Manny Pacquiao’s Olympic Dream Denied: IOC Upholds Age Restriction

By Tom Galm - 02/18/2024 - Comments

Former eight-division world champion Manny Pacquiao has been denied his fairytail dream of competing in the 2024 Summer Olympics in Paris. Due to their age restrictions, the International Olympic Committee [IOC] has rejected the 45-year-old retired Pacquiao’s hopes of competing in the 2024 Olympics.

Age Limit Blocks Pacquiao’s Pathway

Pacquiao wanted to capture a gold medal in the Olympics for the Philippines to put a cap on his boxing career before hanging up the gloves. Unfortunately for Pacquiao (62-8-2, 39 KOs), his exemption request was denied due to the age restriction of 40 for Olympic competitors.

For the most part, fans are unsympathetic towards Pacquiao, seeing that he’s already enjoyed a hugely successful career, made millions, and is set for life with his huge fortune.

If Pacquiao were to fight in the Olympics for his country, he would be taking the spot from a younger boxer who hasn’t had the success he has. He would be taking that person’s place, and that’s not seen as fair. It would send a wrong message if Pacquiao were given the chance to fight in the Olympics instead of a younger boxer who hasn’t gotten the chance to make a name for himself.

The way Pacquiao has looked in his two exhibition matches since retiring in 2022, his chances of winning a gold medal in the 2024 Olympics would be slim. He’s not the same fighter that enjoyed success during his career, with wins over Juan Manuel Marquez, Miguel Cotto, Keith Thurman, and Oscar De La Hoya.

“Too bad our beloved boxing icon is disqualified because of his age and that everyone needs to go through qualifiers, in all sports, to be able to participate in Paris,” said Abraham Tolentino, the International Olympic Committee president.

An End to a Historic Era

The IOC’s rejection of Pacquiao’s efforts to compete in the 2024 Summer Olympics appears to have put an end to his boxing career, seeing that he’s not expected to come resume his professional career.

Pacquiao hasn’t fought professionally since his 12-round unanimous decision loss to Yordenis Ugas in August 2021. Manny was 42 when he took that fight, and he didn’t look like the same fighter who had beaten Keith Thurman in his previous contest in 2019.