MANNY Pacquiao in a recent statement promised that he would put more importance to boxing than basketball. The former pound-for-pound king is set to join the Philippine Basketball Association (PBA) in October as the playing head coach of Kia.
“I won’t leave boxing because that’s my main priority even basketball is close to my heart,” the 35-year-old Saranggani congressman Pacquiao told boxing website philboxing.com. “I won’t risk my health of course and I will avoid any injury.”
Some fans are concerned that an injury sustained while playing in the PBA might drastically affect Pacquiao’s preparations during fights. Pacquiao picked PBA veteran Glenn Capacio as assistant coach.
Pacquiao’s adviser Mike Koncz said that he’s not seeing the reigning World Boxing Organization welterweight champion leaving boxing for basketball.
“I don’t agree with that 100 percent but I believe Manny will be able to manage his time as a boxer, which will be his main priority, as a congressman and now as basketball player. I supported him, anyway,” Koncz told The Manila Times in a phone interview.
But not all in the combat sports community agree with Pacquiao’s move. Alvin Aguilar, considered “The Father of Philippine Mixed Martial Arts” airs his opinion on the matter, “I think it is a disgrace that the best basketball league in our country can just have anybody join because they are famous. Manny should stick to boxing those PBA players won’t give him any easy shots unless they have been told otherwise. He is risking his career for a circus ride,” Aguilar said.