PACQUIAO TITLE DEFENSE IN JEOPARDY
Manila, July 24, 2003 (MALAYA) There is a strong probability that Manny Pacquiao may lose his IBF super bantamweight championship even before he steps into the ring.
That after the lone Filipino world title-holder in boxing tested positive for hepatitis-B Tuesday, according to reports from Pacquiao's camp in Los Angeles.
Pacquiao was set to take another series of tests Wednesday morning (Thursday in Manila) to determine the extent of the infection.
Should those tests yield more dire results that would force the cancellation of his mandatory title defense against New York-based Mexican Emmanuel "Butcher" Lucero on Saturday, then he would be stripped of his crown.
Hepatitis-B is a common type of infection of the liver that may occur in epidemics and is caused by a virus infection. It is transmitted by blood.
Prior to the medical examination conducted by an accredited physician of the Los Angeles Boxing Commission, Pacquiao showed none of the symptoms that usually follow the infection.
In fact, the 24-year-old Filipino's lone worry was how to shed excess pounds in time for Friday's official weigh-in.
His sparring sessions ended Monday, but Pacquiao remained two pounds overweight.
On Wednesday, Pacquiao will again spend time at the Wild Card Gym but without sparring sessions. His sparring officially ended Monday on the instructions of American cornerman Freddie Roach.
Reported by: Sol Jose Vanzi
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