By Lane Pugmire for LA Times (Image by Christina House)
Manny Pacquiao underwent surgery on his ailing right shoulder Wednesday in Los Angeles, and his doctor said he “could not be more pleased” with the results for the record eight-division world champion.
The operation was performed by orthopedist Dr. Neal ElAttrache, who said Pacquiao will make a full recovery and return to the ring.
Estimates are that Pacquiao will be sidelined four to six months.
The surgery followed Pacquiao’s controversial shoulder injury in an April 4 sparring session and further damage in his Saturday night unanimous-decision loss to Floyd Mayweather Jr.
Pacquiao told The Times Sunday, after judges turned in scores of 118-110, 116-112, 116-112 for Mayweather (48-0), that the pain he endured after throwing combinations in his dominant fourth round felt like “a needle being stuck” in his shoulder.
The fact that the Nevada State Athletic Commission stopped Pacquiao from receiving a shoulder injection of the anti-inflammatory medication Toradol left the boxer “disappointed” at the commission.
While Pacquiao’s team insists it communicated the fighter’s need for the medication due to the sparring injury to the fight’s drug-testing body, the U.S. Anti-Doping Agency, the fighter and his manager, Michael Koncz, checked a “no” box on a commission medical form question asking if he had sustained a shoulder injury.
That form, completed under the penalty of perjury, was turned in at Friday’s weigh-in at MGM Grand. Citing that, and the fact that it’d received no information from USADA or the Pacquiao camp about the injury, the commission turned down the injection request less than three hours before the fight started.
The long-anticipated bout, expected to generate more than $300 million in pay-per-view after an estimated $74 million in tickets was sold and millions more were bet on it, has drawn great criticism after Mayweather’s convincing triumph.
On Tuesday, Pacquiao was named a defendant in a possible class-action lawsuit alleging he deceived the public by stepping into the ring as damaged goods. Pacquiao will earn somewhere around $100 million for the bout.
Pacquiao’s attorneys say the fact the fighter’s camp communicated the injury to USADA and the commission before the fight, and was later ordered to prove he could throw right-handed punches in his pre-fight dressing room by the commission, proves there was no intent to deceive.
Commission Chairman Francisco Aguilar said he was empowered to stop the fight if Pacquiao’s right-handed punches appeared weakened in that warmup.
“On May 2, Manny did the best he can do and Floyd was a little better, and he deserves to enjoy his victory,” Koncz said Wednesday.
Pacquiao promoter Bob Arum told The Times on Wednesday that it was “interesting” that Mayweather texted a reporter Tuesday saying he had interest in waiting for Pacquiao to heal and fighting him again next year.
“Right now, all I’m focused on is Manny’s health and how the shoulder reacts to surgery,” Arum said. “The surgeon is one of the best in the world and it’s a pretty common procedure.”
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