Eight division world champion Manny Pacquiao, 44-years-old, is standing firm that he wants to pursue an Olympic gold medal at the 2024 Paris games.
Pacquiao’s motivation stems from the early years of his amateur career when he was being overlooked and ultimately rejected to represent his country in the Olympic games.
“[I’m] waiting for that and I’m excited about it,” Pacquiao told Rappler during the launch of the Maharlika Pilipinas Volleyball League (MPVA).
“From the beginning, I went to Manila to be part of the Philippine team, but I wasn’t picked, I was rejected…because they said I was not good. My heart and desire is to claim a gold medal in the Olympics.”
Last month, it was revealed by Philippine Olympic Committee President Abraham “Bambol” Tolentino that had Pacquiao reached out to inquire about the qualification process.
However, Tolentino, revealed that Pacquiao is ineligible – due to a capped age of 40 – to participate in the Asian Games, which is an Olympic qualifier.
Pacquiao (62-8-2; 39 KOs) retired from the sport in 2021, after suffering a twelve round decision loss to Yordenis Ugas. Pacquiao had originally been scheduled to face Errol Spence, who withdrew from the bout with an eye injury. Ugas was already scheduled to see action on the undercard and accepted the fight on late notice.
The Filipino star has taken part in exhibition bouts and has another one planned in early 2024 with kickboxing legend Buakaw Banchamek.
During his pro career, Pacquiao had a run that won’t easily be replicated – as he captured world titles at flyweight, super bantamweight, featherweight, super featherweight, lightweight, junior welterweight, welterweight and even junior middleweight.