Jackie Kallen: Should fans really sue Manny Pacquiao?

By Jackie Kallen

Should Manny Pacquaio be sued for not disclosing his shoulder injury before the fight? Obviously there are people who believe so. The gamblers who bet (and lost) on him are not exactly thrilled with the disclosure and would love to get some of their money back. Many of Manny Pacquiao’s most loyal followers feel cheated as well.

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I hate to break it to the boxing fans, but as a boxing manager, I have been involved in many fights where one fighter or the other came into the ring less than 100%. There are many injuries that occur in training that are not healed or completely pain-free by fight night. Any fighter will tell you that he (or she) has sometimes had to fight through pain.

In this case, Manny’s shoulder injury is a serious one and is more than a split lip, a small cut, or a hyper-extended elbow. It probably should have been revealed. But fighters never talk about their injuries prior to a fight. The last thing a boxer needs is for his opponent to know that he is hurting. A smart opponent will go right after the sore spot.

Freddie Roach and Manny Pacquaio were no doubt counting on a shot of Lidocaine to get him through the night. Then the problem could be solved after the fight. Apparently Lidocaine is not a banned substance and should have been allowed. For some reason, it was not permitted. I doubt the denial of a pain reliever was in Roach’s game plan. At that point, all he and Manny could do was wing it.

If every boxer who fought with an injury was sued after the fight, it would be a messy business. Then the fans would get the idea to start suing if a boxer gave a lousy, lackluster performance. Or maybe we could sue the judges for scoring a fight wrong (in our opinion). And maybe we could sue referees for stopping fights too soon or not taking point away for fouls.

This country has gotten very litigious. We sue if our McDonalds coffee is too hot or someone slips on a banana peel. Will this open the door to other sports lawsuits? Will we sue the quarterback if the football is not inflated enough? Will we sue an MMA fighter for having too many graphic, distasteful tattoos? Where does it end?

It’s no secret that everyone was disappointed by the so-called “Fight of the Century?” It was certainly far from that. It wouldn’t even be a candidate for “Fight of the Week,” But I’m not sure a lawsuit is a healthy precedent.

I’m curious. If there is class action suit against Manny Pacquaio, will you join the suit? We sure hope not.

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