Floyd Mayweather added another wrinkle to the fallout of his fight against Manny Pacquiao by saying he would be open to a rematch after the Filipino southpaw recovers from shoulder surgery, according to an ESPN report on 5 May.
Mayweather has one fight left on his Showtime contract and has repeatedly said he intends to retire after a bout in September, although after the Pacquiao fight he told reporters he was "human" and occasionally contradicts himself.
"I will fight him in a year after his surgery," Mayweather, who earned a unanimous decision over Pacquiao, reportedly told ESPN's Stephen Smith in a text.
His comments added to the complicated aftermath of the so-called "Fight of the Century," with possible lawsuits in the works and Pacquiao likely to face disciplinary action for failing to disclose a pre-bout shoulder injury, which raised the questions as to whether the Filipino fighter should have been fighting in the first place.
"I think for any athlete that depends on upper body strength it is a potentially devastating injury," explained Dr Marc Samson, a prominent orthopaedic surgeon at Good Samaritan hospital in Los Angeles. "Clearly, if he does have a torn rotator cuff would have greatly impaired his ability to fight properly."
'Hampered by previous injury'
Barely one hour after the contest ended, Pacquiao's promoter Bob Arum said the 36-year-old southpaw had been hampered by a previous injury to his right shoulder.
On 4 May, an MRI scan in Los Angeles confirmed the boxer has a torn rotator cuff that will require surgery, which could take up to nine months to recover from.
"I probably would have not cleared him to fight for a lot of reasons," said Samson, who's never met Pacquiao, but has treated professional athletes with similar injuries. "One being his own protection. Two, I don't think he can be anywhere near his normal fighter with this type of injury."
Apparently neither Pacquiao nor his team informed the Nevada Athletic Commission about the shoulder issue until a couple of hours before the start of the fight when they asked for an anti-inflammatory injection.
At that point, it was too late for the commission to investigate whether Pacquiao was suffering a genuine injury and there were no MRIs or medical paperwork to support the claim made by the boxer's team, the commission said.
When Team Pacquiao filled in its pre-fight medical questionnaire, a query about any shoulder injury was clearly marked "No" before the form was signed by Pacquiao and his adviser.
The fact that Pacquiao did not disclose his injury until the night of the fight could also lead to possible lawsuits from boxing fans who may feel cheated after paying record sums for tickets in the MGM Grand Garden Arena or pay-for-view (PPV).