Pacquiao suspended, to undergo brain test

Abac Cordero - The Philippine Star

HOUSTON – Manny Pacquiao drew automatic suspension for 120 days from the Nevada State Athletic Commission and was directed to avoid any contact in the first 90 days or do any physical activity related to boxing following his devastating knockout loss to Juan Manuel Marquez in Las Vegas Saturday.

At the same time, Top Rank’s Bob Arum bared his plans for Pacquiao to undergo extensive brain tests at the Cleveland Clinic in Las Vegas to make sure everything is fine for the Filipino boxing icon.

Pacquiao fell to the canvas face first and lay motionless for over a minute after being hit by a crunching right straight to the chin by Marquez. When he opened his eyes he had to ask his trainer, Buboy Fernandez, if the fight was over.

It’s the type of a knockout that could leave a lasting effect on a boxer.

As a result of the suspension, Arum said they have to drop all previous plans, including Pacquiao’s return to the ring on April 20. Because of the suspension, the earliest he could fight is September as what trainer Freddie Roach had earlier suggested.

The length of the suspension depends on the type or severity of the knockout.

“I have to take him to the Cleveland Clinic in Las Vegas, the brain center, which is a brain specialist,” said Arum. “We’re going to do an extensive brain examination before we commit him to a fight.”

The Cleveland Clinic is a highly-specialized center for research, early detection and treatment of neurological diseases like Alzheimer’s, Huntington’s, Parkinson’s, and Amyotrophic Lateral Sclerosis (ALS).

Arum only wants the best for Pacquiao.

In Pacquiao’s case, he can’t schedule any fight under the 120-day period, and should avoid any contact in the first 90 days, meaning he can’t do physical activity related to boxing.

There were reports that Pacquiao underwent an MRI test at the Cardinal Santos Hospital yesterday, adding that the results were okay.

Roach also said Tuesday he thinks September is “the soonest” Pacquiao could fight again – if he doesn’t retire.

Pacquiao’s family, including his wife, Jinkee, his mother, Dionisia, and his children have been calling on him to retire for the last two years now. 

But the boxer always prevails. 

Arum said it will all depend on the developments, and the results of the tests to be conducted once the fighting congressman from Sarangani finds time to do it.

Pacquiao was taken to the University Medical Center in Las Vegas after the fight, and went through CT scan and other precautionary tests. They all were negative.

But it doesn’t mean that Pacquiao is off the hook because grave boxing injuries are not necessarily felt or detected hours, days or weeks after the fight. 

“I’m fine. We will rise again,” said Pacquiao before flying home to Manila last Monday.

Arum said April 20 is out as the date of Pacquiao’s next fight.

“I don’t think so (April fight). First of all, it’s too soon because he’s suspended for 120 days and 90 days no contact. So I don’t want to rush,” he said.

Pacquiao is already home from the United States and this weekend he will celebrate his 34 birthday in General Santos City.

Then on Dec. 19, Pacquiao leaves for Israel for a pilgrimage. He will be accompanied by his wife, their children and 48 other relatives and friends.They will be back in Manila on Jan. 1.

“Whenever he can make it (brain examination). He’s going away to Israel over Christmas and New Year, and after the first week of the year we’ll try to bring him back,” said Arum.

Arum said whatever the cost it will be on him.

“He will not be spending. I have no idea (how much it cost) but these are my friends on the brain center, my wife (Lovee) is on the board of directors. Whatever it will be (cost), it won’t be astronomical,” said Arum. 

He is hoping for a clean bill of health for Pacquiao.


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