MANILA, Philippines – Filipino boxing superstar Manny Pacquiao will be relinquishing the World Boxing Council (WBC) super welterweight crown he won over Mexico’s Antonio Margarito last November.
Pacquiao’s camp revealed that they no longer intend to pit the Filipino champion against boxers heavier than welterweight (147 pounds).
His Canadian adviser, Michael Koncz, said the Margarito fight placed the Filipino boxing icon’s life at risk.
In that super welterweight bout, set at a 150-pound catch weight, Margarito outweighed the smaller Pacquiao by 17 pounds.
The Filipino champion eventually defeated the bigger Mexican by a lopsided decision and won the WBC super welterweight crown. But he was badly bruised in the process.
“We learned from experience in the Margarito fight that giving away 10 to 15 pounds during fight night is very detrimental to the safety of Manny,” Koncz said in a report by sports commentator Ronnie Nathanielsz to Boxingscene.com
“Because of those basic concerns, we have no intention for Manny to fight at 154. From this day forward, the maximum weight would be 147 lb (welterweight),” he added.
Koncz said they will send a letter of gratitude to the WBC for giving Pacquiao the chance to win the title.
“Manny wants to free the belt so that others have the opportunity to proudly wear the WBC belt,” he said.
The WBC super welterweight title was the 8th world crown won by Pacquiao in as many weight classes. The victory earned him the distinction of being the only 8-division boxing champion in the world.
Pacquiao is set to defend his World Boxing Organization (WBO) welterweight title against fight former world champion Sugar Shane Mosley on May 7.
Meanwhile, Koncz said they intend to settle the sanctioning fees being sought by the WBC.
Pacquiao reportedly still has to pay up $30,000 for the rematch against Mexican Juan Manuel Marquez in March 2008 and $50,000 for the fight against Oscar de la Hoya in December 2008.
The WBC sanctioned the Pacquiao-Marquez rematch where the super featherweight title was at stake. The WBC has also fined the Filipino for opting to fight De la Hoya instead of defending the WBC lightweight belt he won over Mexico’s David Diaz.
WBC President, Don Jose Sulaiman has reportedly threatened to sue Pacquiao and Top Rank’s Bob Arum if the fees won’t be settled on time.
“I am going to send an e-mail to Top Rank instructing them to pay $50,000 for the De la Hoya fight because that was [the] agreement,” said Koncz.