Who or What Compelled Manny Pacquiao to Return to the Boxing Ring?


Manny Pacquiao will embark on a boxing return at 45 after stating he was forced to fight as a professional from the age of sixteen.

“Pac-Man” wanted to compete as an Olympian early in his career. However, his poverty-stricken family couldn’t wait for money to be made.

Therefore, Pacquiao ditched the vest and head guard to earn cash for his loved ones.

Almost thirty years later, Pacquiao confirmed his intentions to enter qualification for the Olympics in 2024. By the time the games begin next year, Pacquiao will be well into his 45th year.


Manny Pacquiao at the Olympics in 2024

“[I’m hoping to qualify for the Olympics, and I am] waiting for that. I’m excited for that,” said Pacquiao.

“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,” he added.

The eight-weight world champion then confirmed an official confirmation on his bid for gold would happen soon.

“‘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,” he said.

“We’re still talking about the process of the qualifiers if I still have to participate or not. We will have an announcement about it.”


Professional return failed

Pacquiao has failed to set the boxing world alight since retiring in 2021. That’s despite heading to the exhibition circuit for a few outings.


A clash with Conor Benn, something that would have sparked a professional return, failed to materialize.

After a few weeks of testing the waters with fans, Pacquiao’s right-hand man Sean Gibbons and promoter Eddie Hearn went quiet on a Pay Per View in the Middle East.

Benn still faces an uphill battle to plead his innocence of two failed drug tests. The Briton has been out of action for fifteen months due to the findings in his samples.

Speaking to journalist Piers Morgan on his show in the UK, Benn pleaded his innocence and stated his mental health had suffered due to the negative coverage.


“I didn’t think I would make it through this period. I felt like I was on death row for something I hadn’t done,” Benn told Morgan. “But I was taking it day by day. I didn’t think I’d see another day. Yeah [I was suicidal].”

Benn added on potentially being banned from fighting at home in Britain: “My dad tore up his British boxing license on TV.

“I don’t have to be licensed by the board. I don’t plan on fighting in Britain any time soon.”

That’s where Pacquiao came in. However, the unlikeliest of events was never on the cards in reality. Pacquiao can since concentrate on his Olympic dream.


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