Manny Pacquiao plans to fight at Paris 2024 as legend targets Olympic gold

Manny Pacquiao is planning to compete at the 2024 Olympics in Paris as he aims to end his extraordinary boxing career with a gold medal.

The 44-year-old hung up his gloves in September 2021 after 72 professional fights, having won world titles across eight weight divisions.

Since walking away from the ring, he has focused on his political career in his homeland where he is a serving senator, failing with a presidential bid in 2022.

The Filipino legend fought in an exhibition bout against martial artist DK Yoo last year while there have also been rumours of a meeting with old stablemate Amir Khan.

While he stockpiled world championships belts across his 26-year career, the one accolade missing from his trophy cabinet is an Olympic medal, having turned professional at the age of 16.

Pacquiao, who will be 45 by the time next summer’s Games start, and his camp have now reached out to the Philippine Olympic Committee to discuss how he can qualify to compete next year.

The former champion is not eligible to qualify via The Asian Games as it has an age limit of 40 years old in all sports but he could qualify through two further tournaments which are set to take place in the first and second quarters of 2024.

Philippine Olympic Committee (POC) president Abraham Tolentino said: ‘Senator Pacquiao’s camp reached out saying our Filipino ring idol wants to fight in Paris.

‘But the Senator can no longer vie for qualification in the Asian Games in Hangzhou next month.’

Boxing at the Olympics was traditionally reserved for fighters still competing in the amateur code but the rule was changed in 2016.

Uzbekistan fighter Bakhodir Jalolov, who turned professional in 2018, returned to fight in the Olympics in 2020, winning the gold medal in the super-heavyweight category.

But there has not been guaranteed success for professionals returning to the amateur code with former IBF flyweight champion Amnat Ruenroeng losing to a relative novice in Rio 2016.

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