Boxing: Philippines' gold dream fades as Pacquiao rules out Rio

Boxing legend Manny Pacquiao would be skipping the Rio Olympics, knocking out the Philippines' best chance of winning its first gold medal.
Boxing legend Manny Pacquiao would be skipping the Rio Olympics, knocking out the Philippines' best chance of winning its first gold medal.PHOTO: AFP

MANILA (AFP) - Boxing legend Manny Pacquiao said on Friday he would skip the Rio Olympics even if professionals were allowed to compete, knocking out the Philippines' best chance of winning its first gold medal.

Pacquiao, who was this month elected to his nation's Senate and harbours dreams of becoming president, said he wanted to instead focus on his political career.

"I have decided to prioritise my legislative duty as I owe it to the people who voted for me," the eight-time world champion and national hero said in a text message to AFP.

Pacquiao, 37, had previously said his victory over American Timothy Bradley last month would be the final fight of his career so he could pursue his political ambitions.

But Pacquiao never fully closed the door on his boxing career, saying he could be tempted out of retirement for a chance at Olympic glory in August or another mega-bucks fight against arch-rival Floyd Mayweather.