POC working on possible Pacquiao Olympic stint with Abap, IOC
Manny Pacquiao fighting for the flag and country?
It’s a little late to the party but it seems that the country’s ring icon, whose boxing exploits kicked off what is currently a golden age for Philippine sports, is serious about adding a particularly precious prize to his vast trophy room.
An Olympic gold.
Philippine Olympic Committee (POC) president Abraham “Bambol’’ Tolentino said on Wednesday that the former senator and eight-division world champion’s camp has reached out and expressed interest for a shot at an Olympic medal in next year’s Paris Games.
“Senator Pacquiao’s camp reached out saying our Filipino ring idol wants to fight in Paris,’’ said Tolentino.
Ways to qualify
“But the Senator can no longer vie for qualification in the Asian Games in Hangzhou next month,’’ he added. The Asian Games allows athletes of up to 40 years old in its competitions. Pacquiao is 44.
According to Tolentino, the local Olympic body has opened discussions with the Association of Boxing Alliances in the Philippines (Abap) and the International Olympic Committee (IOC) on how to deal with Pacquiao’s request.
The IOC will supervise the boxing competitions in Paris following the suspension of the International Boxing Association.
There are two other ways Pacquiao can qualify: Either through the universality exemption from the IOC or through grueling qualification tournaments scheduled next year. The IOC will open nine universality berths—five for women and four for men—for Paris.
Pacquiao currently weighs in at 66 kilograms and can fight in either the 63.6 kg or 71 kg divisions in Paris.
Professional boxers have been allowed in the Olympics. In the 2021 edition of the Games in Tokyo, 43 of 186 boxers were prizefighters, including Eumir Marcial, who won a bronze for the country.