HOUSTON – Despite the clean bill of health issued on Manny Pacquiao in Manila, promoter Bob Arum insists the Filipino hero must undergo a re-test in the US just to make sure he suffered no major damage from the brutal loss to Juan Manuel Marquez.
Arum, chairman of Top Rank promotions, welcomed the good news that the MRI performed on the 33-year-old ring legend at the Cardinal Santos hospital in Manila came out very well.
The Harvard-schooled promoter, who turned 81 last week, said he got the message directly from Pacquiao’s adviser Michael Konz, who said it was one of the top doctors in the Philippines who supervised the battery of tests conducted on the boxing star.
“The doctor who did it was surprised how clean his (Pacquiao) brain was. He said it was pristine,” Arum said, quoting the text message sent to him by Konz.
Still, Arum is taking no chances.
“When he comes over, I’m having him re-tested here,” said the Top Rank official.
Arum had earlier disclosed his plan to have Pacquiao tested extensively at the Cleveland Clinic in Las Vegas, a center that specializes on brain examination. The longtime promoter even volunteered to shoulder the entire bill for the check-up.
The 33-year-old boxer and Sarangani congressman lost to Marquez by knockout in the sixth round of their welterweight fight at the MGM Grand. The impact of the blow was so vicious Pacquiao fell to the mat face first and lay motionless on the canvas for a few minutes.
He was later brought at the nearby University Medical Center, where MRI performed on him likewise showed no major damage.
But the nasty manner in which he was knocked out has forced the Nevada State Athletic Commission to suspend the Filipino southpaw from fighting for the next 120 days, including 90 days without contact.
That left Arum with little choice but to schedule a late 2013 ring comeback from Pacquiao – possibly a September fifth fight with Marquez.
“It’s going to be a very exciting fight. Both guys are confident,” said Arum of the longtime boxing rivals. “And when you have one barnburner fight, the next one is equally as exciting.
“I think this fight is going to be incredible.”
Arum is keeping his fingers crossed that next year would be a better one for the `Pacman,' who lost a highly disputed decision to Timothy Bradley in his only other fight for 2012.
“Manny I understand is in great spirits, and next year, he will be hopefully have in the ring a lot better year than this year was.”