Image Source: thesweetscience.com
Image Source: thesweetscience.com

[box type=”default” size=”large”] Says he was in good health when he entered the ring [/box]

Filipino boxing icon Manny Pacquiao  was handicapped by a right-shoulder injury when he fought Floyd Mayweather, Jr. on May 2 at the MGM Grand Hotel in Las Vegas.

Interviewed last Tuesday (May 5) by The Filipino Channel (TFC), Pacquiao said that when he climbed the ring, he was in perfect health and was not feeling any pain in his right shoulder. But in the fourth round, he said, his shoulder was hurting when it was hit by a punch.

Pacquiao said his group had feared his shoulder might be injured during the fight, and that was the reason the team requested the Nevada Athletic Commission to allow him to have a pain-killer injection shortly before the match, but the request was not granted.

He said he injured his shoulder during training about two weeks before the fight. He also said that the injury somehow healed after one week and that he was feeling healthy on fight day.

His injury could be the reason why he could not land solid right-hand punches. Philippine boxing analyst Ed Tolentino said that had he not been hurt, Pacquiao could have used right-hand jabs as ploy to conceal hard left-hand blows.

Tolentino said that the Pacquiao team might have thought of requesting a postponement of the fight, noting precedents in boxing history. He recalled that the Muhammad Ali-George Foreman match was postponed because Foreman suffered a deep cut in the face during training.

Tolentino said that a postponement would have been a valid request because in a boxing clash billed as “the fight of the century,” it was important for both fighters to be in tip-top form.

It was noted, though, that at that time it was simply impossible to make such a request not only because Mayweather is a difficult person to talk to but also because there would crop up other problems such as those pertaining to venue schedule and ticket sales.

Wire reports quoted Pacquiao as saying, “I cannot use a lot of my right hand but the fight was still good. What we wanted to do we couldn’t do because of my shoulder. But he’s fast, he’s a good boxer. Give the credit to him. He won tonight.’’

Pacquiao’s trainer, Freddie Roach, said his fighter would like a rematch, but there is little chance of that. Not with Pacquiao’s shoulder injury, and certainly not after the perfect financial storm of a fight that cannot be replicated.

“I did my best, but my best wasn’t good enough,’’ Pacquiao said. “I fought a good fight.’’

Mayweather fought a good fight, too, even if it wasn’t the crowd-pleasing affair fans wanted.

He used his reach advantage to land jab after jab, and was so elusive that Pacquiao was only able to land one of every five punches he threw, including only 18 of 193 right jabs.

It was another great defensive performance from a fighter who knows just what he has to do to win.

“I knew I had him from round one,’’ Mayweather said. “I went out there and felt him out.” (With AP report)

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