MANILA – Newly-crowned WBA welterweight champion Manny Pacquiao might be forced to halt his boxing career. He was diagnosed with a heart ailment days before his victory over Lucas Matthysse on Sunday in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia.
Pacquiao’s publicist Aquiles Zonio wrote in an article at Philboxing.com that Pacquiao underwent an angiogram at Cardinal Santos Memorial Hospital on July 8 after having difficulty breathing during training.
“Pacquiao was rushed to the hospital around 3 p.m. on July 8 after complaining having difficulty breathing several times during the duration of his preparation for the July 15 fight,” said Zonio.
He added: “Pacquiao claimed that after the angiogram, the doctors told him he is suffering from an ‘inborn heart ailment’ and was even advised to call off the July 15 fight.”
According to Zonio, Pacquiao kept the episode a secret from his family and team members and that only a handful of close friends accompanied him to the hospital.
In an interview with Bombo Radyo Iloilo on Thursday evening, Pacquiao confirmed he went through an angiogram but insisted it was part of his checkup ahead of his fight.
“Nag-undergo ako ng angiogram kasi nag-ECG ako tapos lumabas na parang may bara sa ugat sa puso ko. Kasi baka pagdating sa laban atakihin ako doon at pwede kong ikamatay,” Pacquiao said.
“Nung sinabi na i-postpone ko ‘yung laban, I protested. I was required to run on a treadmill then an ECG was conducted. The result was quite amazing. The result showed my heart rate and rhythm improve as my physical activity increases,” he added.
Pacquiao did not show any signs of his ailment during his match. He scored three knockdowns on Matthysse en route to a seventh round stoppage victory./PN