PACQUIAO RELINQUISHES RING MAGAZINE TITLE
By Salven L. Lagumbay
Sun, 19 Jun 2005
It’s now official!
Manny Pacquiao has decided to relinquish his Ring Magazine Featherweight title, as he expressed interest in campaigning solely in the Jr. Lightweight division.
Ring Magazine Philippine correspondent Ted Lerner has informed that last Friday, Pacquiao had sent a faxed letter to Ring Magazine Editor-in-Chief Nigel Collins informing the latter of his intention to campaign solely in the junior lightweight class.
"I look forward to gaining The Ring belt in my new weight class soon," Pacquiao said in the letter.
Collins, who visited the country in March, 2004 to present the Featherweight strap to Pacquiao at the Malacanang Palace, issued this statement: "I'd like to thank Manny Pacquiao for representing The Ring Magazine so honorably during his reign as featherweight champion and wish him the best of luck in his campaign at 130 pounds. Perhaps one day I will have the pleasure of presenting him with The Ring Magazine's junior lightweight championship belt."
Upon the announcement, Lerner said, The Ring editors immediately installed Pacquiao at the number three slot among the 130-pounders, behind Marco Antonio Barrera and Erik Morales.
The Ring title, which is perhaps the most difficult belt to obtain in boxing and is considered by boxing purists as an indication of the true champion, is currently vacant at Jr. Lightweight.
“The champion's slot can only be filled when the number one and number two ranked contenders square off, or, on certain occasions, when the number one and number three fight each other,” Lerner said.
Pacquiao is currently in New York awaiting for tomorrow’s trial which will fire off his quest to get back millions of dollars from estranged promoter Murad Muhammad. The Filipino ring icon has hurled a $13 million suit against Muhammad on five claims of relief and $20 million in punitive damages under New York Judge Loretta Preska.
Meanwhile, another top Filipino fighter, OPBF minimumweight kingpin Rodel Mayol, is featured in the latest Ring Magazine issue which has Sylvester Stallone and Sugar Ray Leonard on the cover.
Mayol has recently severed ties with Stonewall Boxing Gym and hooked up with Japanese Yasuo Matsuoka, a Tokyo businessman married to a Filipina.
Click here to view a list of other articles written by Salven L. Lagumbay.
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