MANILA (Philippine Daily Inquirer/ANN): Multiple boxing champion and legend Manny Pacquiao reiterated his desire to represent the Philippines in the Paris 2024 Olympics in a bid to fulfill a lifelong dream.
Philippine Olympic Committee president Abraham “Bambol” Tolentino first bared last August 30 that Pacquiao is interested in a shot at an Olympic medal in Paris next year.
The eight-division World champion doubled down on his commitment to join the national team during the Maharlika Pilipinas Volleyball Association (MPVA) launch on Friday.
“[I’m] waiting for that. I’m excited for that,” said Pacquiao.
The 44-year-old boxing icon, who retired in 2021 to make way for his presidential bid, said he is still hoping to win a gold medal.
“From the beginning, I said when I went to Manila that I wanted to join the Philippine team. But I was rejected because they said I didn’t know how [to fight]. So I was forced to turn pro at the age of 16,” Pacquiao said in Filipino.
“‘That’s the reason for this. From the very beginning, it’s been a dream in my heart to get a gold medal in the Olympics.”
Pacquiao, who currently weighs 66 kilograms, needs to go through the two Olympic qualifying tournaments scheduled early next year.
Pacquiao can pick between 63.50kgs or 71kgs on the Paris boxing program where professional fighters are allowed to see action.
In the 2021 Tokyo Olympics, 43 of the 186 boxers were prizefighters, including Eumir Marcial who won the middleweight bronze medal. - Philippine Daily Inquirer/ANN