Reaching crossover status in a sport now lacking such personalities has provided Manny Pacquiao high-profile opportunities outside the ring.
Pacquiao spent the past two weeks in Miami as one of the judges for the 2015 Miss Universe Beauty Pageant.
The eight-division world champion participated in a several events during the pageant, which culminated with Sunday night’s contest at Florida International University.
“I can’t believe that I am one of the judges of this contest,” Pacquiao said Thursday. “I’m enjoying it. It’s an honor.”
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Pacquiao also found irony being a judge for a competition considering that he competes in a sport whose outcomes are often decided by judges.
“Talent and beauty,” Pacquiao said of the attributes he used in judging the pageant.
Yet with all the attention Pacquiao received as a Miss Universe judge, the topic of a potential fight with Floyd Mayweather Jr. remains a hot issue.
For the past five years, Pacquiao and Mayweather have been rumored to meet in a mega-bout between the sport’s top two attractions, but an agreement between both fighters’ camps has never been finalized.
Mayweather threw out the first tease in this latest round of talks when he said two months ago on the Showtime network that he wanted to make the fight happen. Mayweather even suggested the bout for May 2.
But after Pacquiao and his promoter Bob Arum agreed to all the terms Mayweather had indicated to finalize the fight, Mayweather said recently that he objects to Arum’s involvement in the promotion, throwing the latest wrench on the blockbuster match.
“We are just waiting for him to say yes,” Pacquiao said. “I care about the fans and don’t want to disappoint them. I want for them to make this happen.”
Pacquiao, who has extended contractual terms with HBO and Arum’s company, Top Rank, through 2016, already has other options if the fight with Mayweather again falls through.
“There is a plan B,” Pacquiao said. “We are just waiting for the response — for the signed contract from them.”
AROUND THE RING
▪ Brandon Rios scored a technical knockout victory over Mike Alvarado when Alvarado failed to answer the bell for the fourth round of their tie-breaking third bout late Saturday in Broomfield, Colorado.
Rios (33-2-1, 24 KOs) landed the heavier shots of the brief welterweight fight and dropped Alvarado (34-4) midway through the third with a right uppercut and follow-up combinations.
Although a bloodied and bruised Alvarado countered with combinations late in the third, the late flurry was not enough to save him. Following the advice of a ringside physician, referee Jay Nady stopped the bout during the minute rest before the fourth round.
Rios also stopped Alvarado in their first match in 2012 before Alvarado won a unanimous decision victory the following year.
▪ Miami resident Niko Valdes reached the semifinals of the USA Boxing Elite National Championships last week in Spokane, Washington.
Valdes, 20, defeated Lesly Jean, of New York, 2-1, in the quarterfinals of the 178-pound division. Edward Ortiz, of San Antonio, ended Valdes’ tournament run with a 3-0 decision in the semifinals Friday night.
Monday (9 p.m., Fox Sports1): Rocky Juarez vs. Robinson Castellanos, 12, featherweights.
Friday (9 p.m., ESPN2): Karl Dargan vs. Tony Luis, 10, lightweights.