HBO’s Kellerman defends Pacquiao for fighting Mayweather despite injury
He once became the center of criticism after fans called his post-fight interview with Manny Pacquiao “rude,” but HBO boxing commentator Max Kellerman has come to the defense of felled boxer.
“He manned up,” Kellerman said before the James Kirkland-Canelo Alvarez fight, talking about Pacquiao.
Pacquiao failed against Floyd Mayweather Jr. in their much-ballyhooed May 2 fight dubbed as the “Fight of the Century” which turned out to be a dud.
Kellerman interviewed the defeated Pacquiao after Mayweather held the unified WBO, WBC, and WBA Welterweight titles, but got flak from fans for his line of questioning.
After the fight, Pacquiao admitted that he had an injured right shoulder that he sustained three weeks before the fight. Lawsuits piled up over his non disclosure of the said injury.
“I think some people had the sense that Manny Pacquiao sold out for the money, and by fighting with a torn rotator cuff somehow perpetrated a fraud on the public,” Kellerman said. “I strongly disagree with this.”
“A dilemma is not a tough choice. A dilemma is a choice between two bad options. What was Manny Pacquiao supposed to do? Three weeks to go before the fight when he was diagnosed with a torn rotator cuff that needed surgery was he supposed to postpone the fight.”
“By the way, if he postpones, there may never be a Mayweather-Pacquiao fight. Who know’s if Mayweather’s still active 12 months-plus into the future.”
Pacquiao had a successful surgery on his shoulder but would take almost a year to fully heal.
Kellerman insisted the blame on unexpected “Fight of the Century” should not be put on the shoulders of Pacquiao, instead the public should look at the Nevada State Athletic Commission.
He added that Pacquiao complied with Mayweather’s request that the two fighters undergo drug tests the United Stats Anti-Doping Association conduct.
USADA agents allowed Pacquiao to have a shot of Toradol, a pain-killing drug, but the Nevada State Athletic Commission reportedly disallowed it less than a day before the fight.
“USADA says ‘fine, a shot of Toradol is fine, and then ultimately the 11th hour, the Nevada State Athletic Commission says Pacquiao can’t get the shot of Toradol because of what was essentially a clerical error? Because some box wasn’t checked off? A form wasn’t filled right?” Kellerman said.
If people are mad at anybody for Pacquiao not being at his best, if that is the view, be mad at the Nevada State Athletic Commission. In my view, because just when the boxing world needed them to show sound judgment, they chose to stand on principle instead of cooperate with the spirit of the event.” CC
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