Team Pacquiao also at fault
It seems to us that while the Nevada State Athletic Commission and chairman Francisco Aguilar were somewhat unfair to eight-division world champion Manny Pacquiao over the request for treatment of a reported tear in the rotator cuff of his right shoulder hours before his fight against Floyd Mayweather Jr , he would not have had a chance to act the way he did if Team Pacquiao officials did their job efficiently.
It essentially means telling the truth and not hiding what was going on even from Filipino media people whose newspapers and TV networks spent a considerable amount of money in following Pacquiao every step of the way in his training camp.
To begin with, Aguilar has taken issue with Top Rank promoter Bob Arum’s claim that they had informed the Commission about Pacquiao’s shoulder injury some days before the May 2 showdown at the MGM Grand Garden Arena which Aguilar claimed was only conveyed to them a few hours before the two fighters entered the ring.
While it is true that the United States Anti Doping Agency was aware of the medication being administered to Pacquiao because of a reported tear in the rotator cuff of his right shoulder, it was certainly not the responsibility of USADA to inform the Nevada State Athletic Commission. It was not their job but that of Team Pacquiao’s.
The task of the USADA was to undertake random drug tests on both fighters and to submit the results to the Commission. Nothing more, nothing less.
Both trainer Freddie Roach and Pacquiao’s longtime adviser Michael Koncz lied to the media when they said Roach gave Pacquiao one week off from sparring because he was worried he would over-train and get burned out. That lie came back to haunt them because if they had come clean and told the media the truth about the injury then they could have had a basis for seeking a postponement of the fight since there was a provision written into the contract that allowed for such an eventuality.
However, despite claims that they advised Manny to seek a postponement, they were accused of wanting to lay their greedy hands on Pacquiao’s earnings as quickly as possible.
To compound the felony, they didn’t even allow the media to talk to Manny’s sparring partners as though keeping their identities secret would deprive the Mayweather camp of getting what the Team Pacquiao people considered vital information.
In the end, even Pacquiao came to realize that inside information from the Pacquiao camp was being transmitted to Team Mayweather who claimed he knew every little detail of what was going on inside the training camp. This happens all the time unless of course they trained inside the walls of the Kremlin.
While we are personally upset with the manner in which chairman Aguilar treated Pacquiao, we hate to admit that Team Pacquiao by its administrative inefficiency if not incompetence gave him the opportunity to do so.
Koncz filled up the pre-fight form at the weigh-in and Manny, as is customary with him, merely signed the form without going through the answers. How many times has he done this in the past regarding concerts or guest appearances and paid the price?
There was no conceivable way Koncz could have claimed that Pacquiao had no shoulder injury when the question was posed in the form when they claimed to have informed the NSAC about the injury and the medication taken to treat it, neither could he have said “no” when asked about whether Manny was taking any nutritional supplements or vitamins.
There is no way Team Pacquiao can claim these were mere mistakes. No wonder the NSAC accused Team Pacquiao of perjury.
Against this background, it would be interesting to get a copy of a similar form signed by Mayweather because he publicly stated in a post-fight interview that both his hands as well as his shoulders were also injured and if he didn’t indicate that in the questionnaire he filled up, then he too perjured himself!
We cannot understand why Team Pacquiao didn’t just go ahead and take the pain-killing shots since they were not declared illegal by USADA and presumably would not have shown up in the random drug tests.
It is rumored that Mayweather always takes pain killing injections because of his fragile hands before every fight and he probably did so once again before the “Fight of the Century.” As long as it’s not illegal, that’s fine.
When chairman Aguilar prevented any vitamins or even water taken into Pacquao’s dressing room prior to the fight it was obviously harsh but technically correct.
We feel terribly sad for Manny Pacquiao who has been exploited and cheated through the years by those who should have protected him.
While Mayweather tried to soothe the hurt in Manny’s heart by offering to give him a rematch in 2016, its obvious as Alex Ariza contends, that unless he revamps his entire team Pacquiao won’t stand a chance. Harsh but painfully true.