Pacquiao hampered by shoulder injury

Manny Pacquiao is embraced by Floyd Mayweather Jr., as trainer Freddie Roach, left, looks on during a press conference following their welterweight title fight on Saturday, May 2, 2015 in Las Vegas. Mayweather defeated Pacquiao in a unanimous decision. AP/John Locher

LAS VEGAS - Manny Pacquiao admitted entering today's fight with a disadvantage, claiming he hurt his right shoulder in sparring three weeks before he fought and lost to Floyd Mayweather Jr.

Pacquiao was supposed to get shots, but the Nevada State Athletic Commission (NSAC), which supervised the fight, wouldn't allow him to since he didn't declare the injury in a medical form.

The Filipino icon yielded a unanimous decision to a calculating Mayweather in front of over 16,000 fans at the MGM Grand Garden Arena here. But he said the outcome would have been different if his shoulder was okay.

The injury, he claimed, prevented him from throwing powerful right hooks throughout the fight.

"Even though I hurt my shoulder, I didn't complain. It's all part of the game," said Pacquiao, who even thought of pulling out of the richest fight ever but still decided to push through.

Pacquiao's promoter Bob Arum said it was the same shoulder injury that forced Los Angeles Lakers superstar Kobe Bryant to sit out the rest of the 2014-2015 NBA season.

The bum shoulder, Arum claimed, forced Pacquiao to resort to jabs instead of right hooks.

"You guys saw the fight yourself. When you review the film, you'll see how infrequently he threw the right," Arum told reporters at the post-fight conference.

According, NSAC chairman Francisco Aguilar he just learned of Pacquiao's injury a few hours before the fight.

"A legal filing (about the injury) has to be filed with the commission five days before the fight. There was no filing made. We would have dealt with it had we known about it earlier," Aguilar told reporters.

Pacquiao was supposed to take injections of bupivacaine, celestone and lidocaine, which are numbing agents that are not considered to enhance performance.

"There was no point to consider approving the injections because there was no proof of the injury. These are not prohibited substances. Why are they prohibited on fight night is the fact that you're allowing a fighter to enter the ring in an unnatural state.  And when you give them painkillers, or something that could numb a body part, they don't know what's actually occurring to their body in the ring."

"We need the fighters to be truthful in these situations so we can make the proper evaluations and determine whether or not the fighter should be in the ring. It's all in the name of safety," Aguilar added.

Despite the injury, Pacquiao still pressed the action against Mayweather, who responded with accurate counters and jabs to keep his foe at bay.

Mayweather himself brushed off Pacquiao's supposed injury.

"I've had injuries (during fights). But I always find a way to win," he said.

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