Manny Pacquiao considering Paris Olympics qualification attempt

Former eight-weight world champion Manny Pacquiao could make a sensational return to the sport competitively after comments from the chairman of the Philippine Olympic Committee, Abraham Tolentino.

The chairman of the POC says that the boxing icon has reached out to the organisation to enquire how he could qualify and represent his nation at the 2024 Olympic games, which will be held in Paris.

“Senator (Manny) Pacquiao’s camp reached out saying our Filipino ring idol wants to fight in Paris,” Tolentino said in a statement.

“But the Senator can no longer vie for qualification in the Asian Games in Hangzhou (China) next month.”

The Asian Games serves as an Olympic Qualifier for the Paris Games but is unable to compete at the upcoming tournament in China due to the games imposing a maximum age limit for athletes, which currently requires all competitors to be 40 or under. Pacquiao is currently 44 years of age.

Pacquiao has two alternative options regarding qualification.

The first option would be to enter the world qualifiers, which are set to be held in Paris, with two qualifying tournaments set to take place in the opening six months of 2024.

The chairman of the POC further added that Pacquaio could qualify directly for the Paris Games courtesy of the IOC’s Universality Rule. However, selection for the games courtesy of this ruling is purely at the discretion of the IOC following nominations by each individual national Olympic Committee.

Reports in the Philippines suggest that the former eight-weight world champion is currently weighing around 66kgs and would have to decide which weight category he would like to compete in if he is to proceed. Currently, as it stands, Pacquaio will have to decide if he wishes to compete in the 63.5 kg or the 71 kg weight class if/when he wishes to enter the qualifying process.