Boxing in the Olympics has for so long been limited to amateurs.
But, for this year’s Olympics, the rules may change, giving the opportunity for professional fighters to compete.
Wu-Ching ko, head of the amateur boxing federation, has proposed the idea. The federation will take a vote in May:
“Professional boxers will be at Rio: I don’t know how many, but they will be.”
Professional athletes have dominated the Olympics in different areas such as basketball; players like LeBron James, Michael Jordan, Larry Bird, and Magic Johnson ahve competed in basketball in the Olympics.
Manny Pacquiao, who will fight Timothy Bradley in April, was expected to retire after the fight.
But, with the announcement of professional boxers having the opportunity to compete, Pacquiao is willing to postpone his ideas of retirement:
“It would be my honour to represent the country in the Olympics. If I would be asked to represent boxing, why not? I would do everything for my country.”
Of course, soon after the announcement, big names within the boxing world have already opposed the idea and have of it as being unfair. Lennox Lewis said:
“Olympic boxing is built for amateurs and is the highest achievement you can get, alongside being world amateur champion. All of a sudden you could have a scenario where someone like [former world heavyweight champion] Wladimir Klitschko, who won Olympic gold in Atlanta and has so much experience, could go up against a kid of 18 who has had just 10 fights. I don’t think it is fair.”
Floyd Mayweather, however, has ruled out the possibility of coming out of retirement and competing in the Olympics:
“Absolutely not. For my body to recover from all my fights will be for the rest of my life. I’m truly blessed to have been fighting for so much of my life. I had a great run. Ain’t no more for this body to heal but rest.”
If Pacquiao were to compete in the Olympics, this would be his first appearance.
Photo Cred: Jhay Oh Otamias