What To Make Of The Mayweather Vs. Pacquiao Blood Test Feud
- Posted on Mon, December 28th, 2009 by Ja Dawson
- Boxing Tickets
As we wrap up one of boxing’s best years in recent memory, the sport’s ugly face has suddenly re-appeared. When Floyd Mayweather, Jr. and Manny Pacquiao quickly agreed to terms on their mega-showdown for March 13, 2010, we all jumped for you. We should have known better.
An increasingly nasty disagreement between Golden Boy Promotions (representing Mayweather) and Top Rank (representing Pacquiao) over the parameters of blood testing for performance-enhancing drugs is seriously threatening the fight from happening.
Below, I re-state key points made by both sides in this bloody mess. In italics, I tell you what I really think is going on.
Mayweather’s Case: Why Olympic-style Blood Testing Is A No-Brainer
- In the sport’s biggest fight in years, it’s only natural that its two combatants be subject to the most rigorous testing to ensure that no foul play is at hand. Marion Jones and numerous other track stars showed that the Olympic-style United States Anti-Doping Agency tests could be beat. So their test is far from perfect. Some think Mayweather is merely trying to get into Pacquiao’s head and distract him before their showdown. Others think it’s a not-so-sneaky way to suggest that Pacquiao is a cheater and to subject him to random testing in order to confirm those suspicions. I say it’s a little bit of both.
- If Mayweather has to accept Pacquiao’s demands of using smaller gloves (8 ounces), which favors Pacquiao based on Floyd’s history of hand troubles, as well as the unprecedented "$10 million/per pound-over-the-weight-limit" penalty, what’s the big fuss over Pacquiao conceding to this Mayweather demand? Not since Sugar Ray Leonard’s demands of a larger ring and a 12-round limit (rather than 15) against Marvelous Marvin Hagler nearly 25 years ago, have I seen such pre-fight contractual posturing. Any coincidence that Arum was also involved then (on behalf of Leonard)? In short, Mayweather has a point here.
Pacquiao’s Case: Why Olympic-style Blood Testing Is Unnecessary
- Random blood testing is impractical and dangerous, especially if it is conducted within weeks or days of the actual fight. Losing blood so close to fight time can weaken a fighter. From everything I have read, the amount of blood taken for these tests is not exactly pint-sized. Meaning that it would be unlikely to limit either fighter. And two, even if it did, wouldn’t both fighters be impacted in the same way?
- This is merely an attempt by Mayweather to sully Pacquiao’s reputation and imply that he is a cheater. Pacquiao’s handlers are probably right here. However, if they turn down the biggest payday in boxing history to fight Paulie Malignaggi (one of Pacquiao’s biggest accusers to-date) instead, my eyebrows will be on the back of my neck.
- Why should Pacquiao have to be subjected to unprecedented blood testing procedures when he’s been clean on all tests mandated by the Nevada State Athletic Commission and other municipalities across the world just because Golden Boy and Mayweather Promotions want him to? I’m paraphrasing Pacquiao’s promoter Bob Arum here, and he’s right. But he also knows better. From Sugar Ray Leonard’s aforementioned ‘advantages’ in his fight with Hagler, to Bernard Hopkins’s insistence that Joe Cortez not referee his fight against Felix Trinidad, all fighters and their promoters use their influence to tip superfights in their favor. This is no different.
When it’s all said and done, money will prove thicker than blood. Expect this fight to happen on March 13, 2010. If it doesn’t, then shame on everyone involved. Boxing has had its fair share of black eyes over the years. A cold, raw steak is often used to reduce the swelling, but this black eye would require an entire cow. Let’s hope it doesn’t come to that.
What’s your take on this bloody mess?