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No Olympic return permitted for Pacquiao

Manny Pacquiao is too old to make a return to Olympic-style boxing and that regulation will remain in place.

The International Olympic Committee will not change its rules to let boxing great Pacquaio try to compete at the Paris Games aged five years beyond the entry limit.

Pacquaio, who retired in 2021, wanted to box aged 45 in the Olympic tournament in Paris where medal bouts will be held in the Roland Garros tennis complex.

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Back in 2009 Pacquiao showed his incredible speed against Ricky Hatton and stopped the Hitman in the second round

The IOC said on Sunday it wrote to Olympic officials in Philippines explaining the age limit for boxers of 40 will be upheld.

The IOC now oversees Olympic boxing after de-recognising the International Boxing Association, the Olympic sport’s previous governing body.

The age limit for Olympic boxing was raised to 40 from 34 in 2013 – a move that would have let Pacquaio try to compete at the 2016 Olympics in Rio. He chose not to at the time when he was also elected to be a senator in his home country.

It is unclear if Pacquaio would have tried to earn a place at the Paris Olympics in one of two qualification tournaments that open later next month in Italy and in Thailand in May.

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Yordenis Ugas used his size and boxing skills to convincingly defeat Pacquiao in 2021

The Philippines’ Olympic body had talked of trying to get a so-called ‘universality’ entry to the Paris Games. These are effectively free passes to events given to countries that have few athletes at the Olympics and typically struggle to qualify on merit.

However, the IOC explained that the Philippines had been too successful to benefit from the scheme.

“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.

“This is the case for the Philippine Olympic Committee.”

Pacquaio ended his storied career in September 2021 aged 42 after 72 fights, becoming the first boxer to win world titles in eight different weight divisions.

Sky News
(c) Sky Sports 2024:Source