“Things just keep getting worse for Manny Pacquiao this week,” as Scott Christ wrote for boxing blog Bad Left Hook. And, things may get much worse.
Following his unanimous decision loss to Floyd Mayweather in the “Fight of the Century” on May 2, it was revealed that the Filipino welter had suffered a shoulder injury — a tear in the rotator cuff — in the weeks leading up to the bout.
Pacquiao now claims, in a report in Manila Standard Today, that efforts to treat the issue were “sabotaged” by the Nevada State Athletic Commission.
As Team Pacquaio tells the story, the injury was to be treated with a shot of anti-inflammatory Toradol on the day of the fight — but it was disallowed by NSAC. Pacquaio’s team says they had been assured the treatments were allowed by USADA officials. They also claim that vitamins and water were taken from his dressing room.
In addition, the injury was said to have been kept secret, but, Pacquiao claims, his opponent knew about it and targeted his injury:
“Did you see when he was pulling my arm?” Pacquiao asked. “Because he knew. He was pulling it, did you see? Because he knew. I felt like a needle was penetrating my bones. I really needed that shot because if I throw a power hook or power jab, it hurt. We filled it out, but also I’m so disappointed because for the first time in my boxing career, more than 20 years, they held my vitamins, they held my water (from) the dressing room. This is new.”
The NSAC has countered by alleging that Pacquiao did not give commission notice of his injury at all.
“If the injury was disclosed at the weigh-in, we could’ve had a conversation and handled it differently,” NSAC chairman Francisco Aguilar said in an LA Times report. “When you come at 6:30 with the fight at 8, that’s a different conversation.”
In fact, that failure to disclose his injury could result in criminal charges levied at the fighter. His pre-fight paperwork included a specific question regarding shoulder injuries, which was marked “no” by him or his assistants. Those documents, which were made public in a NY Daily News report, are signed under penalty of perjury.
Pacquaio will undergo surgery for his injury soon and is said to be out of action for anywhere between nine and twelve months.
In the meantime, it’s going to be another ugly series of controversies for the boxing world to untangle — despite whatever record-breaking successes of last weekend.