LOS ANGELES – Manny Pacquiao insisted he didn’t deceive boxing fans when he climbed the ring against Floyd Mayweather with a shoulder injury for their welterweight unification title match on Saturday (Sunday, Manila time).
The Filipino ring great said he was more than ready to face his unbeaten American foe and was confident of getting a shot to ease the pain in his right shoulder which he injured while training for the celebrated 12-round match.
“Ready naman talaga ako. Ang iniisip ko talaga ay mapapayagan ako ng commission (Nevada Athletic Commission) na mabigyan ng injection (para sa injury ko),” said Pacquiao.
The Filipino boxer is under threat of a fine and suspension from the Nevada commission after revealing following the loss that he was nursing a shoulder injury which his camp had concealed in the run-up to the fight.
Fight fans and commentators also felt shortchanged to watch the two best fighters in the world today go at each other, either live at the MGM Grand or through pay-per-view, with one of them apparently not 100 percent fit.
Tickets for the bout ranged from the cheapest at US$1,500 to $10,000 for the most expensive seat in the arena - and sold much higher in the secondary market - while pay-per-view cost reached $99.
Pacquiao lost the fight by unanimous decision, 118-110, 116-112, 116-112, and admitted during the post-fight press conference that he aggravated his injured right shoulder while pounding away at Mayweather in the third and fourth rounds of the bout.
The 36-year-old Filipino boxing great said the injury was suffered during a sparring last April 4 at the Wild Card gym. Following an MRI test, it was discovered there was tear in his rotator cuff, prompting his camp to administer anti-inflammatory to ease the pain.
The U.S. Anti-Doping Agency (USADA) tasked to oversee the drug testing on both Pacquiao and Mayweather leading to the May 2 fight, approved the drugs Lidocaine, Bupivacaine, and Celestone being used to treat the Filipino’s injured shoulder.
For a while, Pacquiao’s camp thought about postponing the fight, but decided to push through when the injury appears to be healing in time for the fight.
Just in case, the eight-time world division champion asked the Nevada Athletic Commission (NAC) that he be injected with anti-inflammatory hours before the fight on Saturday.
But the request was denied since Pacquiao didn’t indicate in his prefight medical questionnaire during the weigh-in that he has no injury.
Only the medications were indicated in the form, according to NAC chairman Francisco Aguilar.
Although the Pacquiao camp claimed NAC knew about the situation even before, Aguilar denied having knowledge about it.
“I found out about the issue just after 6 (p.m.),” he said. “They never filed any legal paperwork with the commission prior to the fight that he was hurt. “
Pacquiao never got the medication and fought the sleek Mayweather with an ineffective right hand.
At most, Pacquiao admitted he fought only 60 percent healthy in what many considered as the Fight of the Century, sparking further discussion the Filipino southpaw deceived people and fight fans who were expecting him to be in the best shape in the biggest battle of his career.
But as the Pacman said, “I did my best, but my best wasn’t good enough.”