Pacquiao risked life in KL title fight
Upon his return to Buenos Aires, dethroned WBA welterweight champion Lucas Matthysse started lashing out at critics who trashed the Argentine Machine for quitting his championship fight with Manny Pacquiao in Kuala Lumpur last weekend.
Matthysse tersely claimed he did the best he could—but things did not play out as planned.
Kinder critics said Matthysse came to fight, but suffered stage fright upon realizing how big the fight was.
Pacquiao said Matthysse must’ve lost focus after tasting his punches in the first round. Pacquiao said he readily saw fear in Matthysse’s eyes.
Pacquiao’s first knockout win in nine years was hailed and celebrated in the country and all over the world.
Praises poured, including from Floyd Mayweather Jr., who acknowledged Pacquiao’s sharpness and maturity.
Bob Arum said he would come next month to discuss a possible fight against world pound-for-pound star Terence Crawford, undefeated WBO welterweight champion.
Close to the KL fight, Pacquiao claimed he felt very great, renewed.
But as things would turn out, he was not truly healthy and ready for the championship.
Aquiles Zonio, Pacquiao’s chief information officer, revealed that Pacquiao fought against doctors’ order, after the eight-division world title winner was diagnosed suffering from a serious heart ailment.
Pacquiao was required to sign a waiver before being allowed to leave for the Kuala Lumpur assignment.
As Zonio related: Pacquiao was rushed to the Cardinal Santos Memorial Hospital at 3 p.m. on July 8 after suffering hardness of breathing. A subsequent angiogram procedure, which lasted until 3 a.m. the next day, showed Pacquiao was suffering from an inborn heart ailment.
Pacquiao was told to cancel the fight. No way, Pacquiao cried.
He flew back to GenSan City at 7 a.m. on July 9. No team member was told of the problem in order to avoid demoralization. At the same time, Pacquiao vowed to do everything to win the fight.
Pacquiao flew to Kuala Lumpur for the July 15 championship 3 p.m. July 9. He did not train upon arriving in the Malaysian capital.
It would be revealed Pacquiao had to skip daily training nine times in the two-month period of preparation.
Zonio said Pacquiao risked his life to fulfill his mission to make his countrymen proud and happy.
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