Mon | Aug 21, 2017

Pacquiao wants to fight in Olympics

Published:Saturday | April 2, 2016 | 4:00 AM
Pacquiao

LAS VEGAS (AP):

Manny Pacquiao says he's thinking about fighting for his country in the Olympics this summer if the boxing competition is open to professional fighters.

His promoter, though, thinks the idea of any pro fighting in Rio - much less the eight-time world champion - is a terrible idea.

"The idea (that) you'll allow professionals into the Olympics at this short notice is absolutely insane," promoter Bob Arum said. "These people ought to have their heads examined."

The head of the International Boxing Association (AIBA) has proposed allowing pros in the Olympics, though it's doubtful the plan would be implemented by Rio because qualification tournaments are either under way or have already been held for boxers in most countries.

Pacquiao, who fights Timothy Bradley next week in his first bout since losing to Floyd Mayweather Jr last May, said the idea of boxing for a gold medal intrigues him.

"I'm not saying I'm going to fight or saying I'm not," Pacquiao said. "I'm not closing the door. I'm thinking about it."

Pacquiao is running for the Senate in his native Philippines, and a win in the elections next month could put an end to his boxing career as he concentrates on politics. But the possibility of fighting for his country in the Olympics could also be used to help him win votes in the campaign.

No Filipino has ever won a gold medal in the Olympics, though boxers have won a total of five silver and bronze. A gold medal for Pacquiao would, if anything, cement his status forever as the country's greatest sports hero.