Boxing legend Manny Pacquiao denied exemption to participate in 2024 Summer Olympics


Boxing legend Manny Pacquiao wanted to participate in this year’s Summer Olympics, but the International Olympic Committee has let him know he’s been denied to represent the Philippines. 

Pacquaio, 45, needed an exemption from the IOC to participate because the age limit for boxers is 40. But the IOC sent him a letter denying his request for the exemption. 

It was also reported the Philippines themselves tried to get a “universality” entry, which is given directly to the Olympics for countries that don’t have many athletes. 

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Manny Pacquiao speaks

Manny Pacquiao attends the charity marathon event to provide shelters for children in the Philippines at City Football Station on May 22, 2022, in Tochigi, Japan. (Jun Sato/WireImage)

But that also wasn’t granted. 

“Universality places are not allocated to [teams] with an average of more than eight athletes in individual sports/disciplines at the last two editions of the Olympic Games,” the IOC said in a statement. “This is the case for the Philippine Olympic Committee.”

Pacquiao has been retired since 2021, but as of February 2023, he’s posted videos of him still trying in a boxing gym and looks to still have his patented quick hands. 

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Of course, Pacquiao isn’t as quick and agile as he was in the late 1990s, coming up as a 16-year-old phenom. 

Pacquiao went on to win his first world championship, the WBC flyweight title, in December 1998. From there, he would win seven more different weight classes: junior featherweight, featherweight, junior lightweight, lightweight, junior welterweight, welterweight, and junior middleweight. 

Manny Pacquio poses with East Timor Prime Minister Xanana Gusmao

Philippine boxer Manny Pacquiao poses with East Timor’s Prime Minister Xanana Gusmao during his three-day visit in Dili on Sept. 29, 2023. (Valentino Dariell De Sousa/AFP via Getty Images)

The Pacquiao-Floyd Mayweather Jr. rivalry was also one of the best in recent boxing history, as the former lost in 2015 by decision. Today, it is still one of the most lucrative boxing matches ever, bringing in more than $600 million.

Pacquiao’s last pro fight came against Yordenis Ugas, which he lost in August 2021. 

But Pacquiao’s impact in the Philippines has been admirable, as he served in the House of Representatives from 2010-2016, and then as a senator. Because of that, though, he wasn’t able to participate in the 2016 Olympics in Rio. 

Pacquiao’s career as a professional has seen a 62-8-2 record, 39 of his wins being by knockout. He’s also 60-4 as an amateur. However, his desire to participate in the Olympics comes from the fact he’s never done it before. 

Manny Pacquio smiles

Filipino boxer Manny Pacquiao during a press conference in Bangkok on July 21, 2023, to promote his 2024 fight with Thai fighter Buakaw Banchamek. (Jack Taylor/AFP via Getty Images)

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But the IOC won’t make the exemption despite his illustrious career in the sport



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