The actions of Top Rank Promotions with regard to withholding information about a right shoulder injury to Manny Pacquiao until two hours before his fight with Floyd Mayweather Jr. on Saturday were described Tuesday as "unacceptable" by Bob Bennett, executive director of the Nevada State Athletic Commission.
Bennett said the NSAC will conduct a thorough investigation before deciding whether to pursue a civil charge of perjury against Pacquiao and Top Rank for the boxer's failure to disclose the injury when he filled out a medical questionnaire the day before losing to Mayweather by a unanimous decision. The NSAC has a meeting scheduled May 15, but Bennett said it will be June or July before chairman Francisco Aguilar and the commissioners decide whether to file a complaint against Top Rank and Pacquiao.
Referring to a postfight comment by Top Rank promoter Bob Arum, Bennett said: "It's been stated that the NSAC had been advised of Manny's shoulder injury. That's totally incorrect. It was said we were informed by USADA, and USADA never informed us."
The U.S. Anti-Doping Agency was contracted by promoters to administer blood and urine tests to both fighters to ensure against the use of performance-enhancing drugs. Pacquiao suffered a tear in his right rotator cuff April 4 and subsequently received a cortisone shot and painkilling injections during training camp that were approved by USADA.
Arum said the medications were listed on the medical questionnaire and he believed USADA had informed the NSAC, but Aguilar said he first learned of the injury two hours before the bout when the Pacquiao camp asked permission to administer a painkiller. Aguilar denied the request. "With the number of years Top Rank has been in business, they know that, if they want to inform us of the situation, they should be telling us," Bennett said. "They shouldn't be telling USADA to tell us. That's just unacceptable."
Bennett said the decision to allow the fight to take place was made after the painkiller was denied. "We interviewed the physicians representing Manny, and they advised us his health and safety would not be at risk if he fought without the injection."
A class-action lawsuit seeking $5 million in damages was filed Tuesday against Pacquiao and Top Rank by two people from Las Vegas who bought tickets to the fight. Pacquiao attorney Daniel Petrocelli told the Los Angeles Times he will file a motion to dismiss or request a summary judgment.
The Pacquiao-Mayweather bout is expected to generate well more than $300 million. The pay-per-view telecast was a rare joint production by HBO and Showtime.
"Nobody informed us of any shoulder injury to Manny Pacquiao during his training camp," an HBO spokesman said.
Showtime had no comment, but an industry source said officials at that network first learned of the injury when it was revealed by Pacquiao after the bout.