Floyd Mayweather has bitten back after China’s richest man challenged him to a comeback fight.
Jack Ma is the co-founder and former executive chairman of Alibaba Group, a multinational technology conglomerate. He has an eye-watering personal value of $38.5billion (£31b), making him one the richest individuals in the world.
In a video filmed with Manny Pacquiao and posted to social media, the 55-year-old martial arts fan offered to face Mayweather in an exhibition bout.
The 40-year-old Pacquiao says in the video: ” Floyd Mayweather, if you want a real fight, fight me. If you want an exhibition, my guy, my friend, Jack Ma will take care of you.”
He then mocks Mayweather by calling himself and Ma “The Real Manny Team”, referencing the 42-year-old American’s brand “The Money Team”.
It is at that point in the video that Ma chimes in, saying: “I am ready. Any time, any place, Manny’s team is ready.”
Since the video was posted, Mayweather has responded to TMZ.
“I know what he (Manny) said. When he finally faces me, I’ll beat him,” Mayweather said.
When asked what he thought about Ma’s challenge, Mayweather replied: “Who? I don’t even know who he is.”
Mayweather retired in 2017 with a record of 50-0 (27) after beating Conor McGregor by knockout in the UFC star’s professional boxing debut.
Although technically retired, Mayweather returned to the ring in Japan to box an exhibition bout against kickboxer Tenshin Nasukawa last New Years Eve, knocking him out in 139 seconds.
The glorified sparring session earned Mayweather $9 million (£7 million).
In May 2015 Mayweather scored a unanimous decision victory over Pacquiao in Las Vegas. The boxer-turned-senator has been seeking a rematch ever since.
Reports emerged earlier this month that Mayweather was pursuing a second fight with Pacquiao after pulling out of negotiations with Hong Kong boxing group DEF Promotions.
Promoter Jay Lau told The Sun at the time: “Mayweather came two times to Hong Kong.
“He spoke with my son Jayson and we had communications but now he is focussing the Pacquiao rematch.
“We were talking about an exhibition in China, a big event but not a recorded professional boxing fight.
“Something like Mayweather vs Tenshin in Japan.
“We spoke a bit about doing a special fight in China, but halfway through he turned to the Pacquiao rematch, so we stopped.”