Manny Pacquiao, the newly drafted Philippine Basketball Association player-coach, is hoping to get Metta World Peace to join him as he tries to extend his championship pedigree to the basketball courts.
The eight-time world champion is hoping he can use his friendship with the player to be known as The Panda's Friend to get him to join the team, according to The Philippine Star.
“Okay yun. Kaibigan ko yun (He’s my friend),” said Pacquiao of the 6-foot-7 star, who showed up in a press conference in Beverly Hills to announce the Filipino’s fight against Miguel Cotto in 2009.
“Kailangan namin ng magaling na import (We need a good import),” he added.
World Peace recently signed to play for the Sichuan Blue Whales of the Chinese Basketball Association this season, and it seems unlikely he could get out of that deal, as other NBA players have struggled to break their CBA contracts.
GALLERY: MANNY PACQUIAO'S BIGGEST FIGHTS
Manny Pacquiao's Biggest Fights
Marco Antonio Barrera I — Nov. 15, 2003
With an 11th-round TKO of Barrera at the Alamodome, Pacquiao captured the lineal featherweight championship and cemented his stardom among American fight fans. It marked Pacquiao's third title in three weight classes.
Juan Manuel Marquez I — May 8, 2004
With designs on unifying The Ring featherweight title with Marquez's WBA and IBF belts, Pacquiao faced the Mexican legend at the MGM Grand in Las Vegas. Marquez went down three times in Round 1, but showed unforgettable heart and resiliency in storming back to force a controversial draw.
Erik Morales I — March 19, 2005
Moving up to super featherweight (130 pounds) for a showdown with Mexico's legendary three-division champion — the first installment of an epic trilogy — Pacquiao suffered a cut from an accidental butt in the fifth round and lost a unanimous decision.
Erik Morales II — Jan. 21, 2006
The rematch between Pacquiao and Morales lived up to advance billing through nine grueling rounds. It ended in the 10th, when Pacquiao avenged the previous year's defeat with a knockout of Morales — the first of his career.
Erik Morales III — Nov. 18, 2006
Morales bravely tried to stand toe-to-toe with Pacquiao in the highly anticipated rubber match, but the strategy proved ill-advised. Pacquiao put an exclamation point on the trilogy with a third-round knockout of the Mexican warrior.
Marco Antonio Barrera II — Oct. 6, 2007
In the long-awaited rematch with Barrera at super featherweight, Pacquaio won a lopsided unanimous decision at the Mandalay Bay in Las Vegas.
Juan Manuel Marquez II — March 15, 2008
Fighting for the WBC super featherweight title (130 pounds), Pacquiao outpointed Marquez in a narrow decision — a crucial third-round knockdown making the difference. The victory gave Pacquiao the world title in a fourth weight class.
David Diaz — June 28, 2008
Pacquiao became a five-division champion with a ninth-round knockout of Diaz for the WBC lightweight title (135 pounds). He'd vacate the super featherweight title in July while mulling another move up in weight.
Oscar De La Hoya — Dec. 6, 2008
Pacquiao's transition from boxing notable to crossover superstar was crystallized with a dramatic ninth-round TKO of De La Hoya in a non-title fight at the MGM Grand Garden Arena in Las Vegas. While De La Hoya was considered past his prime, many believed the climb to the welterweight limit (147 pounds) would prove too imposing for Pacquiao. They were wrong. The Filipino peppered the Golden Boy all night long with punches from all angles, until De La Hoya quit on his stool after the eighth round ... and quit boxing shortly thereafter.
Ricky Hatton — May 2, 2009
With a spectacular second-round knockout of Hatton in Las Vegas, Pacquiao bagged the lineal junior welterweight title (140 pounds) and became the second fighter in history to win titles in six divisions along with De La Hoya.
Miguel Cotto — Nov. 14, 2009
With his 12th-round knockout victory over Cotto for the WBO welterweight title — in a bout fought at a catch-weight of 145 pounds — Pacquiao became the first boxer to win titles in seven divisions.
Joshua Clottey — March 13, 2010
Pacquiao overwhelmed Clottey from wire to wire in his first defense of the WBO welterweight title before 50,994 fans at Cowboys Stadium. It marked the first boxing event at Jerry Jones' $1.3 billion palace. Only two fights in the United States during the past 50 years drew more fans: Muhammad Ali-Leon Spinks II at the New Orleans Superdome in 1978 (63,350) and Pernell Whitaker-Julio Cesar Chavez at San Antonio's Alamodome in 1993 (59,995).
Antonio Margarito — Nov. 13, 2010
Pacquiao outpointed Margarito for the vacant WBC super welterweight championship before 41,734 fans at Cowboys Stadium. The victory gave the Filipino an eighth world title in eight different weight classes (from 112 to 154 pounds).
Shane Mosley — May 7, 2011
Pacquiao wasn't up to his near-perfect standard, but he still dominated the 39-year-old Mosley over 12 rounds for a unanimous-decision win. Trainer Freddie Roach said Pacquiao, who was involved in a fight-day fender bender, was beset by leg cramps during the fight. Mosley suffered just the third knockdown of his career in the third round and, by the end of an uninspiring fight, was being booed by the Vegas crowd.
Juan Manuel Marquez III — Nov. 12, 2011
Pacquiao showed great heart down to the stretch to rally for a majority-decision victory over the ageless Marquez, who entered as a 7-to-1 underdog despite narrow points losses to the Filipino in 2004 and '08. One ringside judge scored it 114-114, with the other two giving it to Pacquiao at 115-113 and 116-114. (SI.com had it 114-114.)
Timothy Bradley — June 9, 2012
In a controversial split decision ruling that even the WBO itself said should have gone the other way, Pacquiao was robbed of a win over Timothy Bradley. The judges at ringside scored it 115-113, 113-115, 113-115, which most media observers had Pacquiao winning by a large margin.
Juan Manuel Marquez IV — Dec. 8, 2012
In his fourth meeting with Juan Marquez, Pacquiao was knocked out in the sixth round, marking the first time in his career he'd lost consecutive bouts.
Brandon Rios — Nov. 24, 2013
Manny Pacquiao lands a right to Brandon Rios during their WBO international welterweight title fight Nov. 24, 2013, in Macau, China. Pacquiao defeated Rios by unanimous decision to end a two fight losing streak.
Timothy Bradley II — April 12, 2014
Pacquiao won a unanimous decision in the April 2014 rematch with Bradley, avenging his 2012 loss and claiming the WBO welterweight title. Pacquiao (56-5-2) pursued and peppered the previously unbeaten Bradley around the MGM Grand Garden ring with an aggressive effort occasionally recalling the Pacman in his prime. Bradley fought back with counterpunching and elusiveness, but Pacquiao kept up his attack while Bradley (31-1) struggled down the stretch. (Text: AP)
Chris Algieri — Nov. 23, 2014
Manny Pacquiao knocked Chris Algieri down six times and won a lopsided 12-round decision in his most recent fight to date, a November 2014 bout in Macau.
Floyd Mayweather Jr. — May 2, 2015
The long-awaited mega fight, billed as "The Fight of the Century," failed to live up to the hype as Mayweather won easily via a unanimous decision, running his undefeated record to 48–0 and earning at least $100 million from the richest purse in boxing history.
- Brendan Maloy