MANILA, Philippines – Manny Pacquiao reiterated his desire to represent the Philippines at the 2024 Olympic Games in Paris in a bid to fulfill a lifelong dream.
Philippine Olympic Committee President Abraham “Bambol” Tolentino first announced on August 30 that Pacquiao is interested in a shot at an Olympic medal next year in Paris.
The eight-division world champion doubled down on his pledge to join the national team during the launch of the Maharlika Pilipinas Volleyball Association (MPVA) on Friday.
“[I’m] waiting for that. I’m excited about that,” Pacquiao said.
The 44-year-old boxing icon, who retired in 2021 to make way for his presidential bid, said he still hopes to win a gold medal.
“When I went to Manila, I said from the beginning 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 was a dream in my heart to win a gold medal at the Olympic Games.”
Pacquiao, who currently weighs 66 kilograms, must compete in the two Olympic qualifying tournaments scheduled for early next year.
Pacquiao can choose between 63.50kg or 71kg in the Paris boxing programme, where professional fighters are allowed to see action.
At the 2021 Olympic Games in Tokyo, 43 of the 186 boxers were prizefighters, including Eumir Marcial who won the bronze medal in middleweight.
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