Mayweather-Pacquiao: Explosive Scandal Mushrooming

It did not take long, in fact, the current explosive and mushrooming scandal involving the principles and management teams in the Mayweather-Pacquiao fight started three weeks prior to the actual fight. When Manny Pacquiao injured his shoulder in training and subsequent testing including an MRI indicated that Pacman had suffered a torn rotator cuff, a choice had to be made. Two clear options were on the table. To wit: Go ahead with the fight along with massage and physical therapy, strategic use of anti-inflammatory medication, injury therapeutic training, and hope for the best. The second option was to postpone the fight, get requisite surgery, and hope for a quick recovery in order to reschedule the fight.

Both options were fraught with risk. If Pac were to go ahead with the fight, he may well be left without full use of his right hand, one that plays an obvious role in setting up his power left hand and is used as a power-hand itself. If the fight were to be postponed, it was not at all clear that, given the tortuous nature of the negotiation process, that the fight could be rescheduled at all. Mayweather was too unpredictable, it was thought, to take the risk.

However, the main concern and what turned out to be the principle concern as well as causal agent in the currently highly explosive, exponentially mushrooming Mayweather-Pacquiao scandal, the huge payout that was at risk. Discussions about the upcoming fight and what should be done, in the end, were determined not by what was in Pac’s best interest, or his legacy, but the risk of losing the massive payout that by now was a sure thing. In the view of an increasing many, it is felt that Pacquiao was not well served by a management team, including his lead trainer Freddie Roach, in allowing the fight to go forward.

Being a man of faith, Pacquiao was convinced that God had delivered Mayweather into his hands and that victory was a sure thing. While Pac exhibited commendable faith, and in many respects, it is his faith that helped make him the magical personality he is, someone, anyone on his team should have stepped in to bring a bit of perspective and common sense into play.

The injury Pac sustained, similar to the rotator tear suffered by Kobe Bryant that ended his Lakers’ season in January 2015, is a significant injury. The rotator cuff, a complex of muscles in the shoulder that through strategic contraction, give the shoulder, at the ball-and-joint, appropriate movement is absolutely required in a boxing match. For a boxer, it is not just employed for movement, but to sustain and absorb the impact of punches. When a tear compromises the integrity of the cuff, punchers are not only unable to throw punches in proper form, but the cascading effect is that punches, awkwardly thrown, cannot be thrown with authority, speed, or with sustained power. Upon impact, the tear site exhibits sometimes toe-curling pain. Not only this, but punches lose their power at impact as the cuff tends to buckle instead of remaining firm. Thus, Pacquiao’s injury left him with little choice but to fight straight ahead, lining his left up for down-the-middle shots.

When the bell rang for round one, spectators and fans throughout the world noticed that something was wrong. That is, the whirling dervish that is the traditional Pacquiao fight style was now a traditional, straight-ahead style with little movement. Mayweather commented after the fight that he knew, as Pac continued to employ this fight style and strategy, that the fight was essentially over. As Pac continued this approach into round two and three, viewers were stunned at the lack of meaningful activity and sense of urgency that Pac normally fights with.

As it turns out, Pac’s management team conspired to withhold information of an injury from the press, as well as the Nevada Athletic Commission. The decision to go ahead with the fight, for fear of losing the Powerball-esque payout, was further complicated and made dangerous as Top Rank failed to fill out requisite paperwork prior to the fight, so that Pacman could get an anti-inflammatory shot just prior to the fight. Pac’s team had not only assumed that the NAC would permit the shot, but were expecting it. The problem, however, with full disclosure in advance of the fight, Top Rank assumed, was that Mayweather’s team might well get this information and look to exploit it.

Bob Arum was quick to lay blame at the feet of the NAC for its failure to permit the shot, but what he did not include, until he was later called on the carpet, was that he attempted to embed the injury in a list of medications used in training camp without explicitly revealing the injury itself. The head of the NAC felt that this attempt to hide the information, then plead innocence arguing that he had intended to comply with the rules, was really an attempt to “screw” with the rules. Thus, Arum, in trying to hide the injury, willingly played a bit of Russian roulette with the MayPac fight assuming that he could argue his way into getting an anti-inflammatory shot at the last-minute without having to actually play by the rules. The NAC saw through this attempt at manipulation and would have none of it.

