Manny Pacquiao Responds After Magic Johnson, Dave Bautista Condemn Gay Comments

Matt Jones@@MattJFootballFeatured ColumnistFebruary 21, 2016

This photo taken on February 15, 2016 shows Philippine boxing icon Manny Pacquiao wearing shorts and shoes with Nike logos during his training session at a gym in General Santos on the southern Philippine island of Mindanao. US sports equipment giant Nike on February 17 axed Manny Pacquiao after he described gay couples as 'worse than animals', slamming the Filipino boxer's remarks as 'abhorrent.'      AFP PHOTO / TED ALJIBE / AFP / TED ALJIBE        (Photo credit should read TED ALJIBE/AFP/Getty Images)
TED ALJIBE/Getty Images

Boxing star Manny Pacquiao has shrugged off criticism from Earvin "Magic" Johnson and Dave Bautista in the wake of controversial comments the fighter made regarding same-sex marriage.

Pacquiao recently claimed homosexual couples are "worse than animals," sparking outrage and prompting sportswear giant Nike to end its sponsorship of the eight-weight world champion, per BBC. However, it seems as though the Filipino isn't flustered by the responses to his views. 

"I'm not bothered, that's the world," Pacquiao said when asked about criticism from Johnson and Bautista, per Edward Chaykovsky of BoxingScene.com. "I mean, Jesus lives in me so I'm always happy. Says the Bible, everyday has enough troubles of its own, so don't be bothered about that."

Boxer Manny Pacquiao speaks during a press conference at Madison Square Garden in New York on January 21, 2015, to announce his retirement after the 12-round welterweight championship fight against Timothy Bradley on April 9 in Las Vegas.  / AFP / KENA BE
KENA BETANCUR/Getty Images

Johnson, an NBA legend, has vowed not to attend any more of Pacquiao's fights in the wake of his comments, despite having previously been a huge fan of the fighter, per Chuck Schilken of the Los Angeles Times. He also praised Nike for parting company with the boxer on his Twitter account:

Bautista, a former WWE star, branded Pacquiao as a "f--king idiot" when TMZ Sports recently caught up with him. Here's a look at what Bautista had to say in full when quizzed on the issue (warning: includes expletive language):

Pacquiao is currently immersing himself in politics in his homeland.

In the country's upcoming May elections, he is set to run for a seat in the senate under Vice-President Jejomar Binay's United Nationalist Alliance party. Pacquiao's initial comments came in an interview with TV5 (h/t the Guardian) as part of his campaign.

As Sports Illustrated’s Chris Mannix noted in the wake of Nike's announcement, it seems as though the comments made will leave a dent in the 37-year-old's legacy:

In the ring, Pacquiao's glittering career is close to being over, with his fight with Timothy Bradley on April 9 in Las Vegas expected to be his last. His career record currently stands at 57 wins, six losses and two draws from 65 professional bouts.

The Filipino is the only eight-weight world champion in the sport's history.