The proposed mega fight between Manny Pacquiao and Floyd Mayweather, Jr on March 13, 2010 is definitely off owing to disagreements in both camps on the how the contentious and controversial drug testing will be done and what agency will handle it.
Let us look back and answer some issues that contributed as to why the said mega fight went kaput.
Whoever made the decision to come out with the Olympic- style drug testing from Floyd Mayweather Jr’s camp should be crucified for putting the death knell on the biggest fight of our time. This is not only unprecedented and unparalleled in professional sports but it borders to the absurd. On the other hand, this is an admission of the amount of respect Mayweather have on Pacquiao’s fighting prowess despite Mayweather belittling his skills and ability in various interviews.
We should remember that in Mayweather’s 40 professional fights, he did not demand this kind of testing which is unheard of in professional boxing until this fight.
Although they may have some valid points with this demand especially in this day and age of Performance- Enhancing Drugs (PEDs), they could have asked the Nevada State Athletic Commission, which is the proper venue for this kind of issue to consider them in their drug testing. They could have asked the commission for a hearing to hear their apprehensions and I’m sure the NSAC will be up to the task and educate them about the merits and demerits of such tests. I’m sure Team Pacquiao will not refuse the said tests if a competent authority like the NSAC, who oversees all professional sports drug testing in the State of Nevada, demands it and warrants the test.
Instead, they went full blast with trial by publicity without showing any pieces of evidence or witnesses linking Pacquiao to using PEDs. Mayweather and their minions slander Manny Pacquiao’s name to anybody who would care to listen. It was a move that borders to idiocy. To me, this smacks of bad faith and utter disrespect to Manny Pacquiao.
Why jeopardize the fight with these unsubstantiated accusations that should have been confined only in gossip columns? Why deal in tabloid stuff when you are negotiating for the richest fight in boxing history?
Some people will say if you‘re clean and have nothing to hide, “why not just take the damn test and be done with it?”
We should understand that there’s a big difference between the Filipino and American cultures playing here. Rudyard Kipling once said in one of his poems that, “Oh East is East and West is West, and never the twain shall meet.”
While an American would readily take the test to prove his innocence even if he knows that he is innocent in the first place just to appease his critics, this will not be the case to a Filipino. A Filipino will stand his ground if he feels that he is being coerced to do things that he feels don’t merit any considerations. A Filipino will be stubborn to a fault if he believes that his integrity is being questioned especially if he knows deep in his heart that the accusations are not true.
Manny Pacquiao doesn’t relish the fact that his integrity is being questioned. More so, being blatantly accused of being a cheater without proof by his nemesis. Being a true- blooded Pinoy, I can understand why Manny Pacquiao would rather walk away from millions of dollars than dignify these kind of unwarranted accusations.
Make no mistake about it, like many Filipinos, Manny Pacquiao is a proud man. If this was just an issue between ordinary people in Manila or in any other place in the Philippines and somebody accuses somebody of cheating, you can expect that blood will surely flow in order for the aggrieved party to clear his name.
The press went to town when Manny Pacquiao did not acquiesce to Floyd Mayweather Jr’s demand for an Olympic-style testing. Some media people were blaming Pacquiao for the collapsed of the mega fight yet they turned a blind eye on the fact that the accusations against Pacquiao were concocted by Floyd Mayweather, Sr.
They further fanned the blaze and tooted the line of a convicted felon, a confessed cocaine user and high school drop-out like it was gospel truth. If that is not an obvious indictment of the state of journalism in sports nowadays, I really can’t say. If Floyd Sr. is not the most polluted source that one can find, I really don‘t know.
The media did not bother to check the facts nor research on the issue properly. Instead of reporting facts, they resorted to conjectures. Instead of reporting the truth, they succumbed to rumors and innuendos. Overnight, many respected sports personalities metamorphosed into gossip columnists and tabloid reporters. They stopped being objective and seekers-of-truth and unknowingly became peddlers of lies.
