In the fight between good and evil, the battle between right and wrong, the throwdown between the hero and the villain, Manny Pacquiao was supposed to be the one for whom we could root. In pro wrestling parlance, he was the babyface to Floyd Mayweather’s heel character. He was the boxer with the big smile who made his name by rising from the 112-pound flyweight division and eventually winning world titles in eight weight classes, including a 154-pound junior middleweight belt.

Pacquiao was a family man who grew up in poverty and rose to become one of the best boxers of his generation. Most importantly, he was not Floyd Mayweather, the man who’s pleaded guilty to domestic battery and harassment and who changed his nickname from the respectable “Pretty Boy Floyd” moniker to “Money” Mayweather because that’s all he seems to cares about.

When the two fought on their record-breaking pay-per-view last May, there was a clear line of delineation, and even though the fight was mostly a boring affair that Mayweather won easily, one could take solace in the idea that sometimes the bad guy beats up the good guy. You could leave it at that.

But with Pacquiao’s declaration on local TV in the Philippines that gay people “are worse than animals,” he doesn’t seem much like the babyface anymore.  In actuality, Pacquiao — who is a member of the country’s House of Representatives and who’s running for a seat in the Senate — seems like a bigot and a hypocrite.

As he said in comments that were posted Monday, “It’s just common sense. Do you see animals mating with the same sex? Animals are better, because they can distinguish male from female. If men mate with men and women mate with women, they are worse than animals.”

Naturally, there was an outcry, and Pacquiao was forced to apologize the next day.

The tepid apology, though, doesn’t make up for the crudeness of his analogy, and it’s become a public relations problem for Pacquiao. Though he’s nearing the end of his boxing career — his upcoming fight with Timothy Bradley in April is supposedly his last, though not many observers actually believe him — Pacquiao still needs to keep his fanbase happy in order to sell tickets and give his supporters a reason to buy the pay-per-view.

So many fans view Pacquiao as a good guy with a terrific back-story in which he’s become the most popular Filipino athlete. But is he that good guy? I don’t know, does a good guy have to battle with the IRS and the Philippine authorities over unpaid taxes? Does he cheat on his wife continuously? Does he say he hates the idea of two men in love being allowed to marry?

Pacquiao has had a good-guy image — not unlike, say, Peyton Manning — but he’s also not always stayed true to the image he’s wanted to project. And the more people learn about his views, the more likely he’s liable to turn off the people who so badly want to like him.

Why is this a problem?

For one, he’s made himself hundreds of millions of dollars — in part because he can fight like few others and in part because his big smile and dangerous fists have made him a must-watch boxer — and secondly, he’s now a politician. He needs people to like him, because that’s how he’ll continue to be elected and employed.

To be fair, Pacquiao has rededicated himself as a family man, and after a period in which his wife, Jinkee, considered divorce, they’ve reconciled and seem happy. But Pacquiao — who’s publicly talked about his faith and how God has spoken directly to him — made a terrible mistake when talking about same-sex marriage.

He was quick to apologize, so this transgression will likely be forgotten soon enough. But it also might be enough to tweak the amount of money he can make in boxing.

Think about this. Would the Mayweather-Pacquiao fight last May brought in $500 million of revenue — would more than 4 million fans have paid between $80-$100 — to watch a misogynist battle against a homophobe?

Perhaps not. The “good guy” fighting against the “bad guy” was how that mega fight was billed, and both combatants played their parts well. But if the good guy’s beliefs made him bad too, at least to some, everything about the lead-up to that fight would have been different? Pacquiao signing songs on Kimmel and playing this lovable, fun, silly character doesn’t work when the other side of that is, well, this. He didn’t say he doesn’t support gay marriage. He said they are “worse than animals.” Apology or not, it’s tough to walk that back to the “duets with Jimmy” Manny anytime soon.

And if you happen to think about a potential rematch between Mayweather and Pacquiao and you wonder who would be the hero this time and who would be the villain, consider this tweet from Mayweather in 2012.

About Josh Katzowitz

Writes sports for Forbes and covers Internet culture for the Daily Dot. Formerly covered the NFL for and college sports for the now-defunct Cincinnati Post. Also has written for the New York Times, Wall Street Journal, Los Angeles Times and Washington Post. Has penned books about Johnny Manziel, Sid Gillman and the University of Cincinnati football program.