Pacquiao fought Matthysse despite secret heart ailment

JR Isaga
Pacquiao fought Matthysse despite secret heart ailment
The Filipino boxing legend got diagnosed with an 'inborn heart ailment' just a week before his bout with Lucas Matthysse

MANILA, Philippines – When Manny Pacquiao made light work of renowed knockout artist Lucas Matthysse in Malaysia last Sunday, July 15, the 8-division world champion looked like a champ again as he captured the WBA regular welterweight crown via a 7th round TKO.

What many didn’t know, however, was that the fighting Senator had himself examined for heart problems on July 8, just a week before his bout with the Argentine boxer.

According to Aquiles Zonio of, the 39-year-old boxing legend had an angiogram procedure before the Matthysse bout due to repeated difficulties in breathing.

In the procedure, he had a thin tube called a catheter inserted from his wrist all the way to his heart in order to detect anomalies.

Doctors at the Cardinal Santos Memorial Hospital in Manila diagnosed it as an “inborn heart ailment,” and told Pacquiao to call off the fight. But he refused and was made to sign a waiver instead, making the hospital and doctors not liable for any untoward incidents after the procedure.

“The entire medical procedure was finished around 3 am on July [8] and at around 7 am, we flew back to General Santos,” said Pacquiao. “Those who were with me were saddened and crying. But I told them, ‘Don’t worry, I’ll be okay and I’ll do everything to win the fight.’”

Pacquiao kep his condition a secret, limiting the knowledge of the procedure to select members of his inner circle. Not his wife, mother, family nor even new head trainer Buboy Fernandez knew about it until after the procedure was finished.

“Buboy cried hard upon learning what happened,” he said. “But I told him to stay strong and continue what he was doing. God will take care of the rest.” 

And indeed, Team Pacquiao soldiered on, with great results.

However, despite clinching his career 60th win (60-7-2) and him expressing his desire to fight two to 3 more bouts, the PacMan’s future is, once again, up in the air after this new information surfaced. –