Filipino boxing legend Manny Pacquiao will not go to the Games

Manny Pacquiao will not be there in Paris. The Filipino boxing legend’s request to participate in the Olympic Games (July 26-August 11) was rejected by the International Olympic Committee (IOC), announced Sunday, February 18, the president of the Philippine Olympic Committee, Abraham Tolentino. .

Manila had sent a request “special” at the instance of Lausanne (Switzerland), in the fall of 2023, so that the former champion, aged 45, can come out of retirement and compete in the competition despite a rule setting the age limit for participants in Olympic boxing events at age 40.

The Philippine committee hoped to give Manny Pacquiao access to one of the “universality places”, understand these are given to athletes from countries struggling to secure places at the Games through normal qualification routes. There are nine for boxing – five for women and four for men.

“He could have secured a podium”

The champion, who has never participated in the high mass of world sport, declared to Agence France-Presse in October 2023 that he was not “not too old” to face younger rivals and that he felt as if he had “30 years or 28 years”. “He could have secured a podium or been the country’s first gold medal [en boxe] »regretted Mr. Tolentino, who however added that his committee must “follow the rules established by the IOC”.

Manny Pacquiao has won numerous world titles in six different weight classes. He retired from professional boxing in 2021 to attempt, unsuccessfully, to become president of the Philippines.

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The World with AFP

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