Senator-elect Manny Pacquiao is not coming out of retirement.
Late Thursday evening, Pacquiao’s representatives have confirmed that the “Fighting Pride of the Philippines” will not enter the Olympic Qualifiers on June 11, 2016 in Baku, Azerbaijan thus ending the speculation that the eight-division world boxing champion will join the Philippine team in the Rio Games.
“Last night, we received word from Team Pacquiao that Senator Manny has decided to prioritize his legislative duties and begged off from the Olympics,” Association of Boxing Alliances of the Philippines (ABAP) executive director Ed Picson said.
“ABAP respects Senator Manny’s decision and wishes him well in his work in the Senate.”
This decision will bode well for his former promoter Bob Arum of Top Rank Promotion and World Boxing Council President Mauricio Sulaiman. Both have been strongly against the idea of having professional boxers compete in the amateur boxing ranks.
Team Philippines update
Meanwhile, the National team already has two boxers qualified for the games with light flyweight Rogen Ladon and lightweight Charly Suarez already seeded. Flyweight Ian Clark Bautista, bantamweight Mario Fernandez, and welterweight Eumir Marcial will compete in the final qualifying matches for the Games on June 11.