Philippines boxing legend Manny Pacquiao has won multiple accolades throughout his career but he is still missing an Olympic Games medal. Believe it or not, ‘Pacman‘ has never participated in the Summer Olympics. He was the Philippines flag bearer during the opening ceremony that parades all nations. In Rio 2016, he had a chance to compete due to the recent rules modification that allowed boxers under the age of 40 to compete. But Manny decided to not compete and kept on pursuing his political career in the Philippines. Currently, Pacquiao is 44 years old and the Philippines Olimpic Committee president just confirmed he wants to compete in Paris 2024.
Can Manny Pacquiao compete in the Olympics at 45?
The most important route of qualification is next month’s Asian games, where there is an age limit of 40 in order to compete. Lucky for Manny, there will be another two routes that can help him qualify for the event. We have two Olympic qualifying tournaments taking place early in 2024. Pacquiao may also qualify through the universality rule. In 2016, the Olympic boxing competition was only limited for amateur boxers. Tolentino recently released a statement in which he confirms Manny Pacquiao’s interest in representing the Philippines for the first time in his life during the Summer Olympics. This is what the statement read:
Senator Pacquiao’s camp reached out saying our Filipino ring idol wants to fight in Paris.
At the end of the day, the best southpaw in boxing history missing the Summer Olympics throughout his entire career is already a tragedy. Pound for pound, Manny Pacquiao is also considered one of the best. Although he lost 8 times as a professional, those 39 KOs are a taste of what he could do ruing this competition. However, this universality rule has backfired in the past as veterans or world champions have been humiliated by amateurs. Still, being 45 must take a huge toll in the body for a boxing match where you represent your country. It’s still not confirmed whether Senator Pacquiao will compete in the early 2024 qualifiers but we will report on it as soon as it’s announced.