In the end, Francisco Aguilar of the NAC felt that Arum and Top Rank were attempting to manipulate the process and were denied the shot. Had the shot been allowed, it would have decreased the significant inflammation surrounding the tear, worked to de-volumize the ischemic fluid compromising full range of motion in the affected area, and in so doing, provided a deep measure of pain relief. Thus, it would have allowed Pac to use his shoulder with impunity. However, even then, as Pac’s management team was well aware, in going ahead with the fight under those circumstances, there was a very significant risk of doing serious harm to Pac’s injury site literally putting future use of his right shoulder at risk. Because of the eye-popping, explosive nature of the current mushrooming scandal involving the Mayweather-Pacquiao fight, this particular aspect of the brouhaha is getting little press.

Once the decision was made not to allow the anti-inflammatory shot, Pac, still in a mood to fight assuming that God would help him through it, adjusted his mind accordingly and prepared for the fight. Without a miracle, however, Pac, despite the smile and positive outlook, was going to be defeated. One does not fight a well-schooled and prepared Mayweather with essentially one arm and expect anything other than the outcome the world stood witness to.

To add insult to injury, the Mayweather camp has taken great joy in the apparent comedy of errors on display by Pacquiao’s management team. There is clear and expressed sentiment amongst the Money Team that Mayweather dodged a bullet. With his stated timetable and projected last fight in September, the very formidable threat that is a healthy Pacman has been dodged and the public, none-the-wiser, has given Money credit for a win that even insiders know is not well deserved.

At the end of the day, when history writes the book on this particular event, where the two greatest fighters of their generation met, it will indicate a victory by one Floyd Mayweather Jr. The asterisk that should properly footnote the affair should read that there really never was a Mayweather-Pacquiao fight, as the currently mushrooming scandal should suggest, as Mayweather fought a man who could not use his right arm. It should continue to note that Pac’s management team let him down, and led him into a fight he could not have, under the circumstances, hoped to win. For all that Top Rank has done for Manny Pacquiao, it, together with Michael Koncz and Freddie Roach, might have thought better of Pacquiao, his health, and legacy than the fat paycheck they were about to cash.

Commentary By Matthew R. Fellows

Las Vegas Review Journal
Sports on Earth
Daily News
Photo By: Jean-Etienne Minh-Duy Poirrier -Creativecommons Flickr License

9 Responses to "Mayweather-Pacquiao: Explosive Scandal Mushrooming"

  1. Pingback: Ripley’s More Probable Than Not! | Colin McEnroe

  2. Arnold Benson   May 6, 2015 at 3:20 pm

    NSAC should also be investigated. Team Pacquiao told the commission verbally that Pacquiao has a shoulder injury and needs numbing agents to relieve the pain when it occurs. But They denied the request and let an injured fighter fight instead wihout further investigating if he can fight or not. Is not that endangering Pacquiao’s health?

  3. Ismael Rodriguez   May 6, 2015 at 2:54 pm

    No denying Floyd is indeed a gifted genius and a defense master but will always be remembered as a no risk taker and a master in fight negotiations!!!.FLOYD IS A SNIPER SHOOTING FROM THE SAFETY OF HIS HIDE OUT AT THE DISTANCE WHILE ALI, LEONARD, BENITEZ ,WHITAKER, JONES , CAMACHO,TONEY, LOCHE AND PEP ARE GI JOE COMMANDOS BREAKING THROUGH THE ENEMY LINE AND DISMANTLING THEIR DEFENSES!.


