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."
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.