World Boxing Organization (WBO) light flyweight champ Donnie “Ahas” Nietes has no objection to Manny Pacquiao’s entry into the 40th season of the Philippine Basketball Association (PBA) as Kia’s playing coach but said that the former pound for pound king should prioritize boxing.
“I have no any objection to Manny’s dream to play and coach [in the PBA]because it will help him to stay fit while he is away from any boxing activity,” Nietes, also a former minimumweight world titleholder, told The Manila Times in a phone interview on Saturday.
The 31-year-old Bacolod City native Nietes said that the current WBO welterweight titleholder should only treat his involvement with the PBA as a mere “recreational environment” and professional boxing his main priority.
“But Manny can’t be so serious in playing basketball against real professional basketball players because it might result to injuries which is we don’t like to happen.He must do it for fitness and recreation and nothing more.”
Nietes, who recently knocked out Mexican fighter Moses Fuentes cold in the ninth round of their May 10 rematch in Mall of Asia, believes also that Pacquiao could manage his time in boxing, basketball and being a lawmaker.
“I admire him [Pacquiao] and everybody does because of his good character,” he added. “I think he can manage his time and I believe he won’t sacrifice his boxing career in basketball.”
But a highly reliable source from the Pacquiao camp said that the contract between the champ and Kia, a Korean car manufacturer, remains unsigned until now.