To Manny Pacquiao: Is it go or no-go? | Inquirer Sports
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To Manny Pacquiao: Is it go or no-go?

Manny Pacquiao. FILE PHOTO

Manny Pacquiao. FILE PHOTO

THIS is an urgent appeal to incoming senator Manny Pacquiao to make known his final decision whether to box or not to box in the Rio de Janeiro Olympics.

We are not supposed to rush him up. Pacquiao, in the first place, has never threatened to participate in the Olympics; even as the International Boxing Association (Aiba) has reserved a wild-card slot for him in the Rio Games next August.

The most Pacquiao has manifested was excited interest in the offer.

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Sorry, but the Olympics cannot wait indefinitely.

Neither can the national boxing body, the Association of Boxing Alliances in the Philippines (Abap), which is seeking to include at least three more fighters to the two (Charly Suarez and Rogen Ladon) it has qualified to the Rio Games.

So now that he has successfully gathered big people’s support for him to be in the Senate, shouldn’t Pacquiao take time out to address this mass expectation for a possible Olympic gold medal?

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It’s like this. The Abap has named three more candidates to the last Olympic extraqualifying tournament in Azerbaijan in July. At the same time, the national boxing body has kept open a slot for in-house light welterweight Dennis Galvan, in case Pacquiao decides to turn down the invitation from the Aiba.

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Will it be go or no-go for Pacquiao in the Rio de Janeiro Olympics?

As this reporter has suggested previously, the Olympic gold medal doesn’t seem to be Pacquiao’s destiny.

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Why? Earlier signs have tended to show Pacquiao will remain retired, way past the 2016 Summer Games scheduled Aug. 5 to 21.

For one, Pacquiao’s promoter, Bob Arum, has been openly decrying the idea of involving professional boxers in the Olympics, mainly for safety and health reasons.

Short of calling the idea insane, Arum said those working to have hardened pros box against obscure aspirants in the Olympics should have their heads checked.

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The Aiba tried to thwart the Arum opposition, claiming it has already put in place very strict qualifying standards for a boxer to be able to move into the Olympics proper.

However, recent events tend to show these standards were not exactly fool-proof.

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The fact that the Aiba continued to offer slots through third-tier extraqualifying bouts, by recyling those who have failed in earlier tournaments, should raise fears that several late Olympic qualifiers may not be exactly up to par.

TAGS: ABAP, Aiba, Boxing, Brazil, Manny Pacquiao, Olympics, Rio

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