In his press conference after his loss to Floyd Mayweather Jr., Manny Pacquiao revealed that he fought with an injured right shoulder.
Top Rank CEO Bob Arum said the injury — which he claimed was a torn rotator cuff — happened about a month ago and Pacquiao was denied a numbing injection by the Nevada State Athletic Commission before the fight.
The day after the fight, Pacquiao revealed something else in a press conference with Filipino media: Mayweather found out about the injury before the fight through a leak.
“You saw he was pulling my hand. He was doing that because he knew,” he told Rappler.com. “He was pulling it. He was holding me, then he was targeting this. I’m sure he found out. Somebody leaked it to him. They knew.”
Dashon Johnson, a Pacquiao sparring partner, wrote a Facebook post after the fight saying that not only was the shoulder injury legitimate, it was supposed to be a secret. According to Johnson, he was even sent home because Pacquiao couldn’t spar with the injury:
“We were asked not to mention anything to anyone but yes Manny got hurt during this camp with his right shoulder and it was messed up pretty bad! So bad his sparring partners including myself were asked to go home a few weeks out before the actual fight, which means a lot of work he could have put in for this fight was brought to a halt due to the fact that he could not spar really anymore and didn’t want to mess it up more than he already had.”
It sounds like Pacquiao’s camp had trouble keeping things in-house coming into the fight. FightHype.com’s Ben Thompson reported on the Friday before the fight that Mayweather’s camp knew everything Pacquiao was doing leading up to the fight.
“According to an eyewitness close to Pacquiao’s camp, intimate details of his training regimen, from how many rounds he sparred to how many times he used the bathroom, have been leaked over the past several weeks,” Thompson reported.
Thompson added, “According to another source, much more information has been leaked; the type of detailed information that only those around him on a daily basis would know.”
Mayweather Promotions CEO Leonard Ellerbe seemed to acknowledge that they were getting leaked information from Team Pacquiao. In an interview with Yahoo’s Kevin Iole before the fight, Ellerbe said, “Freddie Roach thinks he runs a tight camp, but I know everything that’s happening there. I heard it’s been a very rough camp. And now, I think it’s dawning on Manny Pacquiao exactly what he’s up against.”
FightHype also points out that Freddie Roach told Seconds Out in mid-April that he had to send someone home from Pacquiao’s training camp because he had a preexisting connection with Mayweather. When asked to clarify if there had been a mole in the camp, Roach said, “Yeah.”
But even if Mayweather knew about the shoulder, did it matter?
Pacquiao fans criticised Mayweather for grabbing and clinching Pacquiao whenever he closed within striking distance. But then again that has always been Mayweather’s style.
One of Mayweather’s cleanest shots of the fight, which was GIF’d by Deadspin, landed on Pacquiao’s chin and right shoulder:
Mayweather won by a considerable margin. While he was criticised after the fight for his impeccable defence, he actually threw and landed more punches:
Pacquiao was always the underdog. The shoulder injury — and the fact that Mayweather apparently knew about it — made his job tougher, but it’s a stretch to say it was really the determining factor in the fight.
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