Marvin Hagler: Floyd Mayweather Jr. Maybe Afraid to Face Manny Pacquiao

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By Lou Ramon Aguila | March 27, 2014 7:48 PM EST

Former undisputed Middleweight Champion Marvelous Marvin Hagler believed the legacy of Floyd Mayweather Jr. will be questionable should he decide to retire without fighting Manny Pacquiao in his career. The boxing legend said in an interview with Yahoo Sports in Malaysia.

Reuters
Boxing champion Floyd Mayweather Jr smiles as he greets fans and amateur boxers during a visit to conduct training clinics in Soweto [Reuters/SIPHIWE SIBEKO]

Hagler, who unified the WBA, IBF and WBC middleweight championship belts in the 1980s, believed fighters today are more inferior fighters than the boxers in his era, where he and other fellow boxers such as Sugar Ray Leonard, Roberto Duran and Thomas Hears reigned supreme.

The 59-year-old Hagler added boxers today seemed blinded by money and don't have the hunger anymore to take the best challengers available.

"I believe that even though the fighters now are not as great as the fighters back in the 1970s, they work just as hard, they put in their time," Hagler said in the interview.

"Now the whole thing is that there's more money now. That changed the sport because these guys are not as hungry as before."

"And now the fighters are not dictated to fight the best challengers because they can make good money fighting other guys."

The legendary boxing champion, who stood tall against his fellow middleweight greats during his time, also fired some shots to Mayweather Jr., who seems more interested in gaining more money by fighting lesser-ranked opponents than taking on the mandatory challenger.

"Back then you had to fight the number 1 contender regardless of who it was. When I was the undisputed champion, I had three challengers at any given time. When I was done with the mandatory challenger with the WBC, I move to the WBA, then the IBF," Hagler pointed out. "Today they can fight the number 6 or the number 8 guy."

With regard to the never-ending saga between Mayweather and Pacquiao, Hagler provided an interesting take on the undefeated American fighter and his reputations should he hangs up his gloves without taking on Pacman.

"If he retires and he does not give Pacquiao his shot, there will always be a conversation that maybe he was afraid of him," Hagler said.

"I believe that the best way is to fight the top. The way my career led me, [I had to] fight the best. This way you feel good about yourself." 

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(Photo: Reuters / SIPHIWE SIBEKO])
Boxing champion Floyd Mayweather Jr smiles as he greets fans and amateur boxers during a visit to conduct training clinics in Soweto [Reuters/SIPHIWE SIBEKO]
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