The Strange Saga of Manny Pacquiao’s Heart Ailment

By Paul Magno on July 25, 2018
The Strange Saga of Manny Pacquiao’s Heart Ailment
“Those who were with me were saddened and crying. But I told them, don’t worry.”

Pacquiao claimed that the doctors told him he is suffering from an inborn heart ailment and was even advised to call off the July 15 fight…

Four days after Manny Pacquiao blew through Lucas Matthysse in Kuala Lumpur, Pacquiao publicist Aquiles Zonio revealed to the world that the Flipino icon had risked his life to do so. According to a mega-maudlin press release, Zonio claimed that Pacquiao had been suffering heart issues and was advised not to go ahead with the Matthysse bout.

Here’s what Zonio wrote, complete with supposed direct quotes from Pacquiao, himself:

“Unknown to many, Pacquiao was rushed to Cardinal Santos Memorial Hospital in Manila around 3:00 p.m. on July 8 after he complained about difficulty in breathing several times during the duration of his preparation for the July 15 Matthysse fight.

Nobody knew about this—not even a single member of his training team or immediate members of his family.

He didn’t want any member of his family to worry, the reason why he kept it to himself…

Pacquiao together with about four or five members of his inner circle accompanied him to Cardinal Santos Memorial Hospital in Manila around 3:00 p.m. on July 8 to undergo an angiogram…

Pacquiao claimed that after the angiogram, the doctors told him he is suffering from an inborn hearth ailment and was even advised to call off the July 15 fight.

Pacquiao protested telling the attending doctors that the fight must go on no matter what happened. He was made to sign a waiver.

‘I was required to run on a thread mill [sic] then an ECG [electrocardiogram] was conducted. The result was quite amazing. The result showed that my heart rate and rhythm improve as my physical activity increases,’ Pacquiao bared.

‘The entire medical procedure was finished around 3:00 a.m. on July and at around 7:00 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,’ Pacquiao claimed…

‘Buboy [Fernandez, head trainer and long-time friend] cried hard upon learning what happened. But I told him to stay strong and continue what he was doing. God will take care of the rest,’ Pacquiao said.”

And, as Zonio continued, “Pacquiao showed his toughness and selflessness— risking his life to fulfill his mission which is to unite and make his countrymen proud and happy even momentarily.”

Compelling stuff, right?

Except, apparently, it’s not true.

“My heart is okay. My heart is healthy. I feel stronger and younger than ever,” Pacquiao said over the weekend. He even joked that the only thing they’d find in his heart is the name of his wife Jinkee.

Pacquiao adviser Michael Koncz chimed in to further muddy the water a couple of days after the Zonio report claimed the 8-division world titlist had been diagnosed with an “inborn heart problem.”

“The doctor explained everything to me and it’s not a medical issue at this time,” Koncz told “Manny is okay.”

So, is Manny concealing a life-threatening heart ailment? Is a minor issue being blown up into a big, dramatic publicity stunt? Is it all just a bunch of BS?

Knowing Team Pacquiao’s long and storied history of “confused” self-reporting, it could be any of those three options.

Whatever the case, the 39-year-old Pacquiao re-energized a stagnant career with his performance against Matthysse. Now, the question is whether we’ll see him in the ring with anyone not tailor-made to make him look like the “Pacquiao of old.”

Jaded intuition leads one to believe that Team Pacquiao may be trying to rekindle the “humble super hero” image that raged during the prime run of “Pac-mania.” Hence, the “risking his life to fulfill his mission” bluster from the initial Zonio press release and the subsequent, ‘don’t worry about me, I’m fine’ hero talk from Pacquiao.

Or, maybe, it’s just Team Pacquiao being Team Pacquiao, issuing conflicting press statements because nobody’s quite sure what all the players around Manny may be up to.

Fight fans, however, may prefer less hero talk and more hero behavior, in the form of Manny finally signing off on a bout with Terence Crawford.

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  1. Your Name 05:32pm, 07/27/2018

    Lucas McCain, among his other attributes, is a cardiologist? Who would have guessed?

  2. Lucas McCain 07:04am, 07/27/2018

    I ought to have paraphrased as “immediate intuition” rather than “emotions,” but I’m sentimental

  3. Lucas McCain 06:49am, 07/27/2018

    The heart has reasons that reason knows not.  Well, Pascal was actually talking about emotions, not faulty valves.  But seriously, shortness of breath is not a good sign, even if it abates with increased exercise.  One problem is that if a cardiologist recommends replacement of the valve, it may also require lifetime use of blood thinners (including “rat poison”) which would rule out contact sports as well.  Most now recommend repairing, not replacing, heart valves, but you never know until there’s a close study of the situation, and that’s another reason why candidates for heart surgery put off finding out.  BTW, whatever happened to Evander Holyfield’s hole in the heart?  I think he claimed faith healed him.

  4. Octavio 10:48pm, 07/26/2018

    Maybe it’s true that Manny has a heart condition issue but I think it’s not that serious that would warrant him not to continue the fight with Matthyse. The fact that he was subjected to treadmill exercise and has passed the test, it proved that the heart issue is not serious.

  5. Kail 06:54pm, 07/26/2018

    This is a TRUE story whether you believe this or not. It was not made-up for publicities or something. This fact was kept secret from almost everybody until after the fight. Remember, Pacquiao is no longer under Top Rank so there will be no fake reports arising because he has no local publicist. Whatever comes out from the Philippine press is true and pure.To Pacquiao: please RETIRE. JUST PLEASE RETIRE. Or you suffer a LOSS on your next fight. You are never gonna get back your relentlessness anymore which is something that the fans loved about you.

  6. Casanovita de Ahome 11:05am, 07/25/2018

    “Inborn heart ailment” sounds like a heart valve issue….believe it or not there are some top flight cardiologists right here in Las Vegas. He needs to be thoroughly checked out!

  7. Your Name 07:13am, 07/25/2018

    Paul, gird your loins because the Tards will be on this like Canelo on Khan.

  8. Chief Ten Bears 06:33am, 07/25/2018

    Magno spewing hate again.

  9. Your Name 06:30am, 07/25/2018

    This diva makes me want to puke and I refer to Pac.

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