HIGHLIGHT: Despite Manny Pacquiao’s claims of retirement after his recent fight with Timothy Bradley, the Alliance of Boxing Associations of the Philippines (ABAP) hopes that Pacman will delay ‘hanging his gloves for good’ and compete in the upcoming 2016 Summer Olympics to be held in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil.
ABAP president Ricky Vargas told sports analyst and Boxingscene.com writer Ronnie Nathanielz that a gold medal in the Olympics will be much sweeter for the Philippines than any world title belt “because after the fight the Philippine flag will fly high above all and the national anthem will be played.”
Vargas added that “Pacquiao must want to do it. We are not forcing him, but if he does decide that would be fantastic.”
The Pambansang Kamao (national fist) and eight-division world champion has already expressed his interest in joining the Philippine Team in Rio this year, even before his 3 face-off with Bradley. “Why not? For as long as it’s for the country!” he said.
However, sanctioning bodies have already criticized the idea of professional boxers joining the Olympics. When the International Boxing Association announced that it will allow professional boxers to qualify for the 2016 Olympics, The World Boxing Council (WBC), for one, eventually threatened to remove fighters in the top 15 of all weight divisions should they compete in Brazil.
Even Pacquiao’s promoter, Bob Arum, does not agree. “You’re going to put professionals in the ring with a 17 or 18-year old kid? Someone’s going to get seriously hurt. These people need their heads examined,” he said.
Photo Credits: Soda Head