pacquiao to those attacking Asians: 'Fight me instead'

Pacquiao to those attacking Asians: 'Fight me instead'

Filipino boxing legend in talks for WBO bout in June

Boxing legend and senator Manny Pacquiao (Photo from @MannyPacquiao Twitter account)
Boxing legend and senator Manny Pacquiao (Photo from @MannyPacquiao Twitter account)

HONG KONG: Filipino boxing legend Manny Pacquiao has emerged from training camp and senatorial duties to speak out against the recent spike in anti-Asian attacks in the United States.

The 42-year-old (professional record 62-7-1, 39 KOs), who is reportedly in talks to fight WBO welterweight champion Terence Crawford in June, tweeted a message against discrimination in four different languages.

"Stop attacking Asians who can't defend themselves! Fight me instead," he added in Tagalog, Chinese and Korean alongside a photo of himself against images of elderly Asians who had been attacked in the US and their perpetrators.

Pacquiao announced in February that he was ready "to further add to my legacy in the sport of boxing" having been considered a champion in recess for the majority of the Covid-19 pandemic.

ESPN reported on Wednesday that "Pac Man" is in discussions to fight undefeated American Crawford (37-0, 28 KOs), according to a spokesperson for promoter Top Rank. It is rumoured the bout will be held in Abu Dhabi.

Crawford, 33, is considered to be one of the pound for pound best active fighters and is bigger in both weight and height. Neither boxer has directly confirmed a future bout nor that talks in the works.

Last week, Pacquiao tweeted a slow-motion highlight of a combination against Oscar de la Hoya, whom he fought in 2008. The 48-year-old De la Hoya is a former multiple-weight class champion and the founder of Golden Boy Promotions. Coincidentally, Pacquiao was his last professional fight but he has since announced a comeback bout against an unknown opponent in the summer.

Pacquiao, the only eight-division world champion and the only boxer to win world championships across four decades in the sport's history, remarkably enters his 26th year in pro boxing this year.

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