Floyd Mayweather

Floyd Mayweather, Manny Pacquiao
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Star pro boxers’ thoughts on competing in Olympics

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While boxing’s international governing body voted to allow professionals in the Olympics, few, if any, well-known professionals are expected to compete in Rio.

Many active and retired world champions have chimed in on the possibility of Olympic eligibility for pros.

Floyd Mayweather, who went 49-0 as a pro but lost as an amateur at the 1996 Olympics en route to bronze, said in February that he had no interest in unretiring.

“Absolutely not,” Mayweather reportedly said when asked if he missed the spotlight. “For my body to recover from all my fights will be for the rest of my life.”

Manny Pacquiao, whose only Olympic experience was as the Philippines’ flag bearer at the Beijing Opening Ceremony, said last week that he would not pursue the Rio Games.

“I have decided to prioritise my legislative duty as I owe it to the people who voted for me,” Pacquiao said in a text message last week, according to Agence France-Presse. “So I believe I don’t have enough time to prepare [for the Olympics].”

Wladimir Klitschko, a 1996 Olympic super heavyweight champion and former world heavyweight champion for Ukraine, has advocated for professionals to be allowed in the Olympics.

“Any other sport, they can play professionally [and play in the Olympics],” Klitschko said last year. “It’s a shame for boxing that professional boxers cannot perform in the Olympics.”

Klitschko would look into competing at the Rio Olympics, if it’s feasible, after his July 9 fight with Tyson Fury, one of his representatives said in March.

Given the final Olympic qualifier is July 3-8 in Venezuela, the 40-year-old Klitschko and Fury will have no chance of competing in Rio.

Amir Khan won 2004 Olympic silver for Great Britain but said Wednesday he would like to compete for Pakistan at an Olympics, according to AFP. Khan’s parents were born in Pakistan.

“It’s a decision which I welcome,” Khan said of pros in the Olympics in Pakistan on Wednesday, according to AFP. “It will help boxers, and if I am permitted as per rules and from my promoter, then I would love to compete for Pakistan.”

Khan was knocked out by Canelo Alvarez on May 6.

The long-retired Mike Tyson doesn’t believe pros should be allowed in the Olympics.

“Some of the pro fighters are gonna get beat by the amateurs,” Tyson said last week, according to Sky Sports. “If they are like the amateur fighters that I was fighting in the ’80s, like [three-time Cuban Olympic heavyweight champion Teófilo] Stevenson [who Tyson never fought] and those guys, and all those guys were fighting with the Russians and the Cubans, they are gonna beat some of the champions.”

MORE: Claressa Shields sets U.S. boxing history with repeat World title

Floyd Mayweather says he’s happily retired, days after Olympic boxing news

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Floyd Mayweather Jr. has no interest in unretiring, he told media on Monday, five days after boxing’s international governing body said star professional fighters could be made eligible for the Olympics.

“Absolutely not,” Mayweather said when asked if he missed the spotlight, according to media at a Washington D.C. press conference promoting the Adrien BronerAshley Theophane fight April 1. “For my body to recover from all my fights will be for the rest of my life.”

On Wednesday, AIBA president Ching-Kuo Wu said a proposal to open Olympic boxing to all fighters could be ratified within months, potentially in time for the Olympics in Rio de Janeiro in August, according to The Associated Press.

“Do I think it’s going to happen this year? No,” USA Boxing executive director Mike Martino said, according to the AP. “Practically speaking, we’re looking at 2020.”

Mayweather, who will be 43 come the Tokyo 2020 Games, went 49-0 as a pro, but suffered defeats as an amateur, most notably, most controversially and most recently at the Atlanta 1996 Olympic semifinals to Bulgarian Serafim Todorov.

Mayweather came back to earn bronze in Atlanta and turned pro after the Games.

MORE: Klitschko’s stance on Olympics unchanged

Caitlyn Jenner gives tearful speech at ESPYs

Caitlyn Jenner
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A tearful Caitlyn Jenner was honored with the Arthur Ashe Award for Courage at the ESPYs, speaking to a room full of fellow accomplished athletes.

Jenner won the 1976 Olympic decathlon title as Bruce Jenner and publicly announced she was “for all intents and purposes … a woman” on April 24.

Jenner’s Olympic triumph was remembered as part of a 14-minute video feature that played before two-time Olympic champion soccer player Abby Wambach introduced Jenner at the Nokia Theatre in Los Angeles.

Here’s video of Jenner’s speech.

“I know the people in this room have respect for hard work, for training, for going through something difficult to achieve the outcome that you desire,” said Jenner, with long brown hair and wearing a white dress. “I trained hard. I competed hard, and for that people respected me, but this transition has been harder on me than anything I can imagine.”

Jenner teared up when thanking family members as part of an 11-minute speech and closed with this:

“It is an honor to have the word courage associated with my life. But on this night another word comes to mind, and that is fortunate. I owe a lot to sports. It showed me the world. It’s given me an identity. If someone wanted to bully me, well, you know what, I was the MVP of the football team. That just wasn’t going to be a problem. And the same thing goes tonight. If you want to call me names, make jokes, doubt my intentions, go ahead, because the reality is, I can take it. But for the thousands of kids out there coming to terms with being true to who they are, they shouldn’t have to take it. So for the people out there wondering what this is all about, whether it’s about courage or controversy or publicity, well, I’ll tell you what it’s all about. It’s about what happens from here. It’s not just about one person. It’s about thousands of people. It’s not just about me. It’s about all of us accepting one another. We’re all different. That’s not a bad thing. That’s a good thing, and while it may not be easy to get past the things you always don’t understand, I want to prove that it is absolutely possible if we only do it together.”

UFC champion and 2008 Olympic judo bronze medalist Ronda Rousey won Best Female Athlete (over Olympic champions Lindsey Vonn and Serena Williams) and Best Fighter (over another Olympic bronze medalist, Floyd Mayweather Jr.).

“Wonder how Floyd feels being beat by a woman for once,” Rousey said in an ESPN red carpet interview. “Like to see him pretend to not know who I am now.”

Vonn was also nominated for Best Comeback Athlete, an award won by New England Patriots tight end Rob Gronkowski.

Video: Bruce Jenner’s NBC News interview from 1976