No Pacquiao at 2024 Paris Olympics: Why IOC Rejected Boxing Star's Request To Fight For Philippines

No Pacquiao at 2024 Paris Olympics: Why IOC Rejected Boxing Star's Request To Fight For Philippines

Joel Reyes
February 19, 2024 at 11:14 AM
  • IOC rejected Manny Pacquiao's bid to represent the Philippines in the 2024 Olympics
  • The sport's current rules prevented the Filipino boxing legend from fighting in Paris
  • He accepted the IOC's decision to reject the Philippines' request because of its rules

The Olympic dream is over for Manny Pacquiao.

The Philippine Olympic Committee (POC) announced on Sunday that the International Olympic Committee (IOC) had rejected their special request to allow the boxing legend to compete at the 2024 Paris Games.

Here's all you need to know about Pacquiao's attempt to win Olympic gold and the sports organisation's ruling that ended it.

Manny Pacquiao, 2024 Paris Olympics, Olympics
Manny Pacquiao seen in a press conference; Paris Olympics logo. Images: Amphol Thongmueangluang/ Chesnot.
Source: Getty Images

Pacquiao retires from professional boxing

The Philippines' greatest athlete decided to hang up his gloves in September 2021, one month after he lost by unanimous decision to Yordenis Ugas in their welterweight bout.

Pacquiao decided to retire from the sport of boxing to focus on his political career and his presidential run in 2022.

Pacquiao requests to fight in Paris Olympics

It didn't take long for the Filipino fighter to change his mind, though. USA Today reported that he was in talks to make a comeback in June of last year against Conor Benn in a welterweight showdown.

That fight didn't push through, but the thought of returning to the boxing ring was once again back in Pacquiao's mind.

One of his dreams was to represent the Philippines in the Olympics. The POC made a request to the IOC on his behalf in 2023 to allow the eight-time world champion to compete in this year's Summer Games.

What is the universality place?

To make Pacquiao's dream come true and bolster the country's boxing team in Paris, the POC asked the IOC to grant a 'universality place' for the sports icon.

So what are universality places? They are usually awarded to athletes from smaller nations who struggle to get slots in the Summer or Winter Games through normal qualification.

Pacquiao's age dooms his Olympic dream

Pacquiao's Olympic dream ended in disappointment, though, after the IOC ruled that the age limit of 40 for boxers would be upheld. He would be ineligible to participate as he is already 45 years old, per ESPN.

The IOC made the ruling regarding the matter as they now oversee Olympic boxing following their decision not to recognise the International Boxing Association.

A disappointed Pacquiao released a statement about the IOC's decision, saying he understands and accepts the age-limit rules in boxing in the Olympics.

Tyson hangs out with Holyfield

Sports Brief has also previously reported on Mike Tyson hanging out with his rival.

The boxing legend delighted fans with a photo of himself alongside Evander Holyfield.

Tyson infamously bit Holyfield's ear during their heavyweight clash back in 1997.

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Joel Reyes
Joel Reyes is a sports editor at with a Bachelor of Arts degree in Journalism from the University of the Philippines. He has eight years of work experience in sports writing.