China’s richest man Alibaba founder Jack Ma has challenged boxer Floyd Mayweather to a fight

Jack Ma challenged Floyd Mayweather to a fight on Twitter.

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Jack Ma challenged Floyd Mayweather to a fight on Twitter.
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Getty

Boxing legend turned Philippines senator Manny Pacquiao has, for several years, told anyone who will listen that he’d like a rematch against undefeated American boxer Floyd Mayweather. Mayweather beat Pacquiao by unanimous decision back in 2015, but now Pacquiao has a new recruit on his team: Alibaba founder and China’s richest man, Jack Ma.

In a tweet published this weekend, Ma can be seen sparring with Pacquiao, who assumes the role of the billionaire’s “trainer.” The two work up a sweat to the beat of metal guitar riffing before they stop, turn to the camera, and call out Mayweather by name.

“Floyd Mayweather, if you want a real fight, fight me,” Pacquiao says. “If you want an exhibition, my guy, my friend, Jack Ma will take care of you.”

Pacquiao and Ma go on to declare their coalition as the “The real Manny team,” an apparent dig at Mayweather’s lifestyle brand called “The Money Team.”

“Yeah I’m ready,” Ma says after landing a few punches. “Any time any place, Manny’s team is ready.”

Jack Ma starred in a Kung Fu movie

This isn’t the first time Ma, who just retired from Alibaba last month, has found himself in a war of words with professional fighters. In 2017, Ma, who practices martial arts himself, starred in a Jet Li produced Kung Fu film called, Gong Shou Dao. At the end of that film, two world-renowned fighters and British action star Jason Statham dramatically challenged Ma to a fight. One of those fighters was none other than Manny Pacquiao who pops up in the credits and says, “Be careful sometimes, I will find you… somewhere.”

Ma’s self-deprecating insertion breathes some life into an already growing public feud between Pacquiao and Mayweather. The two fought once in 2015 after years of back and forth and disagreements on terms. Pacquiao unanimously lost that clash, which was referred to by many as “The Fight of the Century,” and has demanded a rematch.

Since then though, much has changed. Pacquiao has gone on to focus on business and philanthropy and was elected to the Philippines senate in 2016. Mayweather has come out of retirement for select high profile fights (like his fight against Irish MMA legend Connor McGregor in 2017), but has also come under renewed criticism for his long history of alleged and proven domestic violence. In 2004, Mayweather was given a one-year suspended sentence after being convicted of two counts of domestic battery. In 2011, he was sentenced to 90 days in jail after pleading guilty to misdemeanor battery charges in an incident involving his ex-girlfriend Josie Harris.

Floyd Mayweather and Manny Pacquiao box during their world welterweight championship bout at MGM Grand Garden Arena.

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Floyd Mayweather and Manny Pacquiao box during their world welterweight championship bout at MGM Grand Garden Arena.
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REUTERS / Joe Camporeale-USA TODAY Sports

While it’s unlikely that Ma – or even Pacquiao – will ever step in the ring with Mayweather, the billionaire’s recent verbal jabs have served to prolong the already active social media fight between the two.