IOC denies Manny Pacquiao exemption to box at Olympics

Aug 21, 2021; Las Vegas, Nevada; Manny Pacquiao (right) fights Yordenis Ugas in a world welterweight championship bout at T-Mobile Arena. Mandatory Credit: Stephen R. Sylvanie-USA TODAY Sports
Credit: Stephen R. Sylvanie-USA TODAY Sports

The International Olympic Committee said former world champion boxer Manny Pacquiao cannot compete for the Philippines at this year’s Olympic Games in Paris.

Pacquiao, 45, retired in 2021 but sought to box for his country at the Olympics. The IOC’s age limit for boxers is 40.

The Philippines asked for an exception based on the “universality” entry rule, in which a nation that has a small contingent of athletes is given direct entry into a certain event.

“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,” the IOC said in a statement, per the Associated Press. “This is the case for the Philippine Olympic Committee.”

Pacquiao won 12 world titles over his career and is the only person to win championships at eight different weight classes. He also has served as an elected government official in his home nation and ran for president of Philippines in 2022, losing to current president Bongbong Marcos.

–Field Level Media

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