Manny Pacquiao denied Olympics entry by the IOC

Manny Pacquiao’s ambitions of competing at Paris 2024 have been ended by the International Olympic Committee.

Pacquaio, who retired from professional boxing in 2021 following his unanimous decision defeat by Yordenis Ugas, has been denied by the International Olympic Committee refusing to alter their age restrictions. 

In 2013, ahead of the 2016 Olympic Games in Rio de Janeiro, the organization raised the age limit for its boxing tournament from 34 to 40. The International Boxing Association (IBA) had also approved the entry of professional boxers for the same competition, contributing to . former world champions Hassan N’Dam and Amnat Ruenroeng competing, without winning a medal. 

The 45-year-old Pacquaio and the Philippine Olympic Committee had hoped that the IOC would grant him a “universality” entry – effectively a pass for athletes who would bring an enhanced profile to the Games despite not qualifying on merit – to the Paris Games.

The IOC instead explained that they were not eligible to apply for universality entries for the boxing tournament as a consequence of their having more than eight representatives compete at each of the past two Games. 

“Universality places are not allocated to [teams] with an average of more than eight athletes in individual sports/disciplines at the last two editions of the Olympic Games,” read a statement from the IOC. “This is the case for the Philippine Olympic Committee.”

There had remained the possibility of Pacquiao attempting to qualify via the two qualifying tournaments set to be held in Italy and Thailand in February and May, but the IOC’s refusal to increase their age has ruled that out.