For many fighters, the chance to represent their country at the Olympics and capture the beautiful gold medal is THE goal, THE accomplishment that means the most, more so than the winning of world titles at professional level. Manny Pacquiao is one of these fighters and, all these years after being “forced to go pro,” this without the young Pac Man having had the chance to fight for his country in the Olympics, the 44 year old living legend is still dreaming.
It was as fans may recall, reported last month how Pacquiao had a plan, a goal, of boxing in Paris, 2024, his aim to bring home to the Philippines the gold medal. And Manny is determined to go through with his plan, his mission. Pacquiao says it’s “been a dream in my heart to get a gold medal in the Olympics” for the longest time.
“[I’m] waiting for that. I’m excited for that,” Pacquiao said to members of the media during the launch of the Maharlika Pilipinas Volleyball Association. “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 box]. So I was forced to turn pro at the age of 16. 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 can choose which weight he wants to box at, either the 63.50kgs or the 71kgs weight class, and Manny must go through two Olympic qualifying tournaments that will take place early next year. Currently, Pac Man weighs around 66kgs.
Going by fan comments, not everyone is supportive of Pacquiao’s goal of boxing in the Olympics, with a good many fans suggesting his participation would deny unknown youngsters, this as the all-time great who has already had his career would take a precious place that might have otherwise gone to them. Others feels Pacquiao’s goal of making history would add great drama and attention to the Games.
Let’s see if Manny can qualify next year first. Do YOU guys support Pacquiao in his quest, or should the Olympics be for up-and-coming boxers, not for former world champions?