Senator-elect Manny Pacquiao Still Wants to Compete at 2016 Rio Summer Olympics

Senator Manny Pacquiao

Senator-elect Manny Pacquiao still wants to compete in the upcoming 2016 Summer Olympics to be held at Rio de Janeiro, Brazil. This is after the Filipino boxing icon was offered to join AIBA president Dr Ching Kuo Wu, where Pacquiao may be awarded a wildcard ticket straight to the main draw, even without going through qualifications.

Pacquiao, who retired from boxing after beating Timothy Bradley last April via unanimous decision, was proclaimed as one of the 12 newly-elected senators this Thursday, May 19 by the Commission on Elections (Comelec). The 2-term Sarangani congressman ranked seventh based on the final tally, and garnered 16,050,546 votes.

“People will say that this person was just elected and in August, he wants to compete in the Olympics. I need to ask if the Filipino people will allow me to participate in the Olympics.” Senator Pacquiao told reporters during the brief interview after his proclamation, noting it now seems improper for him to join the 2016 Rio Olympics.

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Nevertheless, Association of Boxing Alliances of the Philippines (ABAP) Executive Director Ed Picson said he stays postive that Pacquiao will eventually go back to the boxing ring via the Olympics. However, Picson said that the 37-year old Pinoy boxing icon should decide as soon as possible, as the 2016 Olympics set to start on August 5.

Based on records, the Philippines joined the Olympics in 1924, and currently holds the record for having the most number of medals without a single gold medal. So far, Filipino athletes have already won 9 Olympic medals, with boxing as the top medal-producing sport. Onyok Velasco won the silver medal in boxing in the 1996 Olympics.

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Manny Pacquiao has won 12 world titles in 8 different weight classes, with a professional boxing record of 58W, 6L, 38KOs, 2D for his 66 fights. The Ring Magazine gave him the ‘Boxer of the Year’ award three times. The Boxing Writers Association of America (BWAA) also did the same, and named him as “Fighter of the Decade” for the 2000s.

As a politician, Pacquiao holds the record of one of the worst attendance in Congress. Records show that in 2014, he attended the sessions at the House of Representatives only four times. And although Pacman cannot promise a perfect attendance in the Senate, he said he will do his best, noting that he will not waste the votes of the Filipinos.