    Do I want a Mayweather vs Pacquiao 2 ?, NO THANK YOU!!!!.I rather watch an old video of Benitez vs Duran defensive master piece by the great “Radar” who stood in the pocket/line of fire the whole fight, toe-to-toe against prime Leonard and Hearns and a still dangerous Duran!!!!.Now that’s what I call a defensive Master who took risks and NEEEEEVER CHERRY PICKED OUT OF PRIME OPPONENTS.Same can be said about Willie Pep, N.Loche, Sugar Ray Robinson, Roy Jones (in his prime), Muhammad Ali (in his prime), Sweet Pea Whitaker,James Toney, Macho Camacho (in his prime).

    If all of these EXCELLENT TECHNICAL BOXERS WOULD HAVE TAKEN NO RISKS AND HUGGED/RAN ALL NIGHT IN ALL OF THEIR FIGHTS, THEY WOULD HAVE FINISH WITH A “0” LOSS IN THEIR RECORDS!.They choose to make it a competitive fight by staying in the danger zone long enough to inflict damage and in the process not getting hit, that’s what a true defensive genius is all about!.Is muuuuch easier to hit and hug/run and accumulate points all night long and come on top at the end, that’s playing it SAFE.

    Could any of the defensive Masters mentioned above could have pulled a Mayweather hit hug/run type of fight against Pacman and done the same?.HECK YEAH, SPECIALLY BENITEZ-CAMACHO-PEP-LOCHE-JONES AND LEONARD. SOME OF THEM COULD HAVE DONE IT EVEN MORE IMPRESSIVELY in any stage of their careers!.

    What Floyd did was not an extraordinary feat to be remembered as the fight of the century , any boxer with a decent defense and fast fists/feet could have hit-hug/run all night and beaten Pacman that night.


  4. Manny Niyut   May 6, 2015 at 4:49 am

    GUYS GUYS, LET US CLOSE THIS CHAPTER AND MOVE ALONG. An ancient scholar once said that a battle is won before it is fought. Just like when you take a test. The preparation is the bases and the fight is the execution.
    1. There is no transparency whether Gayweather really had the blood test taken on him.
    2. We never know how much he weighed during fight time or was he hydrated via IV infusion and TPN .
    3. Too many Americans were tested positive for PEDs like Lance Armstrong, Marion Jones, while there is none from the Philippines.
    4.Gayweather knew that Pacquiao had a torn rotator cuff and still pursued with the fight. A torn rotator cuff should be put in a sling and is not supposed to be moved even after surgery. Relying in God is not so effective this time. Pacquiao should learn from coach Freddie. God does not give a damn about boxing or about the poor people. You are left on your own to fight for it.
    By the looks of it, Gayweather’s playing field is not level at all and to fight a guy with one arm tied is really a GAY idea. Now, can we move on please ?

  5. edu   May 6, 2015 at 4:08 am

    Mayweather fought a man who could not use his right arm and yet he run and hugged pacman while occasionally filing some points. Afraid to engage a man who is partly disable. And he called himself TBE and some writers called it sweet science? Its a shame….

  6. neffa   May 6, 2015 at 1:17 am

    Manny is a greedy selfish typical christian, greatest fighter of his generation? not even close and he will never be able to defeat floyd.

  7. Sundancerx Heaven   May 6, 2015 at 12:42 am

    did you forget to mention pac’s team informed usada about the injury WEEKS before the fight? they presented an mri scan of the injury got the needed treatment approved.

    if usada knew of the injury, there is no way NSAC wouldnt be aware of it, and floyd’s team too.

    it’s the biggest fight in recent decades, you would that nsac would be on top of it.

    all team pac has done was a minor clerical error, they listed all the approved treatment for injury but failed to tick the injury box. big deal.

    but hey, nsac’s own judges/employees made similar minor clerical error in the judges scorecards, but no big deal right?

    nsac was pressured by the other team to deny pac of cortissone shot the day of the fight based on technicality.

    at the postpresser, that was nsac washing their hands.

  8. Isaiah   May 6, 2015 at 12:32 am

    A very revealing commentary…excellent!

  9. Tony   May 5, 2015 at 11:28 pm

    I truly agree with your column! It was the GREED FACTOR that played in the Pacman’s Team, ignoring the potential damage to Pacquiao’s health, on a worst scenario.


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