MANILA, Philippines – Unbeaten American superstar Floyd Mayweather Jr. hopes Filipino ring icon Manny "Pacman" Pacquiao can bounce back after getting knocked out by Mexican rival Juan Manuel Marquez last Saturday.
In an interview with Fight Hype, Mayweather held back from trash-talking Pacquiao and instead commended both him and Marquez for their performances.
"Marquez is a true champion, Manny Pacquiao is a true champion. Both of them went out there and put on a good performance, and that’s a good thing for the sport of boxing," Mayweather said.
The unbeaten fighter said he has not watched the match yet, which saw Pacquiao get knocked out in the sixth round.
While Mayweather has criticized Pacquiao many times over the years, this time the American was polite with his comments.
"I wish Pacquiao nothing but the best. I wish that he can bounce back and he can recoup from this. In the sport of boxing, you really have to dictate yourself to your craft," he said.
"Things happen. You live and you learn. The only thing he can do is rejuvenate himself and bounce back like a true champion," he added.
Because of the devastating knockout loss, a mega-fight with Mayweather may now be impossible to make. The unbeaten fighter suggested that Pacquiao should rest for a while before thinking about his boxing future.
"Pacquiao's focus should be trying to take a vacation, get his mind right and get a few tune-up fights so he can bounce back," he said. "I'm not here to talk bad about Pacquiao. I feel bad for him, honestly. I really feel bad for him."
"There's a difference in the ways you can get knocked out. See, when a guy gets knocked out and he can get up, they sit him on his stool, they rub his back, he goes home and ice himself, you know, he goes to the hospital and get checked out and he's okay, that's one thing," Mayweather said.
"But when you gotta wake up a guy with smelling salts and he got a concussion and he gotta go to the hospital over night, that’s crucial. I mean, that’s close to the death," he added.
Despite sending Pacquiao his best wishes, Mayweather still managed to get a dig in at the Filipino boxer.
"I think he's got so many different things on the outside that he worries about. But it was a good thing that he was able to come into the sport, you know, piggyback off my name, and get a bunch of endorsement deals and make a good living. That's a good thing," he said.
Still, Mayweather reiterated that he is hopeful Pacquiao recovers soon.
"Hopefully he's okay. My prayers go out to the Pacquiao family. I know he loves the sport of boxing, so hopefully he can bounce back," he said.
Negotiations for a mega-fight between Pacquiao and Mayweather have repeatedly fallen apart due to numerous issues, including drug testing and the split of the pay-per-view revenue.