Manny Pacquiao expresses desire to represent PHL in Paris Olympics

Can the POC and the rest of the aiding committees make this happen? (Vincent Yu/AP Photo via

By Leobert Julian A. de la Peña

If this materializes, this would become one of the most significant events to ever happen in the world of sports.

Manny “Pacman” Pacquiao, boxing’s living legend and only eight-division world champion, is still contemplating of getting back inside the ring.

However, not in a professional setup boosted by millions of dollars in rewards after the clash.

Last August 30, 2023, Philippine Olympic Committee (POC) president Abraham Tolentino revealed that the boxing icon reached out and wants to fight for the country in the upcoming Paris Olympics.

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

After a short meeting with the board, Tolentino said that it is difficult to grant Pacquiao’s request but it is also not impossible.

Initially, if Pacquiao wanted to earn that automatic slot in the Paris Olympics, he should’ve joined the training camp of the national athletes for the Asian Games in Guangzhou.

The Asian Games will serve as a direct qualifying tournament to the Paris Olympics set to kick off late this September.

If Pacquiao will not be competing in the Asian Games, Tolentino said that he will open this up to the Association of Boxing Alliances in the Philippines (ABAP) and the International Olympic Committee.

Tolentino reiterated that ABAP can help spearhead Pacquiao’s wish, arranging specific requirements for the legend in order to gain a slot in Paris.

Another thing that will be hindering Pacquiao’s plan is the cutoff age for all athletes if he decides to fight in the Asian Games.

Under the tournament rules of the continental sports meet, all athletes that will be representing their country will have to be 40 years old at max.

Pacquiao, now 44 years old, will surely have a problem with this one but with the aid of the POC and ABAP, other measures will be explored.

Despite the legendary professional belt haul across eight divisions that Pacquiao achieved, winning an Olympic gold medal coming out of retirement will further cement Pacman’s name in the sport forever.

Can Pacquiao get his wish?