Manny Pacquiao Reportedly Declines 2016 Olympics Offer to Focus on Senate Role

Timothy Rapp@@TRappaRTFeatured ColumnistMay 26, 2016

Filipino boxing great and now Senator Manny Pacquiao waves following his proclamation as the Seventh Senator in ceremony at the Commission on Elections Thursday, May 19, 2016 in suburban Pasay city south of Manila, Philippines. Pacquiao has won a seat in the Philippine Senate based on an unofficial count bringing him closer to a possible crack at the presidency. Pacquiao said he will retire from boxing to become a full-time politician. (AP Photo/Bullit Marquez)
Bullit Marquez/Associated Press

Manny Pacquiao has declined the opportunity to come out of retirement to fight for the Philippines at the 2016 Rio Olympic Games, according to Ryan Songalia of RingTV.com.

Ed Picson, the executive director of the Association of Boxing Alliances in the Philippines (ABAP), said that a Pacquiao representative told him the fighter will "prioritize his legislative duties," per Songalia.

"ABAP respects Sen. Manny's decision and wishes him well in his work in the senate," Picson added.

Pacquiao, 37, retired in April after defeating Timothy Bradley by a unanimous decision, knocking him down twice in the fight, the first time Bradley has been taken to the mat more than once.

"I've committed to my family that after this fight I will spend more time with them and focus to serve the people of the Philippines," Pacquiao said after that fight, per Lance Pugmire of the Los Angeles Times. "That is my priority."

He appeared to be seriously contemplating a trip to Rio to compete in the Olympics, however, amid a potential new rule that would allow professionals to fight alongside amateurs in the sport in Rio.

"I need to ask the Filipino people if they will let me compete," he said in a press conference this week, per Martin Rogers of USA Today. "I offer it as a gesture to the country."

Pacquiao certainly has little left to accomplish in the world of boxing. He finished his career 58-6-2 (38 knockouts), won titles in eight different weight classes and will be remembered as one of the most dominant fighters of his generation.

His involvement in the Olympics would have been seen as a positive sign that Pacquiao might fight professionally at least one more time. That would at least keep the door ajar for the possible rematch that many in the sport are clamoring to see, another bout against Floyd Mayweather. 

Both fighters have maintained that they are retired, though given the immense profits the first fight generated—and the fact that the matchup was marred by Pacquiao's shoulder injury—it isn't hard to envision a scenario where the pair would agree to fight each other again. 

For the time being, however, Pacquiao seems content to spend time with his family and focus on his new profession as a Philippine senator.

 

You can follow Timothy Rapp on Twitter.   

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