MANILA, Philippines – The camp of Manny Pacquiao said the boxer underwent an emergency checkup just a week before his fight against Lucas Matthysse and was diagnosed to have an “inborn heart problem,” which affected him during training.
Pacquiao’s information officer AquilesZonio said Pacquiao was rushed to the Cardinal Santos Memorial Hospital in Manila on July 8 — a day before he and his team left for Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia — because of breathing problems during training sessions.
“Nobody knew about this — not even a single member of his training team or immediate members of his family,” Zonio said in an article he wrote for Philboxing.com.
“He didn’t want any member of his family to worry, the reason why he kept it to himself,” he added.
Pacquiao stopped Matthysse in the seventh round of their fight at the Axiata Arena last Sunday, knocking the defending champion thrice to become the new WBA welterweight titlist.
The Filipino icon, according to Zonio, pushed through with the fight despite being advised by his doctors to the contrary.
Zonio said Pacquiao underwent an angiogram — a medical procedure that involves the insertion of a catheter from the patient’s wrist to the heart to aid an x-ray examination of the arteries — which led to the discovery of a heart ailment.
Pacquiao was then subjected to an electrocardiogram (ECG) and even aced the test.
“I was required to run on a treadmill then an ECG was conducted. The result was quite amazing. The result showed that my heart rate and rhythm improve as my physical activity increases,” Pacquiao explained.
“The entire medical procedure was finished around 3 a.m. on July and at around 7 a.m., we flew back to General Santos. Those who were with me were saddened and crying. But I told them, don’t worry, I’ll be okay and I’ll do everything to win the fight,” he continued.
Zonio said Pacquiao decided not to notify his training team about his medical condition “to avoid demoralization.”
After dominating Matthysse for this 60th win, Pacquiao, who will turn 40 in December, said he intends to fight on and defend the title before the end of the year.
And so far, there are no signs that his latest medical status will affect his boxing plans.