11-time world champion Senator Manny Pacquiao has just suffered what you may call an out-of-the-ring technical knockout. The culprit? His own publicist, or so it seems.
Team Pacquiao has reportedly denied the Filipino boxing legend has a congenital heart disease which was discovered days before his fight against Argentine WBA welterweight champion Lucas Matthysse in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia.
In a report by veteran sports columnist Recah Trinidad, the newly-minted champion said: “I’m ok, I feel fine I thank God for giving me strength every day.” Pacquiao was said to have been quoted in a meeting with friends from the media last weekend.
Trinidad’s report said a second publicist from the Pacquiao camp stressed that “individuals who have no medical background should refrain from giving opinions especially if they do not have the medical records and experience.” The unnamed publicist quoted a doctor attending to the legendary fighter.
According to Pacquuiao’s camp, the notice became a necessity following the confusion caused by a report about an alleged serious heart ailment that had supposedly caused the legendary Filipino boxing superhero to risk his life in his recent world championship fight in Kuala Lumpur.
Pacquiao information officer Aquiles Zonio reported that the fighting Senator had supposedly undergone emergency angiogram procedure, wherein it was allegedly established Pacquiao has a life-threatening heart ailment. Zonio had reported Pacquiao was made to sign a waiver at the Cardinal Santos Memorial Hospital, before he was allowed to depart for Kuala Lumpur on July 9.
In his report, Zonio had quoted Paquiao as saying “those who were with me were saddened and crying and I told them don’t worry I’ll be OK, I will do everything to win the fight.” Zonio said trainer Buboy Fernandez was among the most disheartened in the Pacquiao staff over results of the heart check-up.
However, Team Pacquiao dismissed Zonio’s story as a false report but did not elaborate how the story came out.
In the weekend meeting with the select media, Pacquiao came in with wife Jinkee both wearing radiant red shirts and joked that, if the doctors found something in his heart, it must be the word Jinkee, referring to his wife’s name tattooed on his left chest.
The story on Pacquiao’s health has raised concerns from his fans. After the news broke out, not a few of his fans asked for his immediate retirement from boxing. Even veteran sports journalists were apparently taken for a ride by Zonio’s yarn after re-posting the story on social media.
As to Zonio, he reportedly mysteriously ‘evaporated.’