Manny Pacquiao’s colleagues in professional boxing are not sold on the idea of the eight-division champion competing in the upcoming Olympic Games.
Led by former world champion Gerry Peñalosa, almost everyone contacted by Manila Bulletin/Tempo feel there’s nothing to gain for Pacquiao even if he gets to win the very elusive Olympic gold medal for the country.
“Ipapahamak lang natin si Manny kapag pinilit natin sya sa Olympics,” said Peñalosa, a buddy of Pacquiao said. “Self-interest ang pinapairal kaya gusto sya ipasok sa Olympics.”
According to the AIBA, Pacquiao will get an automatic berth in the Olympics as assured by its president Ching Kuo Wu.
But the Association of Boxing Alliances in the Philippines (ABAP) is giving the 37-year-old Pacquiao until Friday to make a decision.
Boxing manager Lito Mondejar feels that Pacquiao, who retired after beating Tim Bradley last month in Las Vegas, will not gain anything if he decides to carry the Philippine flag in Rio de Janeiro.
“Mapupulaan lang s’ya,” said Mondejar, an original member of Team Pacquiao. “Hindi maganda tingnan ‘di lang dahil senador na s’ya kundi iba ang professional sa amateur.”
Donnie Nietes, the reigning World Boxing Organization light-flyweight champion, shared the same sentiment.
“Ang makapaglaro sa Olympics ay pangarap ng mga amateurs so mas maganda kung ibigay na lang sa kanila and opportunity na mapalaban,” said Nietes. (Nick Giongco)