LAS VEGAS, USA – The Nevada Athletic Commission has denied Manny Pacquiao's claim that his team had made a request to inject numbing agents into his injured right shoulder two weeks prior to the fight.
Pacquiao, wearing a sling on his right arm the day after his unanimous decision loss to Floyd Mayweather Jr, told reporters that the injections were approved before the fight, only to be told differently by the commission before entering the ring at the MGM Grand on Saturday night, May 2 (Sunday morning, May 3 in Manila).
Pacquiao didn’t have a copy of the request on hand but says the form was with the commission.
A request for copy of the document was made by Rappler to NAC chairman Francisco Aguilar on Monday afternoon, May 4. Aguilar said that the commission “never received such notice or request. No such document exists.”
Pacquiao, who said he suffered a tear in his right rotator cuff during a sparring session nearly a month before the fight, was scheduled to undergo an MRI on Monday and may have surgery when he returns to the Philippines later this week. (READ: What happened to Manny Pacquiao's shoulder?)
Pacquiao’s promoter Bob Arum said at the post-fight press conference that the commission “was well aware that he had a shoulder injury,” while Aguilar claims that only the medications were disclosed on the questionnaire and not the injury itself. (READ: Pacquiao says shoulder injury hindered him vs Mayweather)
A joint Top Rank/Team Pacquiao statement issued on Monday said that Pacquiao had sought treatment at the Kerlan Jobe Orthopaedic Clinic and was told that "short rest, treatments and close monitoring" would allow him to continue to train and fight Mayweather on the agreed-upon date.
"[The United States Anti-Doping Agency] spoke to Manny's doctors twice, investigated and confirmed in writing that the proposed treatments, if used, were completely allowable," the statement read.
Aguilar had said after the fight that the medicines being requested were lidocaine, bupivocine and celestone, but the Top Rank/Pacquiao statement said the medicine approved by USADA was Toradol, a non-steroidal anti-inflammatory which, according to WebMD, "works by blocking your body's production of certain natural substances that cause inflammation."
"That specific treatment had been approved by USADA in writing at least 5 days before the fight," the statement added.
Issue between Pacquiao and commission - USADA
The Los Angeles Times reported that the USADA had not shared its approval of Pacquiao’s injections with the commission.
A USADA representative told Rappler that they had “provided the appropriate information regarding medications to Mr. Pacquiao and his representatives well in advance of the fight.
“Whatever challenges that occurred on fight night were between Mr. Pacquiao, his representatives and the Nevada State Athletic Commission.”
A follow-up question about whether it was protocol for USADA to inform the commission about treatments, or the boxer’s camp, was not answered at the time of publishing. (READ: Manny Pacquiao: 'We were sabotaged')
Pacquiao said afterwards that he had considered postponing the fight due to the injury and had sent his sparring partners home early because he couldn’t train properly.
He said he went through with the fight because he thought the injections to numb the pain would be allowed.
“I’m so disappointed in the commission because I believe they know but only they said we didn’t fill out the form,” said Pacquiao.
Mayweather had delayed his July 2009 comeback fight with Juan Manuel Marquez due to a rib injury before cruising to a unanimous decision win two months later. – Rappler.com