Filipino boxing icon and former eight-division world champion Manny Pacquiao has confirmed that his desire is to win an Olympic gold medal and he wants to do so in Paris 2024.
According to Abraham Tolentino of the Philippine Olympic Committee, speculation emerged two weeks ago that “PacMan” would seek to compete at the Paris Olympic Games next year.
It was Pacquiao himself, at the launch of the Maharlika Pilipinas Volleyball League (MPVA) at the Sheraton Hotel in Pasay on Friday, who confirmed his desire to join his country’s Olympic squad and seek a place at the top of the podium.
Pacquiao said that he wants to settle an outstanding debt, as he revealed that as a child he was rejected from the national boxing team. After a brilliant and historic career as a professional, the boxing idol wants to add another feat to his list of achievements- Olympic gold.
“[I’m] waiting for that and I’m excited about it,” said Pacquiao. “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,” he added. [H/T Rappler]
After being rejected from his country’s national team, Manny turned professional at age 16. The rest is history, as he became a multiple world champion and an icon of sport in the country. Pacquiao still dreams of returning to boxing, but now with his country’s team and to seek Olympic gold.
His last fight as a professional was in August 2021, when he lost to Yordenis Ugas. He did an exhibition against DK Yoo and is expected to do another in early 2024, against Thai kickboxing legend Buakaw Banchamek.