UFC superstar Conor McGregor and Filipino boxing legend Manny Pacquiao took to social media to take sly digs at Floyd Mayweather after his one-sided exhibition win over Tenshin Nasukawa at Rizin 14 on New Year’s Eve.
Mayweather finished Nasukawa with ease, dropping the undefeated kickboxer three times in 140 seconds before the Japanese fighter’s corner threw in the towel to end the bout in the opening round.
The American’s victory did not escape the attention of two of his big-name former opponents, who both posted thinly-veiled criticisms via their social media accounts.
McGregor – who held his own early on against Mayweather before eventually being stopped in the 10th round in his first professional boxing bout – posted a message on his Instagram page to his 29.8 million followers, mocking the reported $9million payday Mayweather earned for his 140-second demolition of flyweight kickboxer Nasukawa in Saitama.
“That 9 milli won’t keep you on top of my list for long, kid. #Forbesy,” he posted as he hinted at his own big-money return in 2019.
And while McGregor focused on the financial aspect of Mayweather’s recent contest, Pacquiao indirectly criticized the American’s choice of opponent.
Pacquiao tweeted: “Here is an early New Year’s resolution. To continue to only fight experienced opponents who are my size or bigger.”
The tweet was a clear pop at Mayweather, whose one-round demolition of undersized Japanese star Nasukawa took place during an exhibition boxing match at Rizin 14 in Saitama, Japan, on New Year’s Eve.
The bout was widely criticized by fans and media alike, and the Filipino legend – the only boxer to win titles in eight different weight classes – clearly wasn’t impressed, either.
After his New Year’s tweet, Pacquiao followed up with a retweet of a video showing a goat flattening a small child, captioned: “The Mayweather/Tenshin fight is the funniest thing I’ve seen.”
The 40-year-old star is preparing to defend his WBA welterweight world title against American Adrien Broner on January 19 at Madison Square Garden – an altogether more legitimate contest than the one his longtime rival took part in on New Year’s Eve.
Pacquiao still harbors hopes of facing Mayweather in a rematch, but with the American seemingly more interested in low-risk but lucrative contests, it remains to be seen whether the bout will ever be made.
McGregor, meanwhile, is expected to return to the UFC octagon in 2019 once he has had his hearing with the Nevada State Athletic Commission for his part in the UFC 229 brawl following his loss to Khabib Nurmagomedov.
Meanwhile, the Irishman celebrated the New Year by posting a message to his Instagram page as he shared pics of his family, including pregnant girlfriend Dee Devlin, saying that in 2019 “…we get the best gift of all.”