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article imagePacquiao, Donaire Rio Olympics participation unlikely

By Leo Reyes     Feb 28, 2016 in Sports
The proposed participation of Manny Pacquiao and Nonito Donaire as possible Philippine entry for boxing in the 2016 Rio Olympics is not likely to happen as the fighters' promoter Bob Arum is opposing it.
While Arum welcomes the proposal of the Amateur International Boxing Association (AIBA) to allow professional boxers to compete in this year’s Rio Olympics which is slated to take place in Brazil from August 5 to August 21, 2016, he said it is "unrealistic" for Pacquiao and even for Donaire to participate.
“It’s good for so many young Filipino professional boxers if ever it happens. It boosts the chance of the Philippines to end the [Olympic gold medal] drought,” Arum told The Manila Times in a phone interview. “But if you’re going to ask me about Manny’s participation, it’s unrealistic.” Arum added.
Arum is opposing the idea on the ground that Pacquiao won't have time to prepare for the Rio Games because he is deep in training for for his April 9 fight against Timothy Bradley. Aside from the time constraints, Arum also reminded everyone that both fighters are under contract with his Top Rank Promotions.
Pacquiao's adviser Michael Koncz is likewise opposing the idea because of Pacquiao's tight schedules. Aside from his ongoing training in the Philippines, he is also attending to his election campaign. Pacquiao is seeking a senate seat in the May 9 national elections in the Philippines.
“I do not think it is going to happen,” he said in a separate interview. “What’s the benefit for Manny competing in the Olympics? To get injured?” he asked.
“I doubt it if ever it happens because Manny is very busy preparing for his fight against Timothy Bradley on April 9 in Las Vegas and the election. Manny is running for a senatorial seat and he has no time for it,” Koncz added.
Other than the timing for the planned participation by professional boxers, Arum is also doubtful that AIBA's plan will be sanctioned by the Olympic regulators because the guidelines do not allow professional boxers who have fought more than 15 pro fights to participate.
“As far as I know, the plan of AIBA is to allow professional boxers who have only less than 15 paid fights to compete in the Olympics,” Arum said. “In Manny’s case, he fought many times or more than 15 in the professional rank, same goes with Nonito [Donaire Jr.]. I have no any idea if they changed the rule.” he added.
Meanwhile, the planned venue for the upcoming Donaire-Bedak fight has been changed. The fight which was scheduled to take place at the Smart Araneta Coliseum on April 23 will now be held at the Cebu City Sports Center in Cebu.
This was announced by Michael Aldeguer, President of ALA Promotions, who is staging the fight in collaboration with Top Rank and ABS-CBN Broadcasting Corp.
Nonito Donaire
Nonito Donaire
Arvee Eco
“This is something that we have looked forward to for a long time because we always wanted to give Cebuano fans something big,” said Aldeguer. “We wanted this because we want to make Cebu the mecca of boxing and we are proud to be a Cebu-based company.”
“At first it was Araneta (Coliseum), but we agreed with Top Rank to change the venue and this will be something historic for us. Bob (Arum) has never been here in Cebu and it would also be great to have him here,” Aldeguer said.
Donaire, who hails from Talibon, Bohol, Philippines, is defending his WBO super bantamweight title against Zsolt Bedak of Hungary.
More about rio olympics, Manny Pacquiao, Nonito donaire, Boxing, Bob arum
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