By Rich Mazon
05 May 2015
Boxing fans have a 400 million dollar question in the aftermath of the ‘Fight of the Century’.
Why is Manny Pacquiao allowed to fight with a nagging injury which in turn affected his performance against Floyd Mayweather Jr.?
In a surprise revelation after the fight, Pacquiao admitted that he is nursing an injury that he suffered during training, weeks before Saturday’s big fight.
“In this training camp, two weeks I did not train because I cannot use my right hand. I cannot use my right hand. Two weeks before the fight, one week before the fight, my shoulders hurt, not really totally one hundred percent. At least I can use it, but something (sic) wrong. “Pacquiao stated in a press-conference after his bout Saturday.
Trainer Freddie Roach admitted that the injury was sustained about two and a half weeks ago, Top Rank’s Bob Arum corrected Roach and said that “It was a little longer than that.”
“We thought at one time of postponing the fight but as the weeks went on, it was getting better and I was happy with his performance and he was doing well with his sparring,” explained Roach.
Roach said that Pacquiao hurt his shoulder when he collided with another fighter during sparring session in his Wild Card Gym.
“I think he could get through with the fight and I never wanted to put a fighter into a fight injured. I thought the progress was good enough and that is why we stayed with the fight,” justified Roach.
But Pacquiao is injured. Team Pacquiao filed a request to the Nevada State Athletic Commission (NSAC) to use medications to numb and reduce the swelling in his shoulder during Fight Night.
NSAC denied Team Pacquiao’s request.
“They want to give him an injection,” described Aguilar of the request.
That injection was a combination of three drugs - Lidocaine, Bupivacaine, Celestone.
Lidocaine and Bupivacaine are local anesthetics and Celestone (Betamethasone) is a corticosteroid that is used to treat inflammation.
“It’s not a prohibitive substance. Why it is prohibited on fight night potentially by the commission is that you want the fighter to enter the ring at a natural state. And when you give them pain killers or something that is going to numb a body part, they don’t know what’s actually occurring in their body in the ring and that is when we become very concerned,” NSAC’s Francisco Aguilar explained.
Team Pacquiao’s request was also made hastily according to Salazar, only two hours before the first bell.
“The first time the commission received a notice of the injury was today at about six thirty,” Aguilar stated Saturday after the fight.
Aguilar was refuting Arum’s explanation during the early part of the press conference that the filing was made “earlier in the week.”
Pacquiao who is not known to making excuses after a loss, said that the injury started to bother him in the third round of his fight last Saturday.
“On the third round, I already felt the pain in my shoulder. That is why we did not throw a lot of punches and combination. Could you imagine, I backed off because it hurt.”
Fighting hurt in the remainder of the fight greatly reduced the Filipino star’s punch output last Saturday. Pacquiao only connected 19 percent of his total punches against a very evasive opponent.
“Even though I cannot use my right hand, the fight is still good. It is still there. But the thing is what to do because of my shoulder,” Pacquiao added.
Pacquiao was advised to undergo surgery on that affected shoulder after visiting a renowned orthopedic surgeon in Los Angeles Monday. He is scheduled to go under the knife later this week and postpone his return to the Philippines.
But fans who paid at least a thousand dollars to watch the fight at the MGM Grand, and about two hundred dollars in Circuit TV viewing, excluding accommodations and airfare, question why Pacquiao was allowed to fight if he is not truly a hundred percent.
Fans who will incur an additional hundred dollars, plus taxes and fees, in their cable bill at the end of the month felt that they have been sold a defective product and not what was advertised.
Based on the reaction of fans, ‘The Fight of the Century’ was not the fight that people expected it would be due to the lack of action in the ring.
Mayweather Jr.’s defensive tactics was unappreciated and booed by fans. Pacquiao’s attempt to bring the fight to Mayweather Jr. was cheered on by fans but this revelation of his injury explained his lack of activity last Saturday.
The buzz about “The Fight of the Century’ did not end after the final bell Saturday night. This time, it will have to deal with the aftermath.
You can reach the author at firstname.lastname@example.org and @Freemazon910 on Twitter.
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