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“INJECTIONGATE” Story On Shady Website, Written Under Fake Byline, Alleges Steroid, HGH Use By Pacquiao…Manny Responds, Roach Says There Was No Filipino Sparring Partner in 2008-2009

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PacquiaoMosley_Hogan_38This smells like a Swift Boat type attack to TSS-Editor Mike. But in this day and age, there is, sadly, a different standard for what is “news” than some of us might like, so we decided that we should address this development, even though the source is at first glance beyond weak. (Hogan)

An article which contains accusations that Manny Pacquiao used steroids and human growth hormone is now making the rounds on the Twittersphere. The explosive story is found on www.financebusinessarticles.com, and had been viewed over 700 times as of 4:15 ET on Thursday.

The website doesn't, to be frank, feature any characteristics that would lead us to accept anything written on the website as the gospel truth.  The story features the byline of one “mikejohnson313,” who fashions himself as a betting expert, and a quick check of his recent posts leads one to believe that English might well not be his native language. So one must view any allegations in the piece with more than a bit of skepticism. But, since the story is making the rounds, and Pacquiao foe Shane Mosley referred to it on his Twitter feed, it is newsworthy.

The story, and really, until I am shown otherwise, it has to be seen as a story, as pure fiction, I can't emphasize this enough, says that “One of Filipino boxing superstar Manny Pacquiao's former sparring partners has admitted that he regularly injected the fighter with steroids “in the locker room, in the upper outer quarter of his butt cheek!”

“Johnson” writes that the ex sparing partner, a Filipino and pro boxer, won't reveal his identity because he fears the wrath of his nation. “The Injector” says Pacquiao began using steroids before his December 2008 fight with Oscar De La Hoya. He started using the PED, “Injector” says, because he didn't think he could beat the Golden Boy. “The Injector” says he administered steroids via injection to Pacquiao before his fights with Ricky Hatton and Miguel Cotto, both in 2009.

TSS reached out to Pacquiao's trainer, Freddie Roach, who communicated back to us that he didn't remember the last time Manny had a Filipino sparring partner. And he said without reservation that he knows Manny didn't have a Filipino sparring partner during the time “The Injector” supposedly functioned as one for Pacman.

“Once a week, right in the locker room of the Wild Card (Gym),” “Johnson” quotes the supposed ex sparring partner as saying, “Manny would drop his shorts and clench his teeth, and I would give him a jab in the upper outer quarter of his butt cheek. He hated every shot.”

The story says Pacquiao switched to HGH, mixed with insulin, to avoid detection after Floyd Mayweather and company started insinuating that Pacquiao cheated, and used illegal drugs to gain a performance edge.

“Johnson” says “The Injector” parted ways with Pacquiao after the Cotto fight, but that he “wishes him success” for the Mosley bout.

We're not sure if Mosley read the piece to the end, but amusingly, the piece ends thusly: “I hope he kicks Mosley's butt on Saturday, and I know he will. Mosley used to be a big time juicer, as everyone knows. Maybe he's back on it for this fight. He sure needs to be!” Mosley, on his Twitter feed, wrote: “These are not my words it comes from a article And his sparring partner but if it is true!!!! Than what do you say please google.” It looks like his galpal Bella Gonzalez referred to the story first, on her feed, and then Mosley picked up on it.

Pacquiao's promoter, Bob Arum,  sent word to TSS that he is very disappointed in Mosley for passing on the story via Twitter.

On Thursday night, at 10 PM ET, Pacquiao himself put out a statement.

“An anonymous post on an internet forum claims an unidentified former Filipino sparring partner injected me with steroids before my fight with Oscar de la Hoya and in subsequent fights. This is completely false, totally fabricated, and, not surprisingly, leveled by someone who will not even identify himself. I did not even have a Filipino sparring partner during my training for the fight against De La Hoya or for any fight since then.

I have never taken steroids, HGH, or any banned performance-enhancing drug. Period. My success in the ring is due to hard work, belief in God, and the support of my fans. Like every boxer, I am required to take drug tests in connection with every professional fight in the United States. I have passed every one, including my fight against De la Hoya and my most recent victory against Shane Mosley.

I will fight to protect my hard-earned good name and reputation.”

So I repeat: one should assume this is a piece of fiction until it's proven otherwise. The Web can be a positive place, where information can be shared freely and quickly, but material found there must be viewed with an extra dose of skepticism, especially when found on a website with little to no rules, regulations and standards found within channels of real journalism.

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2015 Fight of the Year – Francisco Vargas vs Takashi Miura

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The WBC World Super Featherweight title bout between Francisco Vargas and Takashi Miura came on one of the biggest boxing stages of 2015, as the bout served as the HBO pay-per-view’s co-main event on November 21st, in support of Miguel Cotto vs Saul Alvarez.

Miura entered the fight with a (29-2-2) record and he was making the fifth defense of his world title, while Vargas entered the fight with an undefeated mark of (22-0-1) in what was his first world title fight. Both men had a reputation for all-out fighting, with Miura especially earning high praise for his title defense in Mexico where he defeated Sergio Thompson in a fiercely contested battle.

The fight started out hotly contested, