Many of the world’s best boxers have taunted their opponents – such as the time Muhammad Ali brought along a mop and bucket and declared George Chuvalo to be “nothing but a washerwoman”. But even seasoned boxing reporters were taken aback by a video of Jack Ma trying to goad boxing legend Floyd Mayweather to fight him. Ma is seen punching a pair of pads held up by Filipino fighter Manny Pacquiao before declareing his wish to take on the American champ (fought 50, won 50). “I am ready. Any time, any place,” the recently retired Alibaba boss vows.
Ma has some form in the fighting domain. A tai chi practitioner, he released a short movie two years ago in which he took on martial arts opponents including superstars Jet Li and Donny Yen. But in this more recent video, the taunting may be more about Pacquiao and his desire for a rematch with Mayweather – to whom he lost in a massively-hyped fight in 2015.
There has been speculation that the two could meet in a rematch and in the video – titled “Message to Mayweather” and posted on Twitter – the 40 year-old boxer declares: “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.”
A fight like this would be one of the rare occasions when Mayweather isn’t the wealthiest of the two contenders. But when asked what he thought about Ma’s challenge, he replied: “Who? I don’t even know who he is.”