LAS VEGAS – Manny Pacquiao was nursing a right shoulder injury when he fought Floyd Mayweather Jr. at the MGM Grand, the Filipino fighter’s camp said late Saturday night.
The injury was kept under wraps by Pacquiao and his handlers until less than three hours before the opening bell, the Nevada Athletic Commission said.
Chairman Francisco Aguilar said Pacquiao’s camp asked permission from the commission to use three different pain killers to treat the fighter’s injury but was denied.
“There was no point to consider approving the injections because there was no proof of the injury. These are not prohibited substances. Why are they prohibited on fight night is the fact that you’re allowing a fighter to enter the ring in an unnatural state,” he said.
“And when you give them painkillers, or something that could numb a body part, they don’t know what’s actually occurring to their body in the ring.”
Pacquiao’s promoter Bob Arum said they had asked the commission for the use of pain killers five days before the fight but Aguilar said his office didn’t get a formal filing.
Arum said they had discussed the possibility of asking for a postponement but “the injury got better and better.”
“We need the fighters to be truthful in these situations so we can make the proper evaluations and determine whether or not the fighter should be in the ring. It’s all in the name of safety,” Aguilar added.
It was during the post-fight press conference that Pacquiao made public about the injury that he suffered during the fifth week of his buildup.
And it was during this particular stage when Pacquiao skipped three straight sparring sessions, fueling speculations then that something was not right over at his camp.
Lead trainer Freddie Roach brushed off the rumors saying Pacquiao was so way ahead of training that he deserved to be given a break.
Still, Pacquiao gave credit for Mayweather’s masterful performance, saying he gave his best “but my best wasn’t good enough.”
Minutes after the decision was announced, Pacquiao said he thought that he deserved the decision.
A few moments later, he backtracked, adding that when he gets back to his suite, he will “review the video of the fight.”