Surgery for Pacquiao cancels November fight
HOLLYWOOD—Manny Pacquiao usually forgets about time when he’s playing chess. He can play on up to early morning.
On Monday, however, Pacquiao, no longer donning a right shoulder sling, cut short his games against former PBA player Zaldy Realubit before midnight.
The throbbing pain that affected his performance against Floyd Mayweather Jr., who won their colossal battle by unanimous decision, Saturday night was still bothering him.
That was the reason why Pacquiao went to Kerlan Jobe Orthopedic Clinic in Los Angeles Monday afternoon to seek medical treatment.
As it turned out, Pacquiao sustained a tear on his right shoulder rotator cuff and needs to undergo surgery. It will be done anytime this week and so his return home, originally set Wednesday, will have to wait. His scheduled next fight in November is also a no-go.
“It still hurts, especially if I raise my hand,” Pacquiao told his public information officer in Filipino before going upstairs to sleep. “I’m not really feeling that well.”
Following the surgery, Pacquiao has to rest for five to six weeks without strenuous activities. In total, he’s expected to be out of commission from nine months to a year. The ever-optimist Pacquiao, however, believes it would heal in five to six months.
“We have an MRI scan that confirms he has a rotator cuff tear. He has a significant tear,” orthopedic surgeon Dr. Neal ElAttrache told ESPN.com.
“After examination, It was determined that the best method and approach is for Manny to have surgery,” Michael Koncz, Pacquiao’s adviser, said. “Manny is doing OK.”
According to Koncz, the doctor who will perform the surgery, will issue a medical bulletin after the procedure.
While Pacquiao can bear with the shoulder pain, he’s hurting inside.
No matter the reason, he has failed in in his quest to topple Mayweather from his lofty perch in boxing.
“Manny did the best he could under the circumstances,” Koncz said. “We have to give Floyd credit, too. Floyd was the better man [Saturday] night. Floyd did a tremendous job, and he won the fight.”
Clearly, however, Pacquiao was far from his usual fiery form when he tangled with Mayweather.
The 429 punches Pacquiao threw was the fewest in his 20-year ring career for a 12-round fight. Mayweather, a master defender, even outpunched (435) him. Furthermore, Pacquiao only landed a total of 81 punches, also the least ever. Fact is, the power punches Mayweather unleashed matched Pacquiao’s output.
It was only during the post-fight conference that Pacquiao’s injury got revealed.
Nevada Athletic Commission chairman Francisco Aguilar bared that the NAC had denied Pacquiao’s request to take an anti-inflammatory shot in his shoulder in his dressing room because there was no formal request and it was made too late, just two hours before the welterweight unification title showdown started at MGM Grand Garden Arena.
Chief trainer Freddie Roach disclosed that his prized ward sustained the injury on April 4 while throwing a right hook and his arms got tangled with that of his sparring partner.
They had the injury examined on April 6 and found out about the tear. They did not disclose the injury right away, hoping it would heal in time by resting it. Fact is, they cancelled sparring for one week, under the guise that Pacquiao was peaking too soon.
Top Rank Promotions chief honcho Bob Arum claimed that the NAC had been informed of the injury shortly and that they had filed a request that Pacquiao be allowed to receive anti-inflammatory shots. The numbing agents had been approved by the US Anti-Doping Agency, which conducted random testing on both Mayweather and Pacquiao.
Aguilar justified the NAC’s decision to junk Pacquiao’s request saying that although the medications he was taking were disclosed on his medical questionnaire, they failed to list the actual injury.
According to Koncz, he was the one who answered the questionnaire and made the omission.
Apart from the painkillers, the NAC also prevented Pacquiao from bringing in energy drinks and his own water.
Aguilar said Pacquiao could be fined or suspended by the commission for not answering the question correctly on the form before the weigh-in on Friday as four questions later, Koncz noted the painkillers Pacquiao had been taking.
As to why Arum did not request for a postponement of the fight projected to gross a record $400 million, the 83-year-old venerable promoter said that Pacquiao got well enough to fight, but the injury re-incurred and doomed his chances.
On Monday, Top Rank and Pacquiao issued a statement to clarify their position.
During training, Manny Pacquiao suffered a right shoulder injury. Manny went to see world-class doctors, partners in the prestigious Kerlan Jobe Orthopedic Clinic, who performed tests and, in consultation with Manny, his promoter, and his advisors, concluded that with short rest, treatments, and close monitoring, Manny could train and, on May 2, step into the ring against Floyd Mayweather.
Manny’s advisors notified the United States Anti-Doping Agency (“USADA”) of the shoulder injury and the treatments being proposed by the doctors during training and on fight night. USADA spoke to Manny’s doctors twice, investigated, and confirmed in writing that the proposed treatments, if used, were completely allowed. The medication approved for fight night was a non-steroidal anti-inflammatory (Toradol).
Manny continued to train and his shoulder improved, though not 100%. This is boxing, injuries happen, and Manny is a warrior. Again, in consultation with his doctors, promoter and advisors, Manny decided to proceed with the fight anticipating that he could receive his pre-fight treatment. That specific treatment had been approved by USADA in writing at least 5 days before the fight.
On his pre-fight medical form filled out earlier in the week, Manny’s advisors listed the medications that Manny used in training and the medications that might be used on fight night. A few hours before he was expected to step in the ring, when Manny’s doctors began the process, the Nevada Commission stopped the treatment because it said it was unaware of Manny’s shoulder injury.
This was disappointing to Team Pacquiao since they had disclosed the injury and treatment to USADA, USADA approved the treatments, and Manny had listed the medication on his pre-fight medical form.
Also, USADA had provided a copy of its contract with the fighters to the Commission. An hour before the fight, Manny’s advisors asked the Commission to reconsider and the director of USADA advised the Commission that USADA had approved the fight-night treatment, but the Commission denied the request.
With the advice of his doctors, Manny still decided to proceed with the fight. His shoulder wasn’t perfect but it had improved in training camp.
However, as Manny has said multiple times, he makes no excuses. Manny gave it his best.
It was precisely Pacquiao’s opening remarks during the post-fight conference.
“I gave my best but it wasn’t good enough,” he said.
Of course, fighting with one good arm against Mayweather won’t suffice.
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