Boxer and politician Manny Pacquiao 36, will receive well over US$100 million (S$133 million) for his fight against Floyd Mayweather, but Pacquiao said Thursday he was fighting for his fans, not necessarily for the money.
The welterweight fight happened on Saturday night in Las Vegas and it generated hundreds of millions of dollars in revenue.
“I’m not really looking for the money,” Pacquiao said in an interview with CNBC’s “Closing Bell.”
“The money is secondary. Of course, we have to earn money for the fight … I say yes because the fans are very eager to see this fight.”
Pacquiao is expected to donate half of his earnings from Saturday’s boxing match to charity.
The 60-40 purse split the fighters agreed to beforehand, with revenues believed to have soared past US$400 million.
He lost to 38-year-old Mayweather on points in the greatly hyped up “fight of the century”.
Pacquiao’s promoter Bob Arum told reporters before the match: “I’m sure half of what Manny earns in this fight is going to go to charity. That is just Manny. We don’t like to talk about money too much as more charities line up.”
Boxing great Sugar Ray Leonard had earlier warned Pacquiao not to be too generous.
“Pacquiao tries to help everyone, just like me, he goes out of his way to help everyone but you can’t help the world,” said Leonard.
“Sometimes you have to say ‘no’. It was difficult for me to say no at first, I gave away many millions of dollars.”
Pacquiao, who is known for his philanthropy, is unlikely to heed his advice.
The Philippine Inquirer called the boxer and two-term congressman the “biggest one-man charity” in the Philippines.
However, sadness and disappointment gripped Filipinos after Manny Pacquiao’s defeat in his much-anticipated fight against American Floyd Mayweather Jr. but they still considered the boxing icon a national hero.
Gymnasiums and other public venues where the 12-round fight was shown for free on Sunday lunchtime local time were quickly vacated after it was announced Pacquiao lost by unanimous decision.
Herminio Coloma, a spokesman for President Benigno Aquino III, said “the country still holds its head high in the admirable fight of our National Fist.”
He said Aquino thanked Pacquiao, who is also a congressman, for being “an inspiration to every Filipino who is struggling with life’s challenges to achieve a bright future.”
Some fans said Pacquiao should retire from boxing while others demanded a rematch. For thousands at a plaza in Marikina city, part of metropolitan Manila, the party mood was dampened not just by his loss but also a sudden downpour.