Philstar.com – Friday, November 28
LOS ANGELES – Manny Pacquiao is letting go of the lightweight crown he won over David Diaz last June.
The Filipino superstar, all set to face the great Oscar dela Hoya at 147 pounds, told Filipino scribes Wednesday he’d never fight again in the 135-pound division.
“Actually I think I’d never go back down to 135,” said Pacquiao when asked about the possibility of him trying to defend the WBC lightweight crown.
“It’s too difficult for me to get to 135 pounds now. I walk around at 155 when there’s no fight, and 135 is too much a distance for me,” he said.
Pacquiao said whatever happens in his “Dream Match” with Dela Hoya, he’d rather stay at 140 or 147 pounds where he feels a lot more comfortable now.
“There are great fighters at 140 and Ricky Hatton is just one of them,” he said, as he enjoyed a plateful of chicken lollipops, fried salmon and crab rice.
Pacquiao saying he’s giving up the lightweight crown also means that he no longer has to pay the WBC an extra $100,000 as sanction fee for the Dela Hoya fight.
A couple of weeks ago, the WBC said Pacquiao owed the body $30,000 in sanction fees for a previous fight and that he needed to pay the extra $100,000 for Dela Hoya bout.
Pacquiao was given 15 days to pay up or he gets stripped of the 135-pound title. He did pay the $30,000 but not the bigger amount.
He no longer had plans of defending the crown, actually the fourth world title the Filipino southpaw had won next to the flyweight, super-bantam and super-featherweight.
Pacquiao is the only Asian boxer to have won four world titles in different weight classes, and also the only fighter from the Philippines to be crowned lightweight champion.
“I feel so drained and reduced at 135 pounds,” he said, leaving behind a division being where Juan Manuel Marquez, Nate Campbell and Michael Katsidis now reside.
But that’s all he has to say about the move.
“Because I want to focus on this fight first,” he said. – Abac Cordero (Philstar News Service, http://www.philstar.com)