Unlike his rival, Floyd Mayweather Jr. supports same-sex marriage.
While Manny Pacquiao was in damage control on Wednesday following his comments opposing Barack Obama's stance on same-sex marriage -- which were misinterpreted by many news sites as a blanket condemnation of gay people -- Mayweather chimed in on the subject via Twitter.
Same-sex marriage became the talk of the boxing world after remarks by Pacquiao were published in the National Conservative Examiner. In an interview with freelance writer Granville Ampong, Pacquiao said "God only expects man and woman to be together and to be legally married."
While Pacquiao's opposition of gay marriage would likely have stirred controversy on its own, it was something he never said that generated the most intense backlash. Amidst Pacquiao's comments, Ampong quoted a passage from the book of Leviticus stating that gay men "must be put to death." Several news sources were misled by the wording of the story and published stories attributing Pacquiao with quoting the passage.
After sites like USA Today, Village Voice and LA Weekly posted stories linking Pacquiao to the Bible verse, Pacquiao released a statement claiming that he never quoted Leviticus.
"I didn’t say that, that’s a lie," he said. "I didn’t know that quote from Leviticus because I haven’t read the Book of Leviticus yet. I’m not against gay people. I have a relative who is also gay. We can’t help it if they were born that way."
Ampong wrote a second article on Wednesday calling out the publications that misinterpreted the article and demanded that they apologize to Pacquiao.
Regardless of how he feels about the subject of same-sex marriage, Mayweather's tweet is timed perfectly to tweak his long-distance rival and to attract fans turned off by Pacquiao's views. This all comes just one week after boxing promoter Bob Arum compared Mayweather to Nazi propagandist Joseph Goebbels for the way he worked the media after his victory over Miguel Cotto.
The feud between Mayweather and Pacquiao has dragged on for years now, and yet an actual boxing match hasn't been set up. Mayweather called Pacquiao out on Twitter in January, daring him to agree to fight in Las Vegas on May 5. But Pacquiao's camp said a May 5 fight would not make any economic sense because the fight would have had to take place in a smaller venue due to the rush.
With Pacquiao scheduled to fight Timothy Bradley in June and Mayweather facing jail time, it remains to be seen if these two will ever touch gloves. It seems a safe bet, though, that the verbal sparring will continue unabated.