Light heavyweight star Andre Ward gave his views on the hot debate surrounding professional fighters competing against amateurs at this summer’s Olympic boxing tournament in Rio, Brazil.
The likes of Floyd Mayweather and Manny Pacquiao have been linked to possible bids for a gold medal later this year, whilst Ward expressed an interest when the subject was first raised to him earlier this year.
Ward, who is set to return to action around the time that the competition takes place before facing Sergey Kovalev on November 19, believes there are some arguments for and against the move but says he’s undecided about it himself.
“It’s tricky, you know. I think it just depends on the individual because there’s an argument for doing it and there’s an argument for not doing it,” said Ward.
“I mean you – you know I’ve heard a quote – I read a quote rather that, Manny Pacquiao said that he, you know, paraphrasing a little bit, where basically that he’s excited about it. Not to say that he’s going to do it, but he’s willing to do anything for his country.
“So you have guys like Manny who’s just very gung ho and he’s ready to go and you’ve got other guys who, maybe like a Floyd Mayweather where, does it really, even though he felt like he got robbed in ’96 for an opportunity to want to go, does it really make sense to him to do something like that at this stage in his career and with all that he’s accomplished?
“It’s a three round fight. And do pros and in his case, a legend like that, want to take a risk of something happening where he takes a L, or it just doesn’t look good or anything can happen. Is that something you want to take a risk doing at this stage in your career?
“I really think it depends on the individual. It’s going to be really interesting to see if this is legitimate, what decision I make. Because I’ve got a lot of reasons to do it and a lot of reasons not to do it. So, I don’t know, it’s tough to say,” he added.
Plenty the sports figureheads have spoken out against any of the current top names starring at the upcoming games, whilst the WBC have repeatedly campaigned to stop any of their champions from entering.
With only four months to go until the tournament begins, it seems highly unlikely that the AIBA will get their wish to have the likes of Wladimir Klitschko or Pacquiao in the draw, whilst boxing holds its breath in the hope that common sense finally prevails this summer.