MANILA, Philippines – Legendary boxer “Sugar” Ray Leonard believes that if Manny Pacquiao and Floyd Mayweather Jr. continue to avoid their mega-fight, they might lose their place in sports history.
Leonard, one of the best boxers of his generation, stressed that Pacquiao and Mayweather need the super-fight for the sake of their own legacies.
"More than damaging to boxing, it's damaging to their legacy," he said in a report on BBC.
Leonard said that when it comes to monumental fights, the two pound-for-pound best fighters should think beyond monetary rewards.
"This is for history, for people to say 'I remember when'. It's beyond money," he said.
During his heyday in the late 1970s to 1980s, Leonard said nobody backed out of a fight.
True enough, he fought the best of his generation.
He fought fellow Hall of Famers, such as Wilfredo Benitez, Roberto Duran, Tommy Hearns, and Marvin Hagler.
Leonard said that back then, there was an abundance of talent.
These days, boxing has Pacquiao and Mayweather, but they refuse to fight.
"They are amazing guys who could have dealt with the guys in our era, but they've got to do what's best for themselves, and I don't mean financially,” said Leonard.
"When someone comes up to you and says, 'you know what, I was with my grandfather when you fought Tommy Hearns' or 'when you lost that fight to Duran, my dad cried', those are special moments."