LAS VEGAS, USA – A solemn looking Manny Pacquiao approached the podium in the ring at the MGM Grand Garden Arena – the same ring he had just fought twelve rounds with Floyd Mayweather Jr – and bared his feelings in a single sentence.
“I did my best but my best wasn’t good enough,” said Pacquiao (57-6-2, 38 knockouts) an hour after he lost a unanimous decision to his arch-rival in a fight that was five years in the making.
Pacquiao, 36, said afterwards that he was hindered by a tear in his right shoulder suffered about three weeks before the fight that threatened to postpone the fight.
The General Santos City, Philippines native said he couldn’t train well for two weeks and that the injury was aggravated in round three of the fight, limiting use of his right hook as the fight progressed.
“This training camp, I thought we are planning to postpone [the fight],” said Pacquiao, who added he wasn’t making excuses about the loss. “Two weeks I didn’t train good because I can’t use my right hand.”
Pacquiao’s trainer Freddie Roach said he backed off ideas of postponing the fight because Pacquiao’s performance began to improve in the gym but says Pacquiao couldn’t execute his game plan as well as he needed to.
“Taking charge of the fight and putting him on the ropes and outscoring him on the ropes were part of the plan but we just couldn’t be as consistent as we wanted to be because the shoulder started hurting more,” said The jab and the uppercut was OK but the hook was a little harder for him to throw.
The United States Anti-Doping Agency, which oversaw random performance enhancing drug testing for the bout, had approved the injections of lidocaine, bupivacaine and celestone before the fight, Arum says. He claims that his company had informed the Nevada Athletic Commission earlier in the week of their predicament.
“The commission was well aware that he had a shoulder injury,” said Arum.
NAC Chairman Francisco Aguilar denied that Arum had informed the commission of a pre-existing injury, saying that the injury was not disclosed at the weigh-in or on the medical questionnaire.
“The medications he was injecting were disclosed on his medical questionnaire but not the actual injury,” said Aguilar.
Aguilar says that the decision to prohibit Pacquiao from taking the shots was made “about 7:15 or 7:30” PM Pacific time.
“I made the decision not to allow it because of the timing of the request and the fact that the fight was going to occur in the next 90 minutes.”
Mayweather (48-0, 26 KOs) said he too went into the fight with impairments before winning by the scores of 116-112 on two cards and 118-110 on a third.
“I had injuries also going into this fight,” said Mayweather. “If he would’ve came out victorious I don’t think I would’ve got up here and said ‘You know what, I gotta show respect and say he was the better man if he beat me. Both of my arms was injured, both of my hands was injured but like I said before, I will always find a way to win.”
Roach says he hopes a rematch can be made – after Pacquiao’s shoulder heals – so they could try and implement the fight strategy he had initially intended.
“It was a very close fight, I’d love to do it again. I hope that’s in the future for him,” said Roach, a 7-time Boxing Writers Association of America Trainer of the Year.
Mayweather didn’t expound on the possibility of a rematch with Pacquiao, saying instead that he would be relinquishing the WBA, WBO and WBC welterweight titles he currently holds to give young fighters a shot at the belts.
He said he wants to take time off to enjoy the victory, and that his next fight in September would be his last. – Rappler.com