Floyd Mayweather may the poster boy for controversy in boxing, but now his long time rival Manny Pacquiao has sparked his own sort of uproar in the Philippines after describing gay couples as "worse than animals."
Nearing the end of a mostly unblemished boxing career, Paquiao has turned himself into a conservative, Bible-thumping politician as the eight-time world champion heads into the country's May senate elections — where he is seeking a seat.
And, whether or not you agree with his views, they sure sparked a worldwide firestorm.
"It's common sense. Do you see animals mating with the same sex? Animals are better because they can distinguish male from female," Pacquiao told local broadcaster TV5 in an interview aired earlier this week.
"If men mate with men and women mate with women they are worse than animals."
The 37-year-old fighter later took to Instagram to apologize for his remarks, but stuck to his beliefs.
"I'm sorry for hurting people by comparing homosexuals to animals. Please forgive me for those I've hurt. I still stand on my belief that I'm against same-sex marriage because of what the Bible says, but I'm not condemning LGBT. I love you all with the love of the Lord. God Bless you all and I'm praying for you."
I'm sorry for hurting people by comparing homosexuals to animals. Please forgive me for those I've hurt. God Bless! pic.twitter.com/bqjRcWqp8R— Manny Pacquiao (@mannypacquiao) February 16, 2016
Pacquiao gave the television interview as part of his campaign for one of 12 seats in the nationally-elected senate. The most recent surveys suggest he would win.
Gay marriage is banned in the Philippines due to strong opposition from the Catholic Church —where 80 percent of the country's 100 million people are Catholic.
Same-sex marriages are officiated at small churches but these unions are not recognized by the church or the state.