Boxer Manny Pacquiao, 45, denied exemption to compete at 2024 Summer Olympics

Manny Pacquiao speaks during press conference during world welterweight boxing championship at Axiata Arena. KUALA LUMPUR^ MALAYSIA - JULY 15^ 2018

Former world champion boxer Manny Pacquiao has been denied an exemption to compete at the 2024 Summer Olympics in Paris France. Pacquiao, who retired in 2021, was attempting to compete at 45 years old at the upcoming games.

The International Olympic Committee sent a letter to the Philippines denying an exemption to the rule that caps the age limit for boxers at 40, which was raised from 34 years old in 2013. The Philippines had also reportedly attempted to be granted a “universality” entry, an entry given directly to the Olympics for countries with too few athletes in the Olympic games, for Pacquiao to compete. The IOC said in a statement: “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. This is the case for the Philippine Olympic Committee.”

Pacquiao made his professional debut in January 1995, when he was 16. He won his first world championship in December 1998, earning the WBC flyweight title by knocking-out Chatchai Sasakul.  would go on to become the world champion in eight weight classes, including titles at junior featherweight, featherweight, junior lightweight, lightweight, junior welterweight, welterweight and junior middleweight.

In May 2015, Pacquiao lost a decision to Floyd Mayweather Jr.. and after suffering a loss to Yordenis Ugas in August 2021, he retired from the sport.  Pacquiao served in the House of Representatives of the Philippines from 2010 to 2016, and due to his position he declined an invitation to compete at the 2016 Olympics in Rio de Janeiro.

Editorial credit: FARYSA HAMZAH /

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