LAS VEGAS - For all the hype surrounding his US$25,000 mouthguard minted in diamond, gold and dollars, Floyd Mayweather can't even hope to wear it to the fight against Manny Pacquiao on Saturday (Sunday, Manila time).
That is, unless he is willing to take the risk.
Well-known California-based Filipino orthodontist Dr. Ed Dela Vega, who has been providing the mouthpiece for Pacquiao in all his fights in the US, expressed concern over how Mayweather’s ornate mouthguard was made, saying it poses danger to the fighter.
“Hindi kasi advisable 'yung pagkakagawa niya ng mouthguard niya. Gusto ko nga 'yun ang gamitin niya. Kasi pag 'yun ang ginamit niya, baka may tama siya,” Dela Vega told Spin.ph.
“Pag tinamaan ni Manny, sigurado masusugatan siya. 'Yung kanya kasi decorative lang 'yun, hindi functional 'yun. It’s only for show. Hindi pang suntukan 'yun. Pang showoff lang 'yun,” he added.
“Theoretically, hindi dapat ginawa nung dentist yun eh. Ang function talaga nito is for protection, it’s not for show,” insisted the veteran orthodontist.
Dela Vega also takes pride in his successful handling of Pacquiao’s mouthguard since the first Erik Morales fight in 2005.
“Never siya nagkasugat at never siya nagkagalos sa akin. Kasi standard ang size at design na ginagawa kong mouthguard sa kanya,” he said. “Kulay lang umaalembong pero hindi nasa-sacrifice ang function.”
“Every fight I go check him out,” added the Arayat, Pampanga native.
Dela Vega meanwhile hopes to sell the replica of the colorful mouthguard Pacquiao will wear on Sunday to raise money for charity, like he has done in the past.
“We will try to bid this sa eBay kasi gagawa kami ng free dental clinic sa Roxas City. Last fight niya na mouthguard, napa-eBay namin. Umabot ng US$48,000 nakuha namin. Dinala namin sa Leyte. Nagbigay kami ng opisina sa mga medra sa Tacloban city,” he said.
Watch interview with Dr. Ed Dela Vega: