The rest, all of it from both sides, is smoke and mirrors and boxing bullshit designed to confuse the public but if the people representing Floyd Mayweather, Jr. and Manny Pacquiao aren’t careful what they are going to succeed in doing is what they’ve done so many times in the past – they’ll turn the public off to the point that a great spectacle will become just another example of how the suits who have run the sport into the ground continue to throw a little more dirt on the coffin every chance they get.
On the surface the issue is about performance enhancing drugs and Floyd Mayweather, Jr.’s alleged insistence that both he and Manny Pacquiao agree to random blood tests right up to the day of the fight. Mayweather’s father has insisted Pacquiao is a drug cheat but has offered not one scintilla of evidence to prove it except that he knocked his fighter, Ricky Hatton, cold in two rounds. That was not a blood test. That was a beating administered by one class of fighter to another several rungs below him.
Now it is Golden Boy Promotions, who represent Mayweather in these negotiations, that is insisting on random blood tests for PEDs. That they are the ones demanding this is laughable because little more than a year ago they were on the other side of the issue and saying nearly the same words Pacquiao’s promoter, Bob Arum, is now using to refuse such testing when Zab Judah demanded it before fighting GBP’s Shane Mosley.
The only difference is Mosley had already admitted using PEDS, albeit claiming unknowingly. He also was found to be a client of BALCO, the disgraced San Francisco company at the center of the steroid scandal that sent Marion Jones to prison and cast a dark shadow over the baseball accomplishments of Barry Bonds and others.
Yet despite all of that, Richard Schaefer, CEO of Golden Boy, told the Associated Press at the time that while Mosley would agree to any tests required by the Nevada State Athletic Commission “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 facts however argue otherwise. He was a cheater, although he claimed unwittingly so, and he did need to be treated like one but the fight never came off so it didn’t matter until now, where Schaefer and Golden Boy find themselves arguing the exact opposite side while Arum is saying his fighter will adhere to any tests the NSAC wants but does not need to be treated like a cheater.
Arum is right because there is no evidence of Pacquiao using steroids, HGH or other performance enhancing drugs. He has grown from a 106 pound fighter to a world champion at as high as 147 pounds but he is not the first to move up in weight and win and won’t be the last.
Schaefer keeps insisting Golden Boy is not accusing Pacquiao of anything when Mayweather’s father already has and their continued insistence on putting the biggest fight in years in jeopardy over the issue implies they have concerns. In essence, they’re telling the public the fight might not be on the up and up unless drug testing labs are involved. If that’s true, why should they pay $55 or more to watch it?
Meanwhile, Arum and Pacquiao argue he’s willing to be tested when the first press conference is held in January and any time up to 30 days before the fight as well as immediately after it. That sounds reasonable enough unless you know anything about PEDs. If you do you would understand that that much time between the testing and the event would render the tests worthless.
Masking agents and the men and women who create them are already far ahead of the testing agencies. Jones, for example, is one of many dirty athletes who never tested positive. That’s because if you know when the tests are coming and the people around you know what they’re doing you’d have to be an idiot – or James Toney – to get caught.
Toney did get caught after defeating then heavyweight champion John Ruiz, thus vacating his victory and allowing Ruiz to retain the title. In his corner that night was Freddie Roach, Pacquiao’s trainer. There is not one hint of evidence Roach knew a thing about it but it happened any way, the point being only the fighter and his druggist really know what’s going on so the only way to be sure is random testing as close to the event as possible as well as immediately after it.
Pacquiao has claimed he doesn’t want to have blood taken so close to the event yet HBO’s 24/7 show prior to the Hatton fight clearly showed him having blood drawn two weeks before they fought. Apparently his aversion to blood tests so close to a fight is a recent phenomenon.
Arum keeps changing what he’ll agree to, now saying the Pacquiao camp would agree to whatever the Commission says. That may sound noble but NSAC executive director Keith Kizer said during the Judah-Mosley flap that “Our inspectors aren’t qualified or licensed to draw blood.’’ Nevada Athletic Commission rules make no mention of blood testing, using only urine testing which is useless for discovering most forms of PED use because they are so rudimentary.
So he’s agreed to that knowing the NSAC isn’t going to order random blood testing in the final week or two before the fight. There is a question if they could even legally do so if they wanted to because it would require a change in the state regulations, which would need to be approved in advance and there isn’t time enough for that.
If Pacquiao is clean and knows he’s clean why not just agree and be done with it? Well, one could argue the same way Schaefer did for Mosley and much more effectively since unlike Mosley he has no priors and hence deserves the full presumption of innocence.
Then again, if he knows he’s clean, why not just say “Sure, let’s make this the most tested sporting event in history. Let’s be leaders in what has become professional sport’s dirty little secret. Let’s be cleaner than the Olympics, which wouldn’t take much. Let’s be cleaner than baseball and football, which wouldn’t take much. Let’s both be tested right up to the morning of the fight.’’
He could but instead he’s said “I’m willing to be tested as long as they’ll be done at a time when they’ll be meaningless.’’ It is reasonable to ask why but then again it’s just as reasonable to ask why Golden Boy is demanding this testing of a guy never implicated in PED usage after having been so adamantly opposed to it when Mosley, an admitted cheat, was involved.
What it tells me is somebody for some reason doesn’t want the fight. Is it Mayweather? Is it the people around him? Is it Pacquiao? Is it the people around him? No one knows but if it doesn’t happen because of blood testing the public will turn up its nose, close its eyes and return to ignoring a sport that has earned their disinterest by just this kind of stupidity.
The NBA has a gambling scandal with an official and the same day he’s busted Commissioner David Stern is screaming the guy is a rogue official. Every sport works to keep their reputation unsullied. Boxing works at heaping dirt upon itself and one of its greatest ambassador’s – Manny Pacquiao. Why? They can’t help themselves that’s why.
Golden Boy issued a press release on Monday saying if the fight doesn’t come off don’t blame them. They also said “nobody from Team Mayweather or Golden Boy Promotions is accusing Paquiao of anything.’’ That is simply a bald-faced lie. Every one of their actions accuses Pacquiao. It is, as they say in the ghetto, a classic case of throwing a rock and hiding your hand. The guy’s father puts the accusation out there. His promoters then say they’ll call off the biggest fight in boxing history if he Pacquiao won’t agree to random blood testing, which is not required in Nevada, right up until days before the fight.
No, they’re not accusing him of anything. That would take some courage…and a good lawyer. They just put it out there and let it, and him, hang.
But before you canonize Pacquiao and Arum, hold on a minute. They know the testing they have agreed to would be useless in catching anyone using PEDs efficiently to prepare for this fight. It would be less than a take home exam.
They also know if he’ll be clean or not. If he is he could just throw it back in Mayweather’s face and say, “All right Little Floyd, you want blood tests we’ll take blood tests. We’ll take a test two weeks before the fight, a week before the fight, at the weigh-in and then a last one a minute after you wake up from after I knock you stiff.’’
Now that would drive some interest.
In the end who knows how this will go. The money interests in all sides would seem to demand a settlement but Arum claims he’s already making plans for an alternate March 20 fight for Pacquiao against Paulie Malignaggi. Now that’s interesting because Malignaggi long ago accused Pacquiao of using performance enhancing drugs and Bob Arum isn’t threatening him. Maybe that’s because he knows he’s no threat to Manny Pacquiao.
That’s boxing. The theatre of the absurd and a sport that, even on the cusp of one of its brightest moments in years, couldn’t help but sully itself once again.
“I can’t believe these guys can lie without batting an eyelash and they would even make it appear that I am the culprit for the delay of the fight and saying that I don’t want it to happen,” said Pacquiao in Tagalog, as he released part of the information that he has been keeping—proof that Mayweather Jr. directly accused him of performance enhancement drugs (PED) use.
“Liars go to hell. They should be man enough and own up to their words,” said Pacquiao, as he recalled information that pointed out to Mayweather Jr. categorically stating that “the Philippines has the best (performance) enhancement drugs,” supporting what his father, Mayweather Sr. and his uncle Jeff Mayweather, have openly claimed in past interviews. They all claimed that Pacquiao was into some kind of “roids” (steroids) or has used other banned substances.
“It’s all over the internet. (Link: http://www.zshare.net/audio/676796581a1c2a9e/ listeners’ discretion is advised due to foul and harsh language). They all went on record and there is no denying as to who is lying or not,” added Pacquiao, who thinks he is becoming a victim of black propaganda with the intention of systematically besmirching, tarnishing and destroying his legacy as one of the best fighters of all time. In the audio recording, Mayweather linked him to drug use by maliciously stating that the Philippines is a producer of the best PEDs. “For including my country in the picture, claiming that we are producers of the best performance enhancing drugs, Mayweather and those who are guilty need to get punished, the sooner, the better, whether it be in the courts or in the ring.”
The now-famous Mayweather versus “RA, the Rugged Man” radio interview in October said it all about how Mayweather accused Pacquiao and the whole Filipino nation. Mayweather exploded at the 15:18 minute mark of the 21-minute interview. This transpired even before Pacquiao was to fight Miguel Cotto in November 2009.
Pacquiao reserved and kept other proof of defamatory statements made by other individuals, who will be charged later on in court. His legal team is readying materials in order to file a lawsuit soon. A lawsuit will be filed whether or not his fight with Mayweather will push through on March 13, 2010 in Las Vegas.
The Mayweather camp and Golden Boy Promotions, have required Pacquiao to undergo a new set of drug testing procedures other than those already required by the Nevada State Athletic Commission (NSAC).
“I want to put this on the record again, that I will abide by the NSAC requirements like in all of the fights in boxing history, including all of my fights,” said Pacquiao, who vehemently denied claims that he was against drug testing.
“In all my years of fighting, I have never tested positive for any steroids or performance enhancing drugs (PEDs) use. I will provide any specimen, whether it be blood or urine samples, just right after the fight but not a day or two before, for obvious reasons. That should stop these clowns from asking for other drug testing procedures other than the ones already required by the NSAC.”
On Monday, Mayweather Promotions and Golden Boy Promotions issued a joint statement in order to set the record straight. “They claimed that I threatened to walk away from the largest fight in history. That's their first lie! Last week, I told Floyd Jr. to shut his big, pretty mouth and that we should fight so that the world will get to see who is the best fighter in the planet,” said Pacquiao.
The Mayweather-GBP release also stated: “Let it be very clear that nobody from Team Mayweather or Golden Boy Promotions is accusing Pacquiao of anything. But the reality seems to be that for whatever reason Pacquiao does not want to participate in random blood testing, which has already been deemed a harmless procedure that many current athletes are subjected to prior to and during competition.”
“Again, all we need to see are the other recorded transcripts of what they said in websites and blogs. It is a pity that Oscar “Golden Boy” Dela Hoya’s Golden Boy Promotions should have been supporting me, too, because his company has a promotional stake in my career. They all say they got my back, but yes, they stab me, too, when I turn my back,” said Pacquiao.
Let the record be clear: Manny Pacquiao and his promoter Bob Arum are threatening to walk away from the largest fight in history.
The fact is that random blood and urine testing was one of the many deal points and was listed along with the others, such as the financial split, the weight, financial penalty for being overweight, the appointment of the foreign sales agent, the production of the marketing assets, the gloves and many more. Team Mayweather made major concessions in many of these areas and we were optimistic that Team Pacquiao would do the same as it related to the request for random blood and urine testing, which Floyd Mayweather agreed to immediately.
It is disappointing for us to see that the benefits of blood testing and the fact that many different substances and procedures can only be detected by blood testing, are still not fully understood by all.
Their "take it or leave it" approach where blood testing would stop 30 days prior to the fight unless the Nevada State Athletic Commission (NSAC) approved differently is another indication that they may not want this fight. Pacquiao's position (and as stated on his website) is. "The truth is taking blood out of my body does not seem natural to me and mentally I feel it will weaken me if blood is taken from me just days before the fight" or he is "afraid of needles" and does not feel comfortable with blood being taken closer than 30 days before the fight is another interesting point. The fact is that he did have blood taken just 14 days prior to his fight with Ricky Hatton, an event which was documented on HBO's 24/7 reality show.
Also when told that Pacquiao feels that the United States Anti-Doping Agency (USADA) is an agent of Golden Boy Promotions-which is in and of itself a ridiculous accusation-we moved swiftly and made yet another concession by stating that we would be perfectly fine to retain another agency which would do the random urine and blood tests and jointly agree on a reasonable cutoff prior to the fight but which would still maintain the integrity of the results. Let it be clear that this procedure was declined by Pacquiao as was the proposal to bring in an independent mediator such as Sen. John McCain, a suggestion that was in fact embraced by Bob Arum, but also declined by Manny Pacquiao.
Let it be very clear that nobody from Team Mayweather or Golden Boy Promotions is accusing Pacquiao of anything. But the reality seems to be that for whatever reason Pacquiao does not want to participate in random blood testing, which has already been deemed a harmless procedure that many current athletes are subjected to prior to and during competition.
Team Mayweather and Golden Boy Promotions is still open to the earlier discussions of having both parties work out a mutually agreeable understanding of the testing, which would be conducted by a mutually agreed upon agency.
In closing Floyd Mayweather is one of the most decorated athletes boxing has ever seen and he is anxious to make this fight happen for all of the fans and sports enthusiasts that are asking for this fight to happen too. As you might have noticed Floyd has been silently watching and patiently waiting for the final details of the fight to get worked out. As Floyd has already stated he does not have a problem with the random procedure and will be under the same requirements as Pacquiao, it is simply hard for him to understand why there is reluctance on Pacquiao's part to agree to do the same.
Rashad Evans (18-1-1) faces Brazil’s Thiago Silva (14-1) in a light heavyweight mixed martial arts battle at the MGM Grand in Las Vegas on Saturday Jan. 2. Evans, a former world champion, is attempting to get back into the title picture. The Ultimate Fighting Championship 108 fight card will be televised on pay-per-view. Tickets are still available for the MMA event.
Chris “The Nightmare” Arreola’s name seems to be very popular. A number of heavyweight fights have been proposed for the Riverside boxer including possible bouts with Tomasz Adamek, James Toney and David Tua. All are being proposed to Arreola’s promoter Goossen-Tutor Promotions by HBO. I guess they want to get the knockout puncher back in the ring and in front of a television viewing audience as soon as possible. A bout against Toney looks kind of dangerous for Arreola but a bout against Tua looks easier on paper. We’ll see. Speaking of Toney, when Vitali Klitschko fought Kevin Johnson who has a similar style to Lights Out, all I could think of is Toney would give Klitschko a lot more trouble. Toney definitely would have thrown more punches than Johnson. Just food for thought.
Former junior middleweight world champion Roman Karmazin (39-3-1, 25 KOs) headlines a fight card in Glendale, California on Jan. 8. The Russian prizefighter will face Dionisio Miranda (20-4-2, 18 KOs) in a junior middleweight bout. Also on the impressive Art of Boxing Promotions fight card will be several contenders including Art Hovhannesyan. Also on the card is the return of Shibata Flores. Man, that guy hasn’t fought in years. There’s also a Russian heavyweight Andrey Fedosov who looks pretty good For tickets and information call (626) 388-8888.
Anthony “Baby Assassin” Villarreal (9-2, 4 KOs) signed to defend his WBC Youth flyweight title against undefeated Milan Melindo (19-0) in Cebu City in the Philippines on Jan. 14. Villarreal is from Perris and has a five fight win streak. It’s his second fight outside of the country. He’s trained by Al Franco in the Riverside area.
Believe it or not Evander “Real Deal” Holyfield (42-10-2, 27 KOs) returns to the ring to fight Francois “White Buffalo” Botha (47-4-3, 28 KOs) on Jan. 16 in Uganda for the WBF heavyweight world title. Both Holyfield, 47, and Botha, 41, have both held world titles but never fought each other before. Holyfield always said he wanted to win one more heavyweight world title. The Georgia-based fighter has lost his past two fights against Nicolai Valuev and Sultan Ibragimov. Botha fought three times in 2009 and fought to a draw against Pedro Carrion in Germany while winning his other two bouts.
Pomona’s Shane Mosley (46-5, 39 KOs) is preparing in Big Bear Lake for his upcoming WBA title defense against WBC titleholder Andre Berto (25-0, 19 KOs). The welterweight showdown takes place on Saturday Jan. 30, at the Mandalay Bay Resort and Casino in Las Vegas. Also on the card will be undefeated lightweight Carlos Molina who is managed by Frank Espinoza.
Ali demanded purse parity and said that he was the peoples champ and could make a lot of money fighting the other top contenders - and thus would eliminate Frazier's potential opponents. Therefore he would be the only fighter left and Frazier would have no choice but to fight him or be stripped of the title. The only fighter Ali couldn't get into the ring was the second ranked George Foreman who via his manager/trainer Dick Saddler refused to let Foreman fight Ali unless he held the title. By late 1972 Frazier had to either fight Ali and split $6 million dollars or meet Foreman for $850,000 or be stripped of the title; Frazier chose to defend the title against Foreman for one-third the money rather than give Ali purse parity.
Back then Frazier didn't fully grasp that in-spite of holding the title, Ali was the bigger draw and superstar. And the only break-the-bank money Frazier could make was by fighting Ali. On the other hand Ali knew his value and ultimately forced Frazier to make a move which opened the path to the title for him via Foreman.
Today it can be easily argued that Manny Pacquiao holds the upper hand and leverage over Floyd Mayweather Jr. more so than Ali did over Frazier almost 38 years ago. Pacquiao is not only the bigger star and the more exciting fighter, he also has a piece of the welterweight title and has met and defeated better opposition than Mayweather during his career. If Mayweather doesn't fight Pacquiao; who is he going to fight if he doesn't retire?
Everyone who closely follows professional boxing knows Mayweather is mostly inclined to make fights in which most aspects regarding the bout favors him. So you can forget about him trying to lure Paul Williams down to welterweight for a potential clash between them. Antonio Margarito's one year ban will expire soon only he's too dangerous for Mayweather. Miguel Cotto has already lost twice with his last defeat coming against Pacquiao, so there's no interest to go in that direction from a Mayweather perspective. Even if Andre Berto beats 38 year old Shane Mosley next month, that's not a monumental fight money wise for Mayweather nor will beating Berto do much to elevate his career perception and legacy.
The fighter who will be in demand if he wins his next bout is WBA welterweight title holder Shane Mosley. Mosley has longed to fight both Pacquiao and Mayweather but was used as the pawn in the Pacquiao-Mayweather sweepstakes. Now the two fighters who really had no interest in meeting him will be clamoring to make a fight with him if the circumstances allow after he fights Berto.
There's no doubt about it if Pacquiao and Mayweather can't agree on a format regarding testing each other for PED's and HGH, fighting Mosley with the WBA/WBC welterweight title belts on the line along with his WBO title would be the next biggest fight for Pacquiao. And if you're Mosley and have the choice of fighting Pacquiao or Mayweather, the choice is easy; you'll fight Pacquiao.
For Mosley the money would be better fighting Pacquiao than it would be for Mayweather. And in the ring, assuming Mosley would be the underdog against both, Pacquiao is the fighter Shane would have a better chance to upset. Everyone knows if Mosley fights Mayweather he'll be forced to push the fight and be on the attack from opening bell until closing bell. Mosley is least effective when he has to force the action and fight as the puncher; whereas Mayweather makes his living fighting as the counter puncher. However, in a clash with Pacquiao, Mosley would get a chance to use his presumed strength advantage to overwhelm Pacman physically.
If we know anything about Pacquiao, it's that he likes to attack. Sure, against Mosley he may come out early and look to box and counter but once he gets in a few left-crosses he'll step to him and open up. Which Mosley will surely welcome as he fully understands that he can get off and hit Pacquiao with his best stuff when the Filipino tries to bring the fight to him. That's how Mosley makes his living.
If lady luck has any part to play in the best fights being made, Mosley will get by Berto next month and meet Pacquiao some time in September of 2010. Pacquiao-Mosley isn't quite the super-fight that Pacquiao-Mayweather is, but due to the mindset and fighting styles of both fighters it would no doubt be the better and more exciting fight regardless of who came out on top. Pacquiao-Mayweather would be full of drama because the hype for it has recently dominated the boxing world, but how many think it'll actually be a great fight in the ring with non-stop action?
If Berto happens to defeat Mosley, Pacquiao-Berto would be a significant fight because of the way Pacquiao has moved up in weight and compiled titles. In addition to that Pacquiao's catch and kill style would make for an action packed fight because he forces the opponent to fight back in order to try and stabilize the fight and/or impede his aggression. As for Mayweather-Berto, not only would it be a dull fight to watch, as good as Mayweather is at selling a fight - even he would have a hard time selling it if he even cared to.
The boxing world clamors for Pacquiao vs. Mayweather, but the BS demands regarding the drug testing of Pacquiao coming from team Mayweather in order to make the fight has taken some of the glow off of it. Boxing fans are tired of hearing about drug tests and PED's to the point to where their interest and anticipation of the fight is probably starting to wane. I know mine is.
Bob Arum has been talking about Paulie Malignaggi as a possible opponent for Pacquiao if the Mayweather fight can't be made. Which is a fight that would do nothing for or to enhance Pacquiao's legacy. Especially after Pacman defeated Hatton and Cotto in his last two fights who both beat Malignaggi.
A banner start for boxing in 2010 would start with Mosley getting by Berto and then fighting Pacquiao in September after he's had plenty of time to recuperate after his last bout with Miguel Cotto. Pacquiao-Mosley would be a great fight drama wise and feature two great fighters who have gone out of their way to take on the best available opposition throughout their entire career; which is what fans hope to get when they buy boxing on PPV.
Hopefully, Mayweather will submit that all Pacquiao has to do is subject himself to the testing of the Nevada State Athletic Commission and make the fight that everybody wants to see become a reality.
And if he won't, Pacquiao-Mosley would be a better fight and spectacular alternate in place of Pacquiao-Mayweather.
One last time, there's not a morsel of evidence that Pacquiao has ever taken PED's/HGH. On top of that there's no such drug or supplement that can give a fighter more than he has physically; and if you think differently you haven't been around that many ranked or upper-tier professional boxers/fighters. Isn't it something how David Diaz, Oscar De La Hoya, Ricky Hatton and Miguel Cotto had no qualm about fighting Pacquiao and then created a false smoke screen regarding steroid usage after losing to him in somewhat convincing fashion?
For those who forget, both Shane Mosley and Fernando Vargas tinkered with some sort of supplements at a particular point in their careers. And it just so happens during that precise period they both suffered defeats. In fact it can be said during the period they were believed to taking different banned substances they never looked worse suffering their most conclusive defeats of their careers.
Pacquiao's body or actions haven't shown anything that would suggest he's juicing or beating the system in any way shape or form. He just happens to be a physical phenom like former five-division and all-time great Thomas Hearns. Hearns, like Pacquiao, was a string bean when he turned pro but put on muscle and retained his hand speed and power as he moved up in weight.
The ruse Mayweather is attempting to pull over on the boxing community is all about power and control. It boils down to nothing more than Mayweather, who is the lesser draw at the gate than Pacquiao; trying to dictate the terms to the fighter who has more leverage and needs him less to make a ton of money. Mayweather thinks if he makes enough accusations that Pacquiao is using PED's/HGH that people will begin to think it's true. And sadly some of those who show blind loyalty to Mayweather and act as if it's his birth right to go down as one of the greats - give him cover.
Today the Mayweather faction tries to paint anyone who doesn't worship at the throne of Mayweather as being a hater. That's great and if they think that they can dismiss the bull-crap that Mayweather is doing by simply painting those who know the game of boxing and stating the truth, great. They'll get no where and will continue to fight and make excuses for a fighter who has cried, begged and pleaded for homage more than any supposed great fighter during the modern era of professional boxing.
The bottom line is Manny Pacquiao isn't concerned about passing a drug test regardless of whether it's done by the Nevada State Athletic Commission or the Olympic committee. It's the idea that who is Floyd Mayweather to dictate the terms and conditions of it above and beyond any other championship fight in history? Why should Pacquiao let the fighter who needs the fight more for his career in an historical sense call the shots?
Pacquiao knows he can submit to any style drug test without worrying about passing it, but why should he? Simply because Floyd Mayweather Jr. insist on it? Pacquiao has smartly refused to give in and let Mayweather dictate the terms and circumstances surrounding the bout when he has more leverage of the two fighters.
Hopefully, Arum or Pacquiao will soon announce that they're going in a different direction since the Mayweather faction isn't serious about making the fight. And that they'll try and make a fight with the Mosley-Berto winner. If Mosley does beat Berto, every boxing observer alive knows he and Pacquiao would be a better and more exciting fight than Pacquiao-Mayweather.
Not to mention it would be conducted between two great fighters who are truly interested in finding out who the better fighter is more than just playing the system and fans.
It could be the best Christmas gift imaginable for the Palm Springs fighter.
“HBO thinks a fight with Timothy Bradley is a good action fight,” said Cameron Dunkin, who manages Bradley and numerous other top prizefighters. “They don’t think Malignaggi would be a crowd pleasing fight.”
Pacquiao’s refusal to agree to Olympic style drug testing rather than the traditional testing offered by Nevada State Athletic Commission has prompted Mayweather to possibly scuttle the mega fight planned for March 13, at the MGM Grand in Las Vegas.
Though Malignaggi was first discussed, having Bradley as an alternative was suggested to HBO, said Dunkin adding that the network prefers the Palm Spring fighter’s attacking style.
Bradley loves the idea.
“I would love to fight the guy if Mayweather don’t want to fight. Any time, just let me know. It’s as simple as that,” said Bradley by telephone on Christmas Eve. “I’m willing to step in if they want to fight someone who is hungry and who really wants to fight.”
Malignaggi was first mentioned as an opponent, but according to sources HBO does not like the match up. That’s where Bradley comes into the picture.
Bradley’s dominating performance against Lamont Peterson nearly two weeks ago and previous battles against Kendall Holt, Junior Witter and Nate Campbell have suddenly boosted his visibility. His full attack style is another factor.
“I just want to fight the best in the world,” said Bradley who is co-promoted by Gary Shaw Productions and Thompson Boxing. “Money plays a factor but it doesn’t motivate me. Fighting the best motivates me.
Mayweather and Pacquiao were both guaranteed a minimum of $25 million to fight each other in a battle of the two best fighters Pound for Pound in boxing. In Bradley’s last fight that took place on Dec. 12 against Peterson, the Southern Californian made $300,000. It’s a huge jump in money and fighting ability.
And what about the drug test?
“I don’t see what the big deal is. Manny Pacquiao doesn’t have a history of taking illegal substances,” said Bradley. “That’s what the commissions are here for.”
Bradley says getting a shot at Pacquiao or Mayweather is a dream fight.
“It’s amazing because this is the fight I’ve always wanted my whole career: To get a chance at fighting the best fighter pound for pound in the world. I know in my heart I can compete with this guy,” Bradley said. “I know what makes him so great. I feel I have the talent that I have and with my speed and ability I can compete with anyone.”
In the next few days will it be Mayweather, Malignaggi or Bradley?
Floyd Mayweather by virtue of his interviews, antics and orchestrated press conferences has transformed himself into a fighter who when he speaks, the boxing world tunes in to find out what angle he's working this time. Before his retirement after stopping Rick Hatton in December of 2007, Mayweather didn't garner stop the press attention like Oscar De La Hoya or Mike Tyson. But since the emergence of Manny Pacquiao and his lopsided decision win over Juan Manuel Marquez in his last fight, Mayweather has become the talk of the boxing community.
Starting on the day of the Pacquiao-Hatton bout when Mayweather announced his comeback, Floyd has tantalized boxing fans with what he'll say and do next. Keeping them on the edge, trying to figure out will he fight Pacquiao? Is he afraid of him and does he believe Manny is really using PEDs and/or HGH to help him as a fighter?
During the last few weeks the Mayweather faction has repeatedly asserted how they believe Pacquiao may be using PEDs/HGH and that's the reason Manny has looked so overwhelming in his last two fights versus Ricky Hatton and Miguel Cotto. And because of that Mayweather has changed the debate to being about how Pacquiao has to prove to him that he isn't taking or injecting himself with any illegal supplements or steroids. This is nothing more than an attempt to try and rattle Pacquiao. He wants it to look as if the fighter who has shown throughout his career that he's willing to fight the best fighters out there (Pacquiao), is the more reluctant fighter than the one who's hopped, skipped and avoided taking on the upper-tier fighters in his division, (Mayweather).
The Pacquiao camp is playing the Mayweather camp in return and giving them a dose of their own medicine. Pacquiao has agreed to being tested by the Nevada State Athletic Commission three times, only the Mayweather camp insist that he must submit to the drug testing guidelines of the International Olympic Committee. In other words Team Mayweather not only wants to dictate that the protocol for the test be done more in depth for this bout than any of the two fighters' previous fights, they also want to dictate who does the testing. In essence they are saying Pacquiao submitting to being tested isn't enough. For it to be authentic and legit he must submit himself to the drug testing that we (the Mayweather faction) deem legitimate.
Give Team Mayweather credit for dictating the the pre-fight hype. Through the subterfuge of Mayweather he's managed to make it look as though it is Pacquiao who is hiding something and is perhaps doing something on the underhand, when in fact there is no evidence or proof that Pacquiao is doing anything of the sort.
Floyd Mayweather Jr. is trying so hard to get inside of Pacquiao's head, hoping to get he and Freddie Roach to think about everything but the actual fight itself. Mayweather is doing his best to set things up so if he and Pacquiao don't fight in 2010 it'll look as if it was because of the unwillingness on the part of Team Pacquiao than it was Team Mayweather.
With the news of the last couple days that the fight may not happen, it's caused an uproar with boxing fans and has painted Pacquiao in a less positive light. Right now Floyd is controlling the media and fans regarding the build up and anticipation of fight.
When all is said and done, Pacquiao has more options and can fight any upper-tier junior welterweight or welterweight and make a ton of money. On the other hand Floyd has to fight somebody really good who is a perceived risk and not a setup in his next fight in order for him to break the bank. Pacquiao can make the most money fighting Mayweather, but he doesn't need him to make a monumental pay day.
Mayweather has exceeded all expectations regarding the games he's playing to sway the boxing media and public in trying to convince them that it is he who really wants the Pacquiao fight, but it's being held up because Manny can't pass a stipulated drug test. This is something you've gotta be pretty gullible to believe.
The anticipation of Mayweather-Pacquiao has sparked interest in boxing like no other fight in recent history. When you see boxing the lead story on the bottom crawl on ESPN programing, you know it's big, simply because ESPN does a terrible job promoting boxing - as evidenced by the fact they don't even promote their own Friday night cards on ESPN2.
Mayweather's request for a potential 3-5 blood tests and 8-12 urine tests taken at random intervals (Olympic testing) is a head game aimed at interrupting Manny's training and preparation up to and including the day before the fight. It gives Floyd the upper hand in calling the shots and an out if he doesn't want the fight.
The band marches on and Mayweather is doing his best to gain an angle if and when he fights Manny Pacquiao. It certainly would be a welcome change if Mayweather and Pacquiao would just sign to meet at 147 with Pacquiao's WBO title on the line without any gimmicks.
Well, you can forget that as long as the name Mayweather makes up half the marquee. Floyd will attempt to hold up and pull out of the fight up until the time both he and Manny leave their dressing rooms and head for the ring on fight night if they ever make it that far.
Judges and referees can dictate judiciously or acrimoniously against a prizefighter that can have severe consequences for that fighter’s remaining career.
In recent years some horrible decisions have surfaced like the Jose Armando Santa Cruz fight that went to Joel Casamayor. Or the Felix Trinidad and Oscar De La Hoya clash that most experts feel was incorrectly given to Tito. And there are referee’s actions that can determine the winner such as the Mariana Juarez fight against Myung Ok Ryu. In that world title fight in North Korea both fighters were swapping punches with the Mexican fighter getting the edge. Suddenly, the referee stops the action and raises the hand of Ryu to the glee of the North Korean crowd but to the horror of Juarez and her assistants. And what about the first Lucian Bute and Librado Andrade contest. The referee in their first encounter definitely determined the outcome.
Professional boxing depends a great deal on the judgments of referees and judges. That is why this list talks about who I feel are the best in the business for the year 2009. There aren’t many.
Year after year California’s Pat Russell works the boxing ring like a cat and seems to have eyes behind his head. Not only does he let the fighters work inside and out, he also does not interfere unless absolutely necessary. And those eyes behind the head come in handy when staying out of the way of ringside photographers clicking away at the action. Russell was last year’s choice and repeats as the best referee in the business. If there’s an important fight with blockbuster implications, he’s the guy. I often wonder why he’s not used more often in other states.
Based in Las Vegas the Nevada ref has been the best in that state the last several years. He’s extremely fair and with his knowledge of Spanish is handy to have around in a sport that boasts a large percentage of Spanish-speaking fighters. He moves around gracefully and knows exactly when to break up a clinch. It’s an art form. He also lets the fighters fire body punches. Most times the taller referees begin warning about low blows at the first punch to the mid-section. Weeks actually waits until he sees a low blow. He doesn’t guess.
Last year he just missed the cut, but this year he’s proven to be consistent and extremely fair inside the four corners. Often referees tend to side a hometown fighter or fellow countryman. Whether it’s purposeful or not, many referees appear to favor one fighter over another; not Reiss. He’s always seeking out opinions and looking to improve. Many referees take things personally if criticized. Reiss analyzes mistakes and doesn’t repeat them inside the ring.
The tall referee has become a fixture on the mega fights in Las Vegas. If there’s a big fight you can bet Bayless will be one of the referees considered. He’s almost never involved in controversy. He has a knack for getting in and out of the action when it matters and controls the fight effortlessly. Once a fight begins you can see the concentration on his face. From the six-rounders to the world title fights he’s focused.
Whenever I see that Esteves is refereeing I know it will be done fairly. He’s very good at analyzing both fighters tendencies and letting them do what they do best. Some referees tend to not allow body punches, others tend to break up inside fighters and others let fighters who hold get away with too much. Esteves reads the fights very well and interprets the rules as applicable. It’s a very good trait.
Raul Caiz Jr.
He wasn’t on the list last year, but this year he raised his game again. Caiz’s best attribute is impeccable timing. He knows exactly when to jump in and when to leave the fighters alone. Often he allows the flow of the fight to go uninterrupted unless an egregious act occurs. Caiz is back on track. His father Raul Caiz Sr. is also a referee and judge.
This Nevada judge has been around for several decades and continues to excel in interpreting prizefights. Consistency is his trademark and if you know what Roth likes in a fight and do those things then you will win the fight. Roth likes action and punches. The more punches the better. He’s a fan friendly judge who almost always favors the busier and more accurate fighter. Let’s hope he judges the Pacquiao and Floyd Mayweather fight.
California’s best is relatively young and so, so accurate. He’s like a human thermometer when it comes to judging a fight. You look at his card and judge your own against his to see how close or far off. One of his strong points is the ability to see who is actually landing punches, not just throwing. If one fighter is connecting slightly more than the opponent, DeLuca will get it right. A very good judge.
She had a very strong year in judging. The Nevada boxing judge can be counted to give the right decision even when others are far off. It’s happened on several occasions that Byrd has it right. When I see her name as one of the judges it makes me feel comfortable. I know her decision will go the right way. Every year she improves and seems to be having an effect on the other female judges in Nevada who are very good.
He’s been around for decades and has been seen refereeing in several boxing-based motion pictures like Rocky. Now he mainly judges and has been extremely fair in his assessments. Perhaps the best example was the fight between an undefeated local fighter John Molina and Mexico’s Martin Honorio. Denkin was right on the money with his judgment and has been throughout 2009.
Previously I felt she was sub par as a judge but this year it was obvious that she is actually the reverse. Lederman has proven to be a very solid and fair judge. On several televised prizefights it was her card that was most accurate every single time. Like DeLuca, she is young and should be around for a long time.
He’s more known as a California referee but in his assignments as a judge he’s given in some pretty consistent analysis. Like Lederman and DeLuca he’s still young and should be contributing to the sport for decades to come. As both a referee and judge he’s very fair. He could crack the list as a referee too pretty soon.
