Even though Manny Pacquiao said he would retire from boxing after his third bout against Timothy Bradley in April, he now says he’s thinking about joining the Philippines’ boxing team at the Olympics.
Wu Ching-Kuo, head of the International Boxing Association, announced that he was trying to get professional boxers to participate in the Rio de Janeiro Olympic Games this summer.
After personally inviting Pacquiao, the 37-year-old Filipino pugilist and politician said he would oblige if given the opportunity.
“It would be my honour to represent the country in the Olympics,” he told AFP Wednesday.
Bob Arum, Pacquiao’s longtime promoter, said back in October that the boxer would fight for the last time on April 9 to focus on his senate campaign and the May elections..
“We talked very seriously, and he said, ‘Bob, hopefully, by the middle of May I will have been elected senator in the Philippines, and at that point I cannot engage in boxing because I need to focus on the senate and I have to be in attendance,'” Arum told ESPN last year. “Manny told me this fight on April 9 will be his last fight.”
Pacquiao, however, told AFP he would be willing to change his retirement plans for a chance to participate in the Olympics.
“If I would be asked to represent boxing, why not,” Pacquiao said. “I would do everything for my country.”
Still, it is not clear if Pacquiao will be able to get the opportunity to participate in the Olympic games. The International Boxing Association still has to vote in May for the sport to be added to the Olympic games.
Robert Smith, general secretary of the British Boxing Board of Control, does not believe the plan is fair to amateur boxers who have competed far less than the likes of Pacquiao due to the qualification process.
“I can’t see how it would work to be honest. Are you really going to put in Floyd Mayweather against some little boy who has qualified through the Olympic system in Rio,” Smith told AFP. “There is a gulf in class and ability. It’s farcical to think this could happen in time for Rio. How can you just click your fingers and just sort it out now?”
Wu, however, stands stood by his plan to bring boxing to the Olympics. “It is an IOC policy to have the best athletes in the Games and of the international federations, AIBA is probably the only one without professional athletes in the Olympics,” he said Wednesday.
Source : Christian Post
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