Manny Pacquiao might not be sponsored by Nike anymore, losing his deal after making derogatory remarks concerning people in same-sex relationships, but that didn’t stop the boxer from wearing the brand’s shoes in the ring Saturday night against Timothy Bradley in Las Vegas.
The veteran boxer was sporting the Swoosh when he defeated Bradley in a rubber match at the MGM Grand Arena. Pacquiao – in a red, white and blue pair of the Nike HyperKO – won the fight via unanimous decision, with all three judge’s scorecards reading 116-110.
Bradley, who stepped into the ring in Asics, showed flashes of the superior skills required to take on a fighter like Pacquiao, but was ultimately outmatched by the Filipino. The 32-year-old Palm Springs, Calif. native was knocked down by Pacquiao twice during the fight.
After the fight, the 37-year-old mentioned this was his last fight, citing his desire to dedicate himself to his political career in the Philippines as a reason to walk away from the ring. Although his boxing career may be over, legendary trainer Freddie Roach, the longtime trainer of Pacquiao, has stated in recent interviews that he’d like to see his fighter take on Under Armour-sponsored Canelo Alvarez and the recently retired Floyd Mayweather before calling it quits.
In February, Pacquiao made headlines for making disparaging comments about gay people, stating gay people are “worse than animals.” Nike wasted no time in parting ways with the boxer and politician.
“We find Manny Pacquiao’s comments abhorrent. Nike strongly opposes discrimination of any kind and has a long history of supporting and standing up for the rights of the LGBT community,” a Nike spokesperson said via email.