Kung ayaw ni Pacquiao, gustung-gusto ni Khan
Russell Cadayona (Pang-masa) - June 5, 2016 - 12:00am

MANILA, Philippines – Kung tumanggi ang retiradong si Manny Pacquiao na katawanin ang Pilipinas sa 2016 Olympic Games, handa naman si dating British world lightweight king Amir Khan na kumampanya para sa Pakistan.

Ito ay matapos payagan ng AIBA, ang international boxing federation, ang paglahok ng mga professional boxers simula sa 2016 Olympics na idaraos sa Rio de Janeiro, Brazil sa Agosto.

“It’s a decision which I welcome,” sabi ng 28-anyos na si Khan na na-ging sparmate ni Pacquiao sa ilan niyang malalaking laban.

“It will help boxers and if I am permitted as per rules and from my promoter then I would love to compete for Pakistan,” dagdag pa ng da-ting fighter ni chief trainer Freddie Roach.

Kamakailan ay tumanggi ang Filipino world eight-division champion na lumaban para sa bansa sa 2016 Rio Olympics dahil sa mabigat na trabahong nakaatang sa kanya matapos mailuklok bilang Senador.

Inalok ang 37-anyos na si Pacquiao, nagretiro noong Abril 9 matapos talunin si Timothy Bradley, Jr., ng wildcard entry ni AIBA president Dr. Ching-Kuo Wu para sa Rio Olympics nang magkita sila sa World Championship sa Doha, Qatar noong Nobyembre.

Kabuuang 26 spots ang ibinigay ng AIBA para sa paglahok ng mga pro boxers sa Rio Games matapos makakuha ng botong 84-0.

Bago pa man ito maaprubahan ng AIBA ay naghayag na ng kanilang pagtutol sina Roach at Bob Arum ng Top Rank Promotions.

Samantala, wala namang plano ang USA Boxing na magsali ng pros sa Rio Olympics dahil pinapanalisa na nila ang kanilang final line-up, ayon kay executive director Mike Martino.

“We were restricted who we could work with and who we could talk to. We couldn’t use the expertise of professional trainers or fighters before. We can’t make changes at the last minute. So we won’t be sending any professionals to Rio,” ani Martino.

Posible namang isabak ng Russia ang kanilang mga world champions na sina Sergey Kovalev, ang undefeated WBA, IBF at WBO light heavyweight champion at Denis Lebedev, ang WBA at IBF cruiserweight king.

Ayon kay Martino, ang nasabing desisyon ng AIBA ay mula na rin sa ‘pressure’ ng International Olympic Committee.

“The IOC wants to bring the best individual athletes to the Olympics,” ani Martino. “AIBA has been challenged by the IOC to do that. But changing the rules two months before the opening ceremonies is like the NCAA changing the rules in January that says a kid doesn’t have to go to class but is still eligible to play basketball.”

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