by Ronnie Nathanielsz
Eight division world champion Manny Pacquiao’s announced readiness to fight in the Rio de Janiero Olympic Games some four months from now - if he was asked and that he would be proud to represent the Philippines - has been criticized by World Boxing Council president Mauricio Sulaiman.
Sulaiman who returned home to Mexico City after a long trip out of his hometown and was spending what he described as “quality time with my family” told BoxingScene.com/The Standard, “how can Manny Pacquiao say he wants to fight in the Olympics?”
He said “its ridiculous” even as he insinuated that AIBA president Dr. Wu Kuo Ching of Chinese-Taipei - who offered to allow Pacquiao to skip the qualification rounds and be seeded into the main draw - must have offered him some other concessions and hinted that he was sure the AIBA president was “paying him (Manny) to say something like that.”
The AIBA is making a rule change where professional fighters would be allowed to compete in the Olympic games. They also ruled that the upcoming Olympic bouts will have no headgear involved.
Sulaiman commended unbeaten former pound for pound king and now retired Floyd Mayweather Jr for rejecting any attempt to get him to come out of retirement and fight in the Olympics, where he won a bronze medal at the Atlanta Games in 1996.
“Absolutely not” said Floyd when asked whether he was interested in fighting in Rio.
Pacquiao, who announced that his April 9 third fight with Timothy “Desert Storm” Bradley at the MGM Grand Garden Arena in Las Vegas would be his farewell fight, had said he would be willing to push back his planned retirement if only to represent the Philippines in the Olympic Games and hopefully end the country’s quest for an elusive gold medal.