Boxing legend Muhammad Ali knows how important the Manny Pacquiao-Floyd Mayweather Jr. is to fans -- and to the boxers themselves -- which is why he publicly called out for the bout to be made.
According to fight analyst Dan Rafael, Ali, dubbed “The Greatest,” took on the stiffest challenges his division had to offer before eventually retiring with 56 wins and five defeats.
“When Muhammad Ali was heavyweight champ, there was no top contender he wouldn’t fight. In fact, Ali probably has the deepest resume of any heavyweight champion in history,” Rafael said in his report to ESPN.com.
Among those he fought were boxing greats themselves, such as "Smokin'" Joe Frazier, Floyd Patterson, Ken Norton and George Foreman.
But his most memorable fights were those with Foreman and Frazier, whom he nearly fought to the death at "Thrilla in Manila" in 1975.
“Ali, better than anyone, knows that fighting the rival the public most wants to see is important to a boxer’s legacy. Ali fought Frazier three times. He, and everyone else knows, that it’s time for Mayweather to fight Pacquiao, at least once,” said Rafael.
Mayweather, the reigning pound-for-pound king, recently carved out a majority decision against Argentine slugger Marcos Maidana to maintain a clean sheet of 46 wins.
Ali congratulated the “Money Mayweather” after the win, but asked the controversial boxer to “rumble” with Pacquiao.
"Congratulations @FloydMayweather. Maybe after you rest up we can see you rumble with @MannyPacquiao!" Ali said through his Twitter account.
But Pacquiao, who has been chasing Mayweather for years, believes the decision to push through with the fight lies with the unbeaten American.
“Maybe one day he will fight with me if the weather is okay but right now the weather is not really good,” the Filipino said.