Pacquiao to keep WBC lightweight title

ABS-CBN News

Posted at Jul 16 2008 11:42 PM | Updated as of Jul 17 2008 07:42 AM

Filipino boxing hero Manny Pacquiao has already made up his mind to keep his newly acquired WBC lightweight belt and continue to fight at the 135 pound division.

This means that he will surrender his WBC super featherweight title which he won from Mexican rival Juan Manuel Marquez last March via split decision.

"Nagbigay na ako ng instruction sa aking abugado na ipaalam sa WBC na ang 135 pound championship belt ang idedepensa ko... so ang 130 pound championship belt na napanalunan ko noong March ang igi-give up ko," he said.

(I have already instructed my lawyer to inform the WBC that I will defend by 135-pound [division] championship belt… so this means the 130-pound championship belt I won last March will be given up.)

Pacquiao is bent on leaving the super-featherweight division, since he is already having great difficulty making 130 lbs.

He said he feels more comfortable at 135 lbs, and in fact has dared anybody to challenge him for the crown.

World Boxing Council president Jose Sulaiman earlier has given Pacquiao until July 28 to decide on which title to keep should he face Mexican Humberto Soto.

"The present double WBC world champion at lightweight and super featherweight, Manny Pacquiao of the Philippines, must announce by July 28 which title he has decided to keep," the WBC said.

Sulaiman said if Pacquiao decides to relinquish the lightweight title, then he should defend the super-featherweight crown against Humberto Soto in his next fight.

The Filipino boxing superstar will be flying to the US next week to meet with Top Rank promoter Bob Arum and finalize talks about his possible fight with Soto on November.

Pacquiao also assured his fans that he will also push plans to climb the welterweight division and fight England’s prized fighter Ricky Hatton. With a report from Dyan Castillejo, ABS-CBN News