Pacquiao Pacquiao with POC president Tolentino.

Pacquiao wants to fight in Paris Olympics

August 30, 2023 Robert Andaya 199 views

BOXING never stops for Manny Pacquiao.

In fact, Pacquiao is looking to fight one more time.

But the 44-year-old boxing hero from General Santos City hopes to extend his legendary career by taking a shot at the Olympic medal in Paris, France next year.

No less than Philippine Olympic Committee (POC) president Rep Abraham “Bambol” Tolentino said that Pacquiao’s camp reached out on how the former eighth-division world champion could qualify for Paris.

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

Tolentino said the POC has started conferring with the Association of Boxing Alliances in the Philippines (ABAP) and the International Olympic Committee (IOC) which is supervising Olympic boxing while the International Boxing Association is suspended.

“But the Senator can no longer vie for qualification in the Asian Games in Hangzhou next month,”added Tolentino.

The Tagaytay City Mayor said the Asian Games, which is also an Olympic qualifier,has an age limit for athletes at 40 years old in all sports.

He said Pacquiao could qualify for Paris through two Olympic qualifying tournaments set in the first and second quarters of 2024.

Another possibility is for Pacquiao to secure a berth under the Universality rule, which the IOC would grant. There are, however, only nine places under Universality at the Paris Games–five for women and only four for men.

Tolentino also said that the ABAP, through its chairman Ricky Vargas, will welcome Pacquiao to the national team and will assist in his qualification.

A close aide of Pacquiao confirmed that the former senator is willing to fight in the Olympics and that they have already reached out to Tolentino.

Tolentino also said Pacquiao, who currently weighs 66 kgs, has to choose between 63.50 kgs or 71 kgs that are on the Paris boxing program.

Professional boxers have been allowed to compete at the Olympics and in Tokyo, 43 of the 186 competitors were professionals, including middleweight bronze medalist Eumir Felix Marcial, who beat fellow professional, Armenia’s Arman Darchinyan, in the quarterfinals.

Prior to Tokyo, Marcial booked his first professional victory –unanimous decision over American Andrew Whitfield on December 16, 2020, in Los Angeles.

Marcial opted to delay his fifth professional fight in September and will focus on his return to the Olympics through Hangzhou where he’ll be fighting as a light heavyweight.