Philippines hold 64kg Rio place for Pacquiao, await final decision

Nick Giongco 17/05/2016

Mikey Williams

The Association of Boxing Alliances of the Philippines (Abap) is calling on Manny Pacquiao to decide whether he will carry the fight for the country in the Rio Olympics.

Abap executive director Ed Picson said yesterday that the junior-welterweight (64 kg) ticket is already reserved for Pacquiao, who has expressed his desire to try to help the Philippines win its first Olympic gold medal in the Aug. 5 to21 sportsfest in Brazil.

So far, two boxers—light-flyweight Rogen Ladon (49 kg) and lightweight Charly Suarez (60 kg)—have earned berths to Rio.Another team will be sent to the final world Olympic qualifying in Azerbaijan in July to vie for the remaining slots and among those who have been nominated to fight for slots include fly (51 kg) Ian Clark Bautista, bantam (56 kg) Mario Fernandez and welter (69 kg) Eumir Felix Marcial.

Picson said in-house junior-welter Dennis Galvan is on standby in case Pacquiao backs out.

No less than boxing chief Ching Kuo Wu is backing Pacquiao’s inclusion but Picson insists the Filipino eight-division titlist will have to decide now.

It could not be determined if Pacquiao, who retired from boxing after beating Tim Bradley last month, will be allowed by his promoter, Bob Arum of Top Rank, to fight in the Olympics.

Pacquiao hang up his gloves to dedicate his time to public service after making the top 12 in the Senate race.

Personages in professional boxing are against the idea of having pros fighting amateurs owing mainly to two things: the disparity in skill level and that it runs counter to the Olympic ideal of the young participating.

Courtesy of Nick Giongco of the Manila Bulletin. Follow Nick on Twitter @NickSpeaks