Manny Pacquiao wants to return to boxing for the Paris 2024 Olympics, Philippine Olympic Committee president Abraham Tolentino has announced.
The legendary Filipino eight-weight world champion retired from the sport following his defeat to Yordenis Ugas in 2021, but has since hinted at a possible return.
Pacquiao previously quit boxing to allow him to focus solely on his political career in the Philippines, where he is a senator.
However, he was unsuccessful in his run to become President of his home country in 2022.
As a result, the boxing icon has since returned to the ring for exhibition bouts.
But now, according to the Philippine Olympic Committee president, Pacquiao is eyeing a more serious return.
“Senator Pacquiao’s camp reached out saying our Filipino ring idol wants to fight in Paris,” Tolentino said in a statement.
Pacquiao is now 44 and would be 45 at the time of the games.
This rules him out of the main route of qualification – next month’s Asian Games – which has an age limit of 40.
However, Pacquiao could still qualify through one of the two Olympic qualifying tournaments that will take place early next year, or possibly through the Universality rule.
Previously, the competition was solely for amateur boxers, but this changed in 2016.
The rule change has led to mixed results, with Thailand’s former IBF flyweight world champion Amnat Ruenroeng being a notable name who suffered a humiliating defeat to an amateur at the Rio 2016 games as he struggled to adjust to the style needed to win the three-round fights at the tournament.
However, at the Tokyo 2020 Olympics, rising pro heavyweight prospect Bakhodir Jalolov won super-heavyweight gold.
Time will tell if Pacquiao ends up participating, and whether he could end his career by bringing home Olympic gold for his country.