Ever since earlier this year when the mega fight between two best boxers on the planet, Manny Pacquiao and Floyd Mayweather Jr. fell apart, questions and debates about the cause of the melt down rage on.
Just when it looked like that the only question about the most anticipated match up in years would be where to have it, Las Vegas or Dallas, Floyd Mayweather Jr. requested to implement an Olympic style drug testing prior to the fight. Pacquiao camp balked. Highly superstitious Pacquiao feels that drawing blood too close the fight time will take away from his strength. Mayweather Sr. publicly accused Pacquiao of being on the juice. Pacman and his people filed a defamation of character law suit. A Los Angeles judge was called in to mediate the negotiations between Pacquiao and Mayweather and to try to save the fight which would guarantee each boxer $25 million dollars, but it was too late; by this point in time only God could save the event and he decided not to meddle.
Pacquiao went on to destroy a very strong welterweight Joshua Clottey last Saturday in Dallas in front of record crowd of 51 thousand fans, in what turned out to be a one sided beating. As soon as the beating was over, every one wanted to talk about Mayweather.” Let commissions do their job,” exclaimed Pacquiao’s coach, Freddie Roach:” Just get in the ring and fight!”
Mayweather is going to face a welterweight champion Sugar Shane Mosley in Las Vegas on May first in a huge event. But what everybody is talking about is not the event itself, but the fact that Floyd forced Mosley to agree to Olympic style drug testing. Desperately needing a big money fight at the twilight of his career, Mosley would probably agree to tie one of his hands behind his back to fight Mayweather, but that is the subject for another story.
“Floyd Mayweather is trying to clean up the sport of boxing,” said Leonard Ellerbe, Floyd’s chief advisor, last Thursday during a first of its kind media telephone conference that discussed anti- doping drug testing program for Mayweather vs. Mosley:”Everybody who steps in the ring with him is going to be subjected to this.”
Even though Mayweather Mosley is a thrilling match up with a final outcome far from being certain, all casual fans want to talk about is the possibility of Pacquiao Mayweather happening later on this year. Just yesterday my banker pulled me aside and said: Say, Igor, why doesn’t Manny just take the darn drug test and fight Mayweather already?”
On the other hand, a famous boxing personality and one of the best cut men in the business, Tony Rivera had this to say about the subject: “Floyd never wanted to fight Pacquiao and he found a reason to get out of it.”
To simplify, here is the issue at hand. Does Pacquiao really have something to hide? Is Mayweather really trying to clean up the sport or is he simply trying to gain an advantage with psychological warfare?
I first called Keith Keizer of Nevada State Athletic Commission who informed me that urine anti doping tests are administered before and after the fight. No blood tests are in protocol. Similar procedures are employed in California and New York. The only blood test required in California is when a boxer is applying for a license, but that test is mostly concerned with aids and hepatitis and does not check for steroids.
Last Thursday, during a media telephone conference, Travis Tygart, CEO of United States Anti Doping Agency explained the protocol of Olympic Style drug testing that was adopted for Mayweather Mosley Fight.
According to Mr. Tygart, after the orientation, beginning from March 22nd, both athletes will be subjected to random unannounced blood and urine tests leading all the way up to and after the fight. The number of tests will not be disclosed till after the event to insure maximum credibility. Any positive result will be published following legal procedures. So why is urine test not enough? Why not do a DNA test that will only involve a hair sample?
“The chemicals that can not be detected in urine samples are HGH (human growth hormone), HBT, HBOC, and PATH” said Tygart.
“We can not afford not to do it,” said Tygart when asked about financial feasibility of the program:” Today, this is about clean athletes and their right to compete on a level playing field. I f you are clean, you have no reason not to be a part of this program. In fact, you demand it.”