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Manny Pacquiao Next Fight: Must Fight with Floyd Mayweather, says Sugar Ray Leonard

( [email protected] ) Sep 29, 2014 07:31 PM EDT
SRL says it's a matter of legacy now, and the two welterweights must fight.
AP Photo

Sugar Ray Leonard is calling on Welterweight champions Floyd Mayweather Jr, and Manny Pacquiao to make a fight happen before they retire from the sport.  

Leonard says it's not just the money, but the principle above all else that is now making the demand for a Floyd Mayweather Jr.-Manny Pacquiao fight so high.   

"It's more than just the money," Leonard said Sunday, speaking in an interview with Fox 11 Los Angeles. "Because the money will be there. It's the legacy."

He said the fighters owed it to the fans to make the fight happen, and eluded to the fact that they would regret it later in life if they didn't get a match going before they leave the sport.

"They should fight," Leonard said. "Now they're leaning more towards Mayweather. Because at first it was 'We don't know who's going to win the fight' -- like Tommy Hearns and I, like Hagler and I, like Duran and I.

He knows the fight would also bring in a lot of fans who are craving to see the two champions go head-to-head.  

"I think fans are starving for excitement," Leonard said. "Fans are starving for competition, evenly matched fights. But it would be huge."

Pacquiao next fights Nov. 22 against Chris Algieri, whom some expect to be a worthy opponent. Mayweather has two fights left on his six-fight Showtime deal, after which he plans to retire. Mayweather is coming off a unanimous decision win against Marcos Maidana in their rematch earlier this month,

Mayweather and Pacquiao have paid lip service to a possible fight, and the two have spared over social media, but plans for an actual bout are still up in the air.  

Most recently, Mayweather made fun of Pacquiao's pay per view numbers on Twitter, and Pacquiao accused Mayweather of acting like an uneducated person.