Pacquiao vs. Mayweather: Manny, Just Submit to the Testing

Lorne ScogginsCorrespondent IDecember 30, 2009

LAS VEGAS - NOVEMBER 14:  (L-R) Manny Pacquiao throws a right to the head of Miguel Cotto during their WBO welterweight title fight at the MGM Grand Garden Arena on November 14, 2009 in Las Vegas, Nevada.  (Photo by Al Bello/Getty Images)
Al Bello/Getty Images

Pacquiao vs. Mayweather: Manny, Just Submit to the Testing                

-Lorne Scoggins

Things have gotten way out of hand. There is one fight that the loyal fans of both boxers really want to see. There is a grand opportunity for a mega-fight that would undoubtedly be the best thing to happen to the sport in years. There is $35 to $40 million dollars on the table for each fighter. But now there’s a lot more at stake than just the money. The damage to Manny’s reputation is becoming a serious problem.  

Both fighters are rightfully proud of their accomplishments and their status in the sport, but things are getting ridiculous. I don’t believe that Manny is guilty of any foul play and I have openly supported him in the stand that he’s taken against allowing Floyd to make up new rules. It’s completely understandable. However, the accusations and implications that have been made by the Mayweather camp must be dispelled or Manny will always have a question mark behind his name. Accusations don’t have to be true to bring doubt to the minds of the public. This fact became clearer today due to a particular statement made by another great fighter; one who has a right to speak out on the matter. I’m speaking of Miguel Cotto.

Miguel earned a great deal of respect from Pacquiao fans by his gentleman-like sportsmanship as he spoke of Pacquiao directly following their November 14th battle. “I didn’t know from where the punches were coming,” Cotto said. “Manny Pacquiao is one of the best boxers I ever fought.” This same fighter has now spoken out about Pacquiao’s refusal for unconditional random testing. While maintaining a respectful attitude toward Pacquiao, Cotto still managed to make his point. “I am completely shocked by the response from Manny on this matter. He has always been an excellent athlete and a gentleman. Why is it that he’s requesting restrictions or conditions to the tests? It is the perfect opportunity for him to dispel all the rumors around himself and the use of steroids. His refusal to submit to the tests without conditions certainly raises questions.”

Clearly, there should be conditions on the testing, mainly relating to the cutoff date for the testing to cease. The Mayweather camp has commented on their willingness to come to a mutual agreement on such a cutoff date. It is also crystal clear that the U.S. Anti-Doping Agency (USADA) has absolutely no business testing professional athletes. This is an organization whose responsibility is to test amateur Olympians. There have also been several reports that Oscar De La Hoya and Travis Tygart, the CEO of the USADA are close friends. This rules out the USADA as a viable source for the testing but the Mayweather camp has expressed the willingness to find a testing source that both camps mutually agree upon.

Freddie Roach is confident that his fighter is clean. "They can do whatever kind of drug testing they want," Roach said in early December. "They are scared of Manny and scared of his power. He'll pass any test in the world."According to the polls that have been available on various boxing websites, the vast majority of boxing fans agree that Manny has nothing to hide. However, if Manny doesn’t find a way to meet in the middle with Golden Boy and the Mayweather camp, there will always be those who believe that Manny is a cheat.

This writer agrees with Miguel Cotto to an extent. Random testing that is unconditional could lead to excessive testing (I know, I know...Mayweather will be tested too) but this certainly is the perfect opportunity to nip these damaging rumors in the bud once and for all. It is understandably inconvenient and there is no doubt that Manny has issues with the blood testing because he thinks it weakens him, but this has gotten so out of hand that Manny needs to submit just to show the world that his achievements are completely legit. If the fight is made without Manny submitting to the tests and he beats Mayweather, the rumors will only get worse. If the fight doesn’t happen and he wins in court, it will serve Golden Boy and the Mayweathers right, but it won’t satisfy his critics.

Let this be understood: The propaganda that Floyd Mayweather and his cronies have engaged in is despicable to say the least. I haven’t bothered to mention Floyd Mayweather Junior’s reputation because there’s no saving it at this point, and frankly…who cares?

Manny, agree to their nonsense so that everyone in the world will know you’re clean when you knock Floyd Mayweather Jr. out of the ring.

Lorne Scoggins