Manny Pacquiao’s stupid decision cost us the fight of the century

Manny Pacquiao was not himself during last Saturday’s “fight of the century,” getting outpunched and outperformed by Floyd Mayweather for 12 rounds of unspectacular boxing. It was revealed Monday that Pacquiao will undergo surgery to fix what is being reported as a “significant tear” in his rotator cuff. According to Pacquiao’s advisor, Michael Koncz, the injury was sustained in early April.

Surely, this should soften one’s perception of Pacquiao’s performance on Saturday, right? After all, the man was fighting on essentially one rotator cuff and put up the best fight he could under the circumstances. Credit should be given to him for pushing through it and simply getting into the ring altogether.

Wrong. This is worse than simply underperforming. This is stupidity incarnate, and truly confirms that this fight was only about the money.

A prime Pacquiao doesn’t set a single foot into that ring May 2 if he’s carrying such a significant injury. He doesn’t put his record, reputation, or health on the line against a tomato can, never mind an undefeated Mayweather. No, the Pacquiao of old would have put the fight on hold and allowed himself the nine months it would have taken to heal from surgery.

That’s what a fighter with a desire to win would have done. That’s what any competitor would have done. But by fighting anyway, Pacquiao made the decision to take the loss and the money now. On the Friday leading up to the fight, Pacquiao was asked by a Nevada State Athletic Commission in a pre-fight examination and questionnaire whether he had any injuries to his shoulders, elbows, or hands that would require examination.

Pacquiao checked “no” and into the ring he went.

Winning wasn’t important. How could you argue otherwise? If it was, he wouldn’t have fought. It’s simple as that. But Pacquiao did fight, and his injury affected his signature right hook so severely that he threw approximately 400 fewer punches than normal.

It wasn’t a heroic performance. It wasn’t gritty or determined.

It was stupid, wasteful, and disingenuous.

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