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Countdown to showdown: Manny Pacquiao gets Greatest backing

With just under five weeks to go until Manny ‘Pacman’ Pacquiao finally contests the undefeated Floyd ‘Money’ Mayweather in the ring, the 36-year-old Filipino fighter has received backing from a boxing great.

The prolific pair will battle it out in a mega-fight at the MGM Grand in Las Vegas on May 2, a battle which is reportedly set to gross over $300m, but ‘Pacman’, 11/2 with Coral to win knock out or TKO, has been tipped to topple his opponent’s perfect ring record by ‘the Greatest’ Muhammad Ali.

Rasheda Ali, the daughter of arguably the greatest ever boxer to have graced the sport, recently revealed that her legendary father holds Pacquiao in high regard and admires how he handles himself away from his bouts, as well as in the ring.

“My dad is team Pacquiao all the way. My dad really likes Manny, he’s a huge fan of his,” she said. “He knows Manny’s a great fighter but it’s more about what he does outside the ring. He’s such a charitable person.”

Mayweather’s latest challenger is well-known for his work charity work outside of the ring, as well as entering the world of politics and business. However, his primary focus is now on ending ‘Pretty Boy’ Floyd’s unshaken 47-0 fighting record in Las Vegas later this year.

Pacquiao Mayweather Boxing

During the eight-division world champion’s preparations, reports have suggested that the Filipino slugger has suffered from problematic leg cramps, but his undefeated counterpart has refused to be drawn into such speculation ahead of their welterweight blockbuster bout.

“That’s not really my focus. My focus is to go out there and entertain, and win, and look good doing it,” said Mayweather. “I know he’s no pushover and I’m not a pushover. When you’re at the pinnacle of the sport, everyone is gunning for you.

“He’s a solid competitor. I don’t try to focus on his weakness at all. My focus is to focus on what he does good, and he’s a hell of a fighter.”

The American’s recent respectful comments come days after initially claiming his 10-time world champion opponent makes many mistakes in the ring, while Pacquiao’s highly-regarded trainer Freddie Roach hit back, declaring that he knew orthodox fighter Mayweather was floored in training by Zab Judah during a sparring session.

The war of words will come to an end on May 2, when Pacquiao’s aggressive attacking attributes will be tested against Mayweather’s unbreachable defensive talents. ‘Money’ Mayweather is a 7/1 chance to secure victory by knock-out or TKO.

Watch Pacquiao go through a rigorous training regime ahead of his showdown with Mayweather in May.