(ESPN) Floyd Mayweather told ESPN’s Stephen A. Smith in a text Tuesday that he would be open to a rematch after Manny Pacquiao recovers from shoulder surgery to repair a tear in his rotator cuff.
“I will fight him in a year after his surgery,” Mayweather texted Smith on the heels of his unanimous decision over Pacquiao in the richest fight ever.
Orthopedic surgeon Dr. Neal ElAttrache told ESPN.com on Monday that Pacquiao will have surgery later this week to repair a “significant tear” in his rotator cuff, which he suffered prior to the fight. The surgery will sideline the boxer for at least nine to 12 months.
The 38-year-old Mayweather (48-0, 26 KOs) has one fight remaining on his Showtime contract and has stated several times that he intends to retire after a final fight in September, although he admitted during Saturday’s postfight news conference that he is “human” and occasionally contradicts himself.
And when asked about his desire to move past legendary former heavyweight champion Rocky Marciano — who achieved a 49-0 record with 43 KOs, Mayweather said he didn’t get into the sport to “outdo” anyone. He also casually mentioned Monday he would vacate the world titles he currently holds.
The MGM has plans to open a new MGM Grand Arena in April 2016, which just happens to coincide with the 60th anniversary of Marciano’s retirement.
But surgery may not be the only hurdle for Pacquiao, who could face a possible fine or suspension from Nevada boxing officials for failing to disclose his shoulder injury on a form prior to Friday’s weigh-in.
“It’s not just the fact he didn’t fill out the question completely, it was that he wasn’t honest and they didn’t tell us a month ago when he had the shoulder injury,” Nevada Athletic Commission executive director Bob Bennett said. “They’re not obligated to, but two hours before the fight they wanted a shot that’s a painkiller, in essence. That put us in a very precarious position.”
Said commission chairman Francisco Aguilar: “We will gather all the facts and follow the circumstances. At some point we will have some discussion. As a licensee of the commission you want to make sure fighters are giving you up-to-date information.”
Pacquiao’s promoter put out a statement on behalf of the fighter late Monday afternoon saying that the injury was disclosed to the U.S. Anti-Doping Agency, which approved the use of an anti-inflammatory shot for the fight. But USADA was only a third party to the fight, charged only with testing the fighters for banned substances in training and the night of the bout.
“We had no medical information, no MRIs, no documents,” said Travis Tygart, who heads the USADA. “It was not an anti-doping issue. The real question is why his camp checked ‘no’ on the disclosure. Either they made a terrible mistake to not follow the rules or they were trying not to give information to the other side. I’m not sure there’s a middle ground.”
Tygart said his agency, which was hired by promoters to oversee drug testing for the bout, was contacted April 7 asking about the use of various substances and whether they were allowed under anti-doping rules. He said there was another call 10 days later asking about using a different substance, again for what the USADA was told was an unspecified shoulder problem.
A little more than two hours before the fight, Pacquiao’s corner asked Nevada regulators whether he could be given a shot of Toradol, an anti-inflammatory. Aguilar denied it, saying the commission had no previous indication that there was an injury and could not allow a shot in fairness to the Mayweather camp.
“Our job is to protect the health and safety of fighters and the integrity of the sport,” Aguilar said. “We expect our fighters to be forthright.”