‘This sport is dead’: Boxing fans groan after Pacquiao trainer claims legend wants Mayweather fight again in bout of 40-somethings

Manny Pacquiao's revered trainer has called for another fight between the star and fellow legend Floyd Mayweather – but fans have claimed the idea of the veterans clashing again is an indictment of the state of the sport.

Unbeaten Mayweather has not fought in a non-exhibition bout for more than six years, preferring to spend his time pursuing business interests such as his Las Vegas strip club, showing off his playboy lifestyle and taking frivolous fights against the likes of YouTuber Logan Paul.

Pacquiao lost to Mayweather in a points shut-out in the American's penultimate title fight, although the Filipino politician is two years younger than Mayweather at 42 and faces a welterweight title bout against Yordenis Ugas on Sunday.

"We would like to fight Mayweather one more time," Pacquiao's decorated sidekick, Freddie Roach, said in a surprising call-out ahead of his fighter's latest scrap, speaking to Sky Sports.

"Manny wants to fight real fighters. He will challenge the best. We are just going one fight at a time.

"The thing about Manny? He is not just going to pick some guy with a high rating because the world loves him."

Exhibition fights have increasingly taken pay-per-view precedence in recent years, including Mayweather's knock-out of former UFC champion Conor McGregor in 2017, which is thought to have been the second-most lucrative bout of all time behind his fight with Pacquiao.

Fans were charged around $50 to watch middle-aged heavyweight icons Mike Tyson and Roy Jones Jr return for a curious throwback last year, and controversial YouTube loudmouth Jake Paul has dished out beatings to ex-NBA star Nate Robinson and former UFC fighter Ben Askren.

Those fights have proved divisive, with some claiming that fights involving either of the Paul brothers help bring much-needed new audiences to the sport, capitalizing on the millions of views the pair receive from predominantly younger fans on their online platforms.

Others believe that boxing is being dragged through the mud by stunts that have little to do with sporting merit – and the reaction on social media to Roach's suggestion appeared to show that few share his appetite for the proposed fight.

"This is how dead boxing has become, for f*ck's sake," railed one cynic, while others branded the idea "boring".

"[A rematch] only goes the same way," predicted another. "Plus, Floyd is fighting these YouTubers and making millions – he doesn’t need Pac-Man."

Arrangements had begun for Pacquiao to fight McGregor this year before the MMA megastar's knockout UFC defeat to Dustin Poirier in January.

After decades in the ring, Mayweather appeared to hint that his best days were well behind him following his draw with Logan Paul in June, when he compared the windfall he received for taking part to a bank robbery.

Roach insisted that any fight between the former arch-rivals would not be a fully-fledged contest rather than an exhibition. "Manny is not into that," he said. "Manny has boxing fans. That's what we're after."

Pacquiao had been due to fight Errol Spence Jr this weekend before his original opponent pulled out with a serious eye injury.

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