Mayweather Not the First to Demand Alternative PEDs Testing
This article was written to address Floyd Mayweather's so-called fear of Manny Pacquiao. It's well-researched and is not meant to accuse or condemn either gladiator. Mayweather and Pacquiao are legends of the game and should must be respected as such.
Bob Arum, Manny Pacquiao's promoter and CEO of Top Rank Promotions, claims Mayweather is simply too afraid to fight 'PacMan.'
"So what does that tell you? It tells you he doesn't want to fight Manny Pacquiao. And he's smart not to fight Manny Pacquiao, because the truth be told, everybody who knows boxing knows that Manny Pacquiao would clean his clock," Arum has said.
Like many, when I first heard Mayweather's strict drug-testing demands of Pacquiao, I thought it was silly and unprecedented. He must be scared, right? But after learning more, Mayweather's request to have himself and Pacquiao participate in Olympic-style drug testing as a condition to fight is not unprecedented.
For the last several years, Mayweather has required opponents to agree to Olympic-style drug testing as a prerequisite prior to confirming bouts with them. Floyd, who subjects himself to the same level of testing, asserts he doesn't want to fight an opponent with an illegal, unfair advantage.
After all, It's no secret commission testing is antiquated and the presence of performance enhancing drugs (PEDs) in the human body can be masked.
The form of drug testing Mayweather is requesting is far more sophisticated than the tests administered by the commissions and is very similar to the testing that every Olympic athlete in 2012 will partake in. Males and females as well as boxers, swimmers and gymnasts must take this test. An athlete cannot compete in the Olympics without adhering to their testing standards.
As of June of this year, Floyd Mayweather (42-0, 26 KO) asked Manny Pacquiao (55-3-2, 38KO) to undergo random Olympic-style drug testing up to 14 days prior to the bout with the final test to be administered immediately after the fight. However, the camps were 10 days apart as Pacquiao agreed to the Olympic-style blood drug testing immediately after the fight, but no later than 24 days before the fight.
Pacquiao's team defended their stance asserting that full-scale Olympic-style testing would put him at a disadvantage because he's the smaller fighter, and that it would take him three days to fully recover from the procedure.
But c'mon. This whole testing thing is outrageous, isn't it? It's just an excuse not to fight because no top fighter has ever asked a prospective opponent to engage in such testing, right?
Holyfield vs Tyson II (1997)
Mike Tyson requested Evander Holyfield participate in advanced PEDs testing as a condition for their rematch in 1997, according to Holyfield's book.
From the book "The Holyfield Way:
"There was a prior hint of this defeatist attitude a few weeks earlier when Marc Ratner, the executive director of the Nevada State Athletic Commission, called to tell me that Tyson would not fight Evander, unless he took a steroid test.
Holyfield did not test positive for steroids prior to or after his rematch with Tyson nor in any other fight to date. However, neither Holyfield nor his book mentioned the type of testing Evander was subjected to. Was his urine tested or blood, or both? Was it a scheduled, one-time test or was it a series of random tests? Of note, Mayweather has requested random testing be performed 14 days prior to the fight.
So why wasn't Tyson's request in 1996 as controversial as Mayweather's today? Well, Holyfield immediately agreed to terms so it never became an issue.
After Mike Tyson requested Evander undergo enhanced testing for PEDs, several other high-profile fighters followed suit.
Bowe vs Golota II - 1996
According to the Baltimore Sun, Riddick Bowe requested Andrew Golota to partake in advanced drug testing as a condition for their rematch in 1996. In their first bout, Bowe had been thoroughly beaten before being declared the winner via a Golota disqualification in the seventh for repeated low blows.
"I definitely think he was on steroids... Look at Golota's record prior to fighting me...Mediocre guys were hurting him. When he fought me, he had a lot of energy and my punches didn't bother him," said Bowe.
Golota and Bowe agreed to be tested for the rematch and neither man produced positive results for steroids. Bowe would win the second fight the same way he won their first encounter as Golota, ahead on all scorecards late in the bout, was disqualified for landing too many low blows during the course of the fight.
Mosley vs Judah - 2008 (Cancelled)
More recently in 2008, according to ESPN.com, Zab Judah requested Sugar Shane Mosley to agree to blood testing before their non-title welterweight fight which had been scheduled for May 31 of that year in Las Vegas. However, the fight never happened because Golden Boy CEO, Richard Schaeffer, refused the Olympic-style drug testing requested by the Judah camp, stating, "Whatever tests they [the Nevada State Athletic Commission] want them to take, Shane will submit to that. [But] 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."
Given that Mosley, according to ESPN.com, had recently stated he unknowingly took steroids in the past, Judah's request was not unreasonable. Mosley did adhere to Olympic-style drug testing for his May 2010 fight with Floyd Mayweather.
Mayweather vs Mosley and Ortiz (2010 and 2011)
Was Mayweather scared of Shane Mosley and Victor Ortiz?
As a condition to fight, Mayweather requested thorough drug testing be performed on Mosley and himself prior to their high-profile bout in May 2010. In March of that year, the head of the U.S. Anti-Doping Agency, Travis Tygart, confirmed Mayweather and Mosley would be subjected to random urine and/or blood tests from March 2010 until and after their May 1st fight. In addition to urine tests for steroids, blood tests were implemented to find the existence of PEDs, as well as human growth hormone (HGH), synthetic hemoglobin and blood transfusions.
Golden Boy CEO Richard Schaefer secured Mayweather vs Ortiz by quickly promising that Ortiz would adhere to the same drug testing standards (as Mosley) under the U.S. Anti-Doping Agency protocol.
Simply put, Floyd Mayweather isn't scared to fight anyone in his weight class who adheres to undergo Olympic-syle testing.
Also, Floyd has yet to back-out of a promise to fight a prospective opponent who has adhered to Olympic-style testing. If Manny Pacquiao agrees to partake in full-scale Olympic-style drug testing and Floyd still refuses to fight him, this writer is wrong and Floyd IS, in fact, scared to fight.
Manny Pacquiao is today's top boxer, pound-for-pound. He has been very good, if not spectacular, in his recent performances. Indeed, Mayweather has yet to fight someone with Manny's skill, speed and tenacity - But Pacquiao has never fought a bigger opponent who possesses anywhere near the speed, defensive ingenuity and technical brilliance as Mayweather.
At 42-0, Mayweather has no more reason to be scared of Pacquiao than Pacquiao does Mayweather. 'Money' and his team have stated repeatedly Floyd would fight Manny if the Filipino slugger agreed to full-scale testing.
If Floyd doesn't fight Pacquiao even after Pacquiao concedes to the "appropriate" testing, Mayweather's reputation will be shattered so its inconceivable that Floyd would break his promise to Manny and his (Floyd's) fans.
In 1993, Riddick Bowe's camp wouldn't agree to fight Lennox Lewis unless Bowe received 90 percent of the purse. Bowe's management, simply put, was scared and negotiated themselves out of that fight. A scared fighter makes unreasonable money or logistics demands to negotiate his way out of fights. And while Floyd Jr said in March he wanted $100 Million USD to fight Pacquiao, no one took him seriously and the negotiations about testing (not money) continued.
Floyd has repeatedly promised to fight Manny so long as PacMan subjects himself to random drug tests up to 10-14 days prior to the fight. His request, unlike Bowe's in 1993, isn't outlandish and there's no indication Floyd wouldn't keep his word.
Let's hope these great warriors agree on terms and finally 'get it on' in 2012.