Before touching on Robinson the fighter, it must be noted that I was underwhelmed by the panel's selection of fighters for inclusion in the poll. However, based on the overall voting by the fans, the panel looks like a five-headed boxing scholar compared to how the totals shook out regarding the fighters who won, placed and showed among the top three in the original eight weight divisions.
Mike Tyson the second greatest heavyweight in history? The same Mike Tyson who wanted no part of the 41 year old George Foreman who Evander Holyfield made the first defense of his undisputed heavyweight title against? How about Tyson being voted the second best heavyweight of the eighties which is the only all-time heavyweight poll where he has a solid lock on number two?
Roy Jones the greatest light heavyweight of all-time and Joe Calzaghe at number three? All I can say is if you really believe Jones is the greatest light heavyweight of all-time and Calzaghe is the third greatest, you've been wasting your time following the sweet science. Obviously you've never heard of Ezzard Charles, Michael Spinks and Bob Foster, three fighters that Jones and Calzaghe would have to pay their way into a gym just to watch them shadow box.
Oscar De La Hoya the third greatest welterweight in history? You know what that says? It says if you think that you must believe that boxing happened on another planet before it first aired on HBO/Showtime/ESPN. Oscar is a borderline great fighter at best. He might have made a great sparring partner for Emile Griffith, Luis Rodriguez, Carmen Basilio and Kid Gavilan, but he would've been a non-entity had he fought any of them or the level of opposition they faced throughout their careers.
Floyd Mayweather the third greatest lightweight in history? I guess Joe Gans, Benny Leonard, Tony Canzoneri, Ike Williams, Pernell Whitaker, Alexis Arguello, Shane Mosley, Carlos Ortiz, Packy McFarland, Barney Ross, Julio Cesar Chavez, Lou Ambers, Jack Blackburn and Battling Nelson couldn't have beaten Philip N'Dou or gone 1-1 versus Jose Luis Castillo?
Manny Pacquiao the greatest featherweight in history? Pacquiao wouldn't have been my choice, and would rank behind Pep, Saddler and Sanchez. However, with the way he's carried his power up in weight and based on the level of opposition he's fought, it's very plausible he could be considered amongst the top three.
As far as the flyweights - other than Michael Carbajal finishing third, it's not that bad. I would've gone with Pancho Villa, Pascual Perez or Benny Lynch instead.
Back To Robinson
In all honesty Robinson being voted the greatest boxer/fighter of all time via an Internet Poll says a great deal about just how great the original "Sugar Ray" really was. When you consider that Robinson's prime was fighting as a welterweight circa 1943-48, it's remarkable that he won an Internet poll made up of mostly voters who probably never saw film of him fighting at his best, since it doesn't exist. But that's okay because if you've seen any clips of him fighting as a middleweight during the early fifties, it's easy to see that there's never been another fighter his equal regardless of the era or weight in which they fought.
No fighter has ever had the perfect career, and that includes Sugar Ray Robinson. That said Robinson was the most natural and pure fighter who has ever laced on a boxing glove. He is one of the top five punchers and boxers among the greatest of the greats who've fought at welterweight and middleweight. Robinson could fight as the aggressor, counter-puncher and if he needed to he could use his legs and box circles around the best of the best. Robby hated violence but inside the ring he had a mean streak a mile wide. The last guy in the world you'd want to have in front of you if you were in trouble was the Sugarman. He'd rip your head off as soon as he'd look at you.
Robinson could go anywhere he wanted in the ring. He could have his feet out of position and punch across his body and still land with knockout power. As a conventional fighter he could throw triple right-hooks in succession and score knockouts. And maybe the most over-looked facet of Robinson's career was his chin and toughness. Robinson was only stopped once in 200 fights. And that came against light heavyweight champ Joey Maxim when he physically collapsed after the 13th round of their title fight. Robinson only weighed 157 pounds and was spotting Maxim 16 pounds on a day in June that was so hot (104 degrees) that referee Rudy Goldstein had to be replaced by Ray Miller after the tenth round. Yet Robinson still had a commanding lead in the fight after 13 rounds. Had that fight taken place today Robinson wins a 12-round unanimous decision and the undisputed light heavyweight championship.
The only negative that can be said about Robinson is he was hittable. However, you must understand that in boxing in order to hurt or knock your opponent out, you have to be willing to put yourself in range to where he can hit you back. Robinson had no trepidation about doing that. Ray wanted to take his opponents' head off and willingly accepted that he might have to catch a few himself in the process, a trade-off he often made.
Sugar Ray Robinson is the greatest pound-for-pound fighter in boxing history. The fact is he could do it all. He could move and box better than Muhammad Ali, he was an equal to or better two handed puncher than Joe Louis and was every bit as mean and tough as Harry Greb. There's no other fighter in history that can be said about.
It's been 55 years since Sugar Ray Robinson beat Tommy Bell for the vacant welterweight title back in 1946. I doubt there's an active fighter today who those covering professional boxing in 2064 will view the same as Sugar Ray Robinson is viewed by those following and covering boxing today.
The fact that Ray Robinson is held in such high regard by those who only know boxing via the Internet and cable TV says it all. The Greatest Ever poll is the dumbest boxing poll I've ever read, but at least they got it right when it came to the greatest pound-for-pound fighter in boxing history - Sugar Ray Robinson.