If we study the history of doping in sports, we can easily deduce that the usual culprits are athletes from first world countries who have the capability to do systematic sports doping. It all started with the athletes of the former Soviet Union and Warsaw Pact nations to give their athletes the edge against their western counterparts during the height of the Cold War.
The Mayweathers showed their ignorance regarding the Philippines’ capability when it comes to doping in sports by saying in one of their interviews that “we don’t know what they are capable out there”, or something to that effect, when referring to the country as a haven for steroids and other PEDs.
The only Asian country that is known to conduct systematic doping with its athletes is China. Who can forget the notorious Ma’s Army in athletics and their record-breaking swimmers a while back?
But the US and other western nations are not immune to cheating in sports. The names of Ben Johnson, Linford Christie, Marion Jones and Tim Montgomery are now forever linked to steroids and doping.
In the US professional sports ranks, the baseball ‘roid warriors like McGwire, Clemens, Bonds, Canseco and Sosa forever tarnished baseball. Even Tiger Woods is now being linked to PEDs because of his trainer. Boxing is not spared either. Fighters like Roy Jones Jr, Evander Holyfield, Fernando Vargas and Shane Moseley, just to name a few, have tested positive for steroids at some point in their careers.
In all of these cases, the accusations are backed up with pieces of evidence (syringe for Clemens) and witnesses (trainers) accusing a particular athlete of wrongdoings. In all of these cases, the accused athletes have been linked to people or laboratories/ companies like BALCO (Moseley and Bonds) that are known to deal in sports doping. In all of these cases, the accused athletes have been caught or have tested positive for doping (Jones).
In Manny Pacquiao’s case, not a single piece of evidence has been shown. In Manny Pacquaio’s case, not a single witness has come forward to accuse him of using PEDs. In Manny Pacquiao’s case, he has never tested positive for PEDs. In Manny Pacquiao’s case, the people around him have never been linked, accused nor convicted of engaging in illicit drugs.
Also Richard Schaefer, Golden Boy’s CEO was caught lying through his teeth and showed us his plain hypocrisy on this issue. He was on record of refusing a more thorough drug-testing on Shane Moseley, an admitted steroid user in his proposed fight against Zab Judah yet they were very adamant to do this on Manny Pacquiao.
“Whatever tests they want them to take, Shane will submit to that. We are not going to do other tests than the Nevada commission requires.”
“The fact is Shane is not a cheater and he does not need to be treated like one.”
The reason Olympic-style drug testing is usually done on athletes in the off-season (e.g. when they are deep in training) is because that’s the time that the benefits of PEDs (e.g. hGH & anabolic steroids) will come in handy to build those muscles and tissues. An athlete should have been using these banned substances for a long time for any changes in the body and the desired results to occur. It’s not as if you will just shoot them into your system, and voila, the dramatic effect will take place immediately. Besides, if one is a long-time user, there will be very visible changes not only in appearance but also in the psychological make-up of the user.
Nowadays, steroids can now be detected in the hair and when a positive test comes back, the urine sample is then tested for confirmation. Also, hGH is only effective if they are used in conjunction with steroids, and contrary to popular belief, it can also be detected in urine (aside from blood) by using molecular ‘markers’ which could be used as evidence of doping.
So in this case, whether you test Manny Pacquiao for hGH and anabolic steroids, 24- days or 14- days or post fight, is really immaterial since if he was really using them in the past, he would have tested positive for both, while on the other hand, if he will be using them just weeks before the fight, with a window period of less than 30 days, the desired outcome will not take effect nor make an impact on his performance. They should be looking for amphetamines and its derivatives instead.
In this mega fight fiasco, finger-pointing is the order of the day. But one doesn’t need to be a rocket scientist to figure out who’s the real badass and who’s not between the two protagonists.
They say, being a badass is not an act but a way of life. They say a badass doesn’t lie because a badass doesn’t need to lie. He is brutally honest and has a soft spot for the weak. He is a rugged man but possesses a calm and cool demeanor when dealing with everything in life.
So, between Manny and Money, who do you think is the real badass?
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