POC working on possible Pacquiao Olympic stint with Abap, IOC
Manny Pacquiao’s Pursuit of Olympic Glory for Flag and Country
While it may seem like a late entry into the arena, the iconic Filipino boxer Manny Pacquiao, whose legendary career has ushered in a golden age for Philippine sports, is now setting his sights on a particularly coveted prize: an Olympic gold medal.
President of the Philippine Olympic Committee (POC), Abraham “Bambol” Tolentino, announced on Wednesday that Pacquiao’s camp has expressed genuine interest in competing for an Olympic medal in the upcoming Paris Games.
“Senator Pacquiao’s team has reached out, expressing the desire of our Filipino boxing legend to participate in the Paris Olympics,” revealed Tolentino.
However, there are some challenges ahead for Pacquiao. He won’t be eligible to vie for qualification in the Asian Games scheduled in Hangzhou next month. The Asian Games typically allow athletes up to 40 years of age to compete, while Pacquiao, at 44, is beyond this age limit.
Tolentino shared that discussions have already commenced with the Association of Boxing Alliances in the Philippines (ABAP) and the International Olympic Committee (IOC) to address Pacquiao’s aspirations. The IOC will oversee the boxing competitions in Paris following the suspension of the International Boxing Association.
There are two potential paths for Pacquiao to secure his Olympic berth. The first is through the universality exemption granted by the IOC, or alternatively, by navigating the rigorous qualification tournaments slated for the coming year. The IOC has reserved nine universality berths for Paris, with five designated for women and four for men.
Pacquiao’s current weight category is 66 kilograms, which gives him the flexibility to compete in either the 63.6 kg or 71 kg divisions in Paris.
It’s worth noting that professional boxers have gained eligibility to participate in the Olympics. In the 2021 Tokyo Games, 43 out of 186 boxers were accomplished prizefighters, including Eumir Marcial, who clinched a bronze medal for the Philippines.
Manny Pacquiao’s pursuit of Olympic glory for his country, symbolized by the Philippine flag, is a testament to his unwavering dedication and passion for the sport of boxing. As discussions unfold, the world eagerly awaits whether this boxing legend can add another illustrious chapter to his remarkable career by competing on the grandest stage of them all: the Olympics.