A top boxing official briefed Sen. Manny Pacquiao on the results of the Rio Olympics and also the program of the association after the eight-time world champion held a hearing on the state of Philippine sports as head of the Senate’s sports committee.
Pacquiao has been rumored to be interested in heading the ABAP (Association of Boxing Alliances in the Philippines) after Ricky Vargas, the ABAP president, resigned following the losses suffered by Charly Suarez and Rogen Ladon in Rio.
ABAP Executive Director Ed Picson said he talked with Pacquiao at his Senate office last Tuesday and explained to the senator what happened in the Olympics.
“We just fell short (in the Olympics),” said Picson, after arriving in Manila from Brazil.
Pacquiao is a member of the ABAP board and is eligible to run for president, but no date has been set for electing a new set of officers.
Pacquiao had earlier said that many promising boxers can be found in Mindanao and can be discovered with the right incentive and program.
“Maraming magagaling sa Mindanao (we need to be more robust),” said Pacquiao, who never had a stellar amateur career but became one of the world’s best professional boxers.
Picson believes that an election should be held in the next few months but is unsure whether the group of Manny V. Pangilinan, who also controls Samahang Basketbol ng Pilipinas, will also try to handpick new officers.
Last Tuesday, Pacquiao told Philippine Sports Commission chairman William “Butch” Ramirez to prepare a program where a Filipino can have a chance to win a gold medal in the 2020 Tokyo Olympics.
While many believe Pacquiao is qualified to be ABAP president, his many activities may preclude him from being hands-on chief.
“I just hope that he finds the time,” said Manny Lopez, former ABAP president under whose term and during his father’s reign at the association, won a silver and three bronze medals in the Olympic.
Courtesy of Nick Giongco of the Manila Bulletin. Follow Nick on Twitter @NickSpeaks