Pacquiao relinquishes WBC lightweight title

6a00d83451bb1169e200e5537a048a8833-320wiBy Ronnie Nathanielsz – World’s No. 1 pound-for-pound fighter Manny Pacquiao has decided to relinquish the World Boxing Council (WBC) lightweight title he won from Chicago’s David Diaz, saying that he won’t be fighting at the 135-pound division anymore.

WBC president Don Jose Sulaiman said that Pacquiao had sent him “a letter of resignation of his title because he says he is not going to fight anymore in the lightweight division.”

Sulaiman received the letter last Friday.

Sulaiman thanked Pacquiao for what he termed his “beautiful letter” and wished him the best of luck, promising that he will “always have the WBC in his corner.”

The WBC president said the premier world organization was “extremely proud of Manny who has been associated with our organization since 1997.”

That was when Pacquiao captured the WBC-affiliated OPBF–Oriental and Pacific Boxing Federation–flyweight title defeating Thailand’s rugged Chockchai Chockvivat via a 5th round TKO in the Mandaluyong City gym.

Sulaiman said Pacquiao informed him that he would “like to fight in the super lightweight division in the future.”

Sulaiman said “I hope that we can give him another opportunity in the super lightweight but we’ll have to see what happens with (Ricky “The Hitman”) Hatton” in their showdown at the MGM Grand in Las Vegas on May 2.

Pacquiao’s Canadian adviser Michael Koncz, along with a couple of others in Team Pacquiao, have often made it clear that they were against the idea of fighting for a title and paying sanction fees, claiming that no matter who Pacquiao fights, even if no title is at stake, he would draw big numbers at the venue and on pay-per-view.

Pacquiao to leave for UK Friday

Top Rank chief Bob Arum said he had just gotten off the phone with Koncz who informed him that Pacquiao was going to the British embassy Wednesday to get his visa.

The Filipino boxer is scheduled to leave for London at 6 a.m. on Friday.

The promotional tour starts in Hatton’s hometown of Manchester at the well-known Trafford Center commercial center on Saturday.

There will be a Monday media conference in London which may be held at the Imperial War Museum. The event will be highlighted by a “darts competition” between Pacquiao and Hatton.

The Sun newspaper reported that Hatton will meet Pacquiao on the oche (the line where they shoot the darts from) with Phil “The Power” Taylor, a friend of Hatton acting as referee at the Rover’s Return, which is the set of the TV series Coronation Street .

Knowing Pacquiao’s penchant for playing darts in his Palazzo apartment in Los Angeles, Arum said “Ricky is good at darts but Manny is a real whiz. My man won’t be paying for the beer.”

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