Wednesday, December 23, 2009


There appears to be a deliberate attempt by the camp of Floyd Mayweather Jr to mislead the public about pound-for-pound king Manny Pacquiao’s stand on the issue of Olympic-style drug testing.

A report datelined Los Angeles stated that the mega fight was in jeopardy after Golden Boy Promotions CEO Richard Schaefer who is negotiating fight details with Top Rank’s Bob Arum learned that Pacquiao was “refusing to comply” with Olympic-style drug testing as outlined and mandated by the United States Anti-Doping Agency and as requested by Mayweather’s management to ensure fair play and sportsmanship by both fighters.

The claim that Pacquiao refused to comply is completely false. He agreed to the blood tests before the kickoff press conference and after the fight. Where is the difference? If he is on any performance-enhancing drugs as repeatedly claimed by Floyd’s father, Floyd Mayweather Sr who failed to provide a shred of evidence to substantiate his charges and instead illogically (what’s new) demanded that Pacquiao prove he’s clean, surely the tests after the fight should satisfy any doubts.

If the USADA tests were taken at random why can’t they be taken before the press conference and after the fight? What difference does it make?

Pacquiao has, throughout his career, fought fair and square and never complained even when he lost as he did against Erik “El Terrible” Morales when a head-butt by Morales in round five opened up a nasty gash which bled profusely throughout the fight and which referee Joe Cortez erroneously claimed was caused by a punch!

Come to think of it, it was Floyd Mayweather Jr who failed to comply with the stipulated weight against the much smaller Juan Manuel Marquez, came in two pounds over the agreed upon limit and used his advantage to batter Marquez. Sure, Mayweather Jr paid $600,000 as a penalty but he used an unfair weight advantage in the ring to beat Marquez. So much for talk of fair play and sportsmanship!

That’s why Team Pacquiao is demanding that if Mayweather doesn’t make the 147 pound welterweight limit against Pacquiao he should pay $10 million per pound or a fraction thereof. In short, don’t let him cheat on the scales and get away by paying a fine. Make it hurt his pocket real bad.

Drug-testing is not mandated by the USADA in pro boxing. In Las Vegas that’s left to the Nevada State Athletic Commission under the highly respected lawyer Keith Kizer who has stated over and over again in response to the ranting of Mayweather Sr that Pacquiao has been tested before and after every fight and has come out spotlessly clean. The Mayweather camp wanted the fight in Las Vegas instead of Dallas, Texas because they were comfortable in Las Vegas and had faith in the NSAC. Why then don’t they trust the drug-testing by the Commission?

Schaefer’s statement that “Team Mayweather is certainly surprised that an elite athlete like Manny Pacquiao would refuse drug testing procedures which Floyd has already agreed to and have been agreed to by many other top athletes such as Lance Armstrong, and Olympians Michael Phelps, LeBron James and Kobe Bryant." Come on Richard, that’s not true and you know it. Manny didn’t refuse the drug-testing. He said he'll do it before the kickoff press conference and after the fight!!

By the way Richard, perhaps you should invite the USADA to conduct random drug tests on Sugar Shane Mosley before and after the Berto fight.

Mayweather reportedly feels that Pacquiao has to explain himself immediately or be faced with accusations from the media and the public regarding his own status as a clean and drug free athlete. Condescending to say the least. Pacquiao hasn’t asked Mayweather to explain his irrational behavior or his family history of getting into trouble with the law or even the recent incident when Mayweather’s car was seen at a venue where shots were allegedly fired by his bodyguards.

Mayweather went on "I understand Pacquiao not liking having his blood taken, because frankly I don't know anyone who really does," said Mayweather. "But in a fight of this magnitude, I think it is our responsibility to subject ourselves to sportsmanship at the highest level. I have already agreed to the testing and it is a shame that he is not willing to do the same. It leaves me with great doubt as to the level of fairness I would be facing in the ring that night. I hope that this is either some miscommunication or that Manny will change his mind and step up and allow these tests, which were good enough for all these other great athletes, to be performed by USADA."

Come on Floyd, which nation’s athletes have been found to use steroids and other performance-enhancing drugs? Look at baseball one of the biggest sports in the US. Look at the history of athletics where multi-titled sprinters were found to be on steroids. How many American athletes have been found to be on drugs? Of course, to the credit of the United States and the USADA these cheats have been found out. But this is not the style of Filipinos – despite all our weaknesses and frailties. We fight clean, fight hard and accept our defeats with grace and our victories – as Pacquiao has so often shown – with humility

Leonard Ellerbe, the adviser of Mayweather, has also joined in stating "We hope that Manny will do the right thing and agree to the testing as it is an egregious act to deny the testing and hence, deny the millions of fans the right to see this amazing fight. We just want to make sure there is a level playing field in a sport that is a man-to-man contest that relies on strength and ability. I still hope this decision is coming from someone in Pacquiao's camp and not Manny himself as it would be a shame that an athlete of his stature and who represents his whole country would not be able to show the public or his fellow athletes that he agrees to the highest standards in sports competition."

Mr. Ellerbe, you talk of a level playing field yet Floyd came into the fight against Marquez two pounds over the stipulated weight limit. Was that a level playing field or are you suggesting that by paying Marquez $600,000 it leveled the playing field and kept faith with the highest standards of sports competition?

We have known Manny from the time he began his career as a 16 year old kid on a weekly TV boxing show we produced and anchored much of the time and know he has a phobia about needles which means injections of any kind or extraction of blood. To ask him to be available any time the USADA knocks on his door and wants to stuff a needle in him is a pitiful attempt to load the dice against Pacquiao. Beyond that what is the difference between the testing methods of the Nevada State Athletic Commission and the United States Anti-Doping Agency. I guess it’s the letters US in front that puts the agency on a higher pedestal than the NSAC and gives it some assumed clout or power. Besides, do these people suggest that you can’t find a trace of performance-enhancing drugs a few minutes after a fight but can find it at random before? Doesn’t make sense to us.

Bottom line is what trainer Freddie Roach has always maintained and that is that Mayweather Jr is scared to fight Pacquiao who is at his peak and almost invincible. A dead giveaway was his insistence on staging the fight on March 13 when Manny hade somewhat of a hard fight against Miguel Cotto last November 14 besides having the May congressional elections on his mind. He thought Pacquiao wouldn’t agree and as the astute Bob Arum pointed out if Manny said no and wanted a fight later in the year Mayweather would have capitalized on it and said Manny was scared and didn’t want to fight.

Methinks it’s the other way around as conditioning expert Alex Ariza points out … Floyd is scared of getting the beating of his life.

As Bob Arum told us minutes ago, "Mayweather can go to hell."

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