Muhammad Ali is ‘Team Pacquiao all the way’
MANILA, Philippines – Legendary heavyweight boxer Muhammad Ali is aboard the Team Pacquiao train for the fast-approaching mega-fight between two of boxing’s greatest boxers today, Manny Pacquiao and Floyd Mayweather Jr.
The 73-year-old’s pick to win the highly anticipated bout on May 2 was revealed by his daughter Rasheda in a story on TMZ.com.
“My dad is Team Pacquiao all the way!” Rasheda was quoted as saying. “My dad really likes Manny. He's a huge fan of his.”
Rasheda also shared that the Filipino boxer and her father have been “friends for years” with Pacquiao, 36, even in attendance at Ali’s 70th birthday party 3 years ago.
Ali, though American, chose not to side with his compatriot Mayweather because of their differences as people. Rasheda said her father, nicknamed “The Greatest,” choosing Pacquiao had more to do with his personality outside the ring.
“He knows Manny's a great fighter… but it's more about what he does outside the ring. He's such a charitable person,” she said.
One of Pacquiao’s many hats includes serving as a local Congressman. He is also known to help the less fortunate.
Rasheda clarified that Ali, who was known as a showman and “The King of Trash Talk” in his heyday, respected Mayweather as a fighter.
“My dad stood for things. Mayweather... I don't think there's a comparison.”
Ali will not be present at the fight happening at the MGM Grand Garden Arena in Las Vegas. But Rasheda assured her father will relive his career vicariously through pay-per-view.
Ali won 56 of a total 61 fights in his storied career and notched 37 wins by knockout.
Pacquiao is considered as a sports hero in the Philippines but Ali is most remembered by Filipinos for a historic bout in 1975 known as the “Thrilla in Manila,” where he defeated bitter rival Joe Frazier by technical knockout after a taxing 14-round fight at the Araneta Coliseum. – Rappler.com