|Larry Holmes during his prime.
MANILA, Philippines – American boxing legend Larry Holmes said he is pleased with what Manny Pacquiao has done for boxing, unlike his fellow American fighter and undefeated boxer Floyd Mayweather Jr.
"I'm proud of Pacquiao for all he's doing. I think Manny brings a lot of excitement to the ring and makes people want to see his fights," Holmes, known as “The Easton Assassin”, told the Examiner.com.
Holmes dominated the heavyweight division in the late ‘70s to the early ‘80s, facing the likes of Muhammad Ali, Ken Norton and Gerry Cooney.
He held the World Boxing Council (WBC) and the International Boxing Federation (IBF) heavyweight titles, making 20 successful title defenses throughout his boxing career that spanned more than 30 years.
Holmes kept an impressive 69-6 record, winning 44 of his fights by knockout. He retired from boxing in 2002.
Holmes said boxing trainer Freddie Roach played a very big role in developing Pacquiao into a complete boxer.
"Best thing Manny ever did was getting connected with Freddie Roach as his teacher, his trainer," said the 61-year-old boxing legend.
Pacquiao, the reigning WBC super welterweight and World Boxing Organization (WBO) welterweight champion, is due to fight “Sugar” Shane Mosley on May 7.
Mayweather the 'bad guy'
If Holmes holds the Filipino champ in high regard, he could not say the same thing for fellow American, Mayweather.
"He just comes off as a bad guy. The way he talks, all that bitch this and bitch that, I don't go for that, either. No one's going to call my sister a bitch, call her out of her name, at least not in front of me," Holmes said.
Mayweather is considered as Pacquiao’s closest rival in terms of pound-for-pound status.
Holmes added that Mayweather’s public conduct is not helping his image in any way.
"I don't know what his problem is really but Mayweather has got a big chip on his shoulder. He conducts himself like an ass in public, flashing money and all that. These are hard economic times, lot of people can't find jobs and he's flashing all that cash?" he said.
Holmes also said that Mayweather should let his unbeaten record speak for itself rather than go out boasting about his undefeated status.
"Yeah, he's a good fighter... [But you've] got to be humble. You got to be someone who people can like, who they can admire," he said.
Since the negotiations for his superfight against Pacquiao bogged down, Mayweather has been hounded by legal problems.
Mayweather was already jailed twice for separate charges.
In November last year, he was detained for allegedly beating up his ex-girlfriend, with whom he has 3 children.
Mayweather was again jailed a month later for allegedly assaulting a security guard at his gated community in Las Vegas, Nevada.