Manny Pacquiao says that he may fight again after his retirement — just not professionally.
The Filipino welterweight told Agence France Press that if the International Boxing Association (IBA) votes to allow professionals to compete at the Olympics, he would strongly consider going to Rio this summer.
“It would be my honor to represent the country in the Olympics,” he told Agence France Presse. “If I would be asked to represent boxing, why not? I would do everything for my country.”
Pacquiao had planned to retire after fighting Timothy Bradley for a third time on April 9. But as a Filipino politician and patriot, he claims he could fight on for his country.
The IBA votes in May. The Olympics start in August. Although the three months would provide Pacquiao time for a full training camp, it’s unclear whether that short period would give the participating nations enough time to sort out their teams. The Olympic boxing trials for many nations, including the United States, took place months ago. Granting accomplished professionals spots might mean taking some away from amateurs believing that they had already fought their way into the games.
Despite turning professional at 16 when he weighed just 98 pounds, Pacquiao accumulated just one fewer amateur bout (64) as he has in the professional ranks (65). So, the 57-6-2 multiweight champion understands the differences between point fighting and prize fighting. Still, boxing, at least in his prime, as a heavy-handed knockout artist, Pacquiao may experience trouble re-adjusting, particularly at 37, to the differences in style.