HOLLYWOOD – A former world champion and Olympic medalist sees Manny Pacquiao capable of being a hit in the Summer Games.
Regilio Benito Tuur said the boxing great from General Santos City can easily adapt to Olympic-style boxing if ever professionals are finally allowed to compete in the quadrennial event, starting in Rio De Janeiro this July.
“Manny is a pro, but he punches as an amateur,” said the 48-year-old Tuur, a native of The Netherlands but is now based in New York during his first ever visittot the Wild Card gym here on Friday (Saturday, Manila time) to personally see Pacquiao train under good friend Freddie Roach.
“That’s why for Manny, he would do well (in the Olympics).”
Referred to as ‘Turbo Tuur’ for his fast moves inside the ring, the Dutchman won a silver medal in the 1988 Seoul Olympics, losing to Daniel Dumitrrescu in the featherweight final.
He later won the World Boxing Organization (WBO) super-featherweight title by beating American Eugene Speed in 1994.
Just like in the amateur ranks, Tuur said pros start fighting in four-round bouts, sometimes even three rounders.
“The only difference is that as an amateur, you have to throw a lot of punches. As a pro, we don’t do that, but Manny does.”
Tuur was having animated talks with Pacquiao while the Filipino boxing legend was doing shadow boxing inside the ring.
“You’re next man (in the Olympics), “ Tuur told Pacquiao, to which the Pacman replied in jest, “They didn’t want me (national team). I’m not good for the Olympics.”
Pacquiao had earlier said he’s in favor of allowing professionals to finally compete in the Summer Games as what the International Boxing Federation (AIBA) has been strongly lobbying for of late.
The fighter credited for putting The Netherlands on the boxing map, said he has no doubt Pacquiao could compete – and enjoy success – in the Olympics.
“A good pro could lose to a good amateur because we (pro) start at around the sixth round,” he stressed. “But Manny throws as much punches as amateurs.”
Before leaving, Tuur had a photo inside the ring with Pacquiao and Roach, who got close to the Dutchman after he fought one of the trainer’s protégés in the past.
Tuur also invited Roach to visit him in New York, which he said he’ll all be taken cared of.