World Boxing Council president Mauricio Sulaiman strongly opposed the Olympic aspirations of eight-division world boxing champion Manny Pacquiao.
“Pacman,” who will be fighting his 66th and supposed final fight on April 9th in a rubber match against former WBO welterweight champion Timothy Bradley at the MGM Grand Garden Arena in Las Vegas, has previously declared his intent to postpone his retirement to compete at the 2016 Rio Summer Olympics.
“It would be my honor to represent my country in the Olympics,” Pacquiao told AFP (Agence France-Presse). “If I would be asked to represent boxing, why not? I would do everything for my country.”
An earlier report from Sky Sports says that Dr. Wu Ching-Kuo, president of amateur boxing’s governing body, has proposed a rule change that would potentially allow professional boxers to compete in the said event this August.
A report by Ronnie Nathanielsz for Boxingscene adds that Dr. Wu also invited Pacquiao to join the said boxing tournament as a “wild card,” which would allow him to be jumped straight to the main draw.
The mere idea of the said proposal was not received well by certain personalities of the sport. Former heavyweight world champion Lennox Lewis shared his sentiments on the issue, airing his vehement objection.
“I kind of think it is preposterous, to a certain degree,” Lewis said in a previous report by the Daily Mail. “The amateur system is based for amateurs – this is why we put in the headgear to protect them because they have a lack of experience and they are not that primed as a professional yet.”
Lewis went on to add that having a world champion-level boxer as Pacquiao fight an amateur was unfair.
Apparently, Sulaiman shares the same sentiments with Lewis.
In a recent report by Ronnie Nathanielsz for Boxingscene, the WBC president branded Pacquiao’s Olympic aspirations as “ridiculous.” The same report adds that Sulaiman commended Floyd Mayweather, who turned down the same offer.