Just hours after his mega fight on May 2nd, Manny Pacquiao revealed he fought with an injured right shoulder. According to the Filipino icon, it was a pre-existing injury which had cropped up during training and interfered with his regime for 2 weeks. It then diminished his ability to throw his right-hand, particularly hooks, from the 3rd round onwards. A torn rotator cuff was confirmed on a recent MRI scan.
Needless to say, this new information has not sat well with boxing fans. And who can blame them?
Are they supposed to feel sympathy for Pacquiao? Or none in the slightest? One could easily argue that given the magnitude of this fight – 5 years in the making, for pound for pound supremacy, etc – most were expecting to see a ‘fully-armed’ Pacquiao.
Fighters, like all athletes, often enter the ring with injuries. But not as severe as this.
And it would seem very likely that Pacquiao, his team and promoters were aware of it prior, and that it would no doubt rear its ugly head during fight night.
Remember, this was not a tune-up, stay-busy, or even regular title defense for the former WBO champion. This was a heavily hyped and lucrative fight that saw just about every kind of vendor or affiliate cashing in tremendously. As we know, the fighters alone will enjoy the spoils of over $200 million between them. (Read BoxingBase.com’s full Mayweather vs Pacquiao report and watch Mayweather vs Pacquiao Post Fight)
Should Pacquiao have postponed the fight so he could receive the much needed surgery he is now about to undergo? Perhaps a few months could have made a difference? At the time, a bout postponement would have angered the public, sure. But if it meant seeing a better, two-armed Pacquiao on fight night, wouldn’t that have been of benefit to everyone?
Pacquiao would have no doubt still lost against Mayweather, sure. But fans who’d paid top dollar for PPV, flights, hotels, tickets – or had even been crammed into small Vegas hotel rooms and charged around $300 to watch a screen – could have witnessed a better Pacman.
Then there’s the other angle: the possibility that Pacquiao simply had his back against the wall here. If it’s true he was feeling the pressure of a hefty tax bill along with various other debts – and some domestic responsibilities in his native Philippines? – then it could be said he had no choice.
And if he was always going to fight on May 2nd no matter what, then perhaps Mayweather vs Pacquiao was about a whole lot more than pound for pound supremacy and bragging rights for Pacquiao? In that case, had he put his own ego aside, knowing he was likely headed toward defeat?
However you look at it, it becomes more and more painful for fight fans to think about this ‘once in a lifetime’ event. Just messy, bitter-tasting stuff, indeed. (See Mayweather’s response to Pacquiao’s shoulder injury revelation.)
But what are your thoughts on this shoulder injury revelation? Would it have really made any difference to the outcome of Mayweather vs Pacquiao? Even led to a Pacquiao win? And what of Pacquiao not disclosing the injury to the Nevada Athletic Commission prior to the bout? Smart, tactical move? Or just another blow to the hearts of fans post fight?
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