Manny “Pac-Man” Pacquiao is seemingly not finished yet with boxing. After gaining millions of dollars, earning the only 8-division world champion title, and even becoming a Senator of the Philippines, Pacquiao again eyes another step to greatness – an Olympic Gold medal. Manny Pacquiao’s camp reportedly reached out to the Philippine Olympic Committee (POC) in hopes of being able to represent the Philippines in the 2024 Olympics.
“Senator Pacquiao’s camp reached out saying our Filipino ring idol wants to fight in Paris,” POC President Abraham Tolentino announced.
‼️ Manny Pacquiao wants to fight at the Paris 2024 Olympics with the aim of ending his boxing career by winning a gold medal for his country at age 45, Philippine Olympic Committee president Abraham Tolentino has announced. He said they're now exploring qualification routes. pic.twitter.com/rbI4HvpZXd
— Michael Benson (@MichaelBensonn) August 30, 2023
Pacquiao is a boxing legend named in The Boxing Bible’s Top 10 Boxers in history. With his quickness and power, Pac-Man has already achieved peak success during his prime against the best fighters of his generation. But representing the Philippines in the Olympics is something the Filipino champ hasn’t done yet. He had the chance to do so in the 2016 Rio Olympics, but Manny prioritized being a politician. With his dream of finally going to the Olympics, this brings us to the question…
How can Manny Pacquiao qualify for the 2024 Olympics?
The quickest way for Pacquiao to qualify for the Olympics would be to win the upcoming Asian Games. Unfortunately, the boxing icon is technically disqualified due to his age. According to Asian Games rules, all sports have an age limit of 40 years for anyone who wishes to participate. Pacquiao is now 44.
“But the Senator can no longer vie for qualification in the Asian Games in Hangzhou next month,” Tolentino said.
But Manny Pacquiao still has a chance to qualify for the Paris Olympics next year
Thankfully, POC found two ways to enable Manny Pacquiao to represent the Philippines. Previously, Abraham Tolentino explained that they were exploring options to let Pac-Man fight.
2nd World Qualifying Games
Those who were not able to participate in the earlier qualifiers, such as the Asian Games, still have another chance to punch a ticket to the Olympics. By joining the second world qualifying games, a boxer can be nominated by a National Olympic Committee (i.e., POC) to a certain weightclass. This event will take place in the second quarter of 2024. Right now, Pacquiao clocks in at 66 kilograms. He can choose to fight for either the lightweight (63.5 kg) or welterweight (71 kg) division.
Aside from participating in another qualifying match, Pacquiao’s team and the POC can utilize the Universarity Rule imposed by the International Olympic Committee.
France, which will host the 2024 Olympics, will be automatically given the privilege to let six fighters join the boxing event (three male and three female). On the other hand, nine (9) Universality places may be awarded to NOCs (five for women and four for men). If eligible, these NOCs can submit a request letter from October 1, 2023, until January 15, 2024. The decision will be released on June 7, 2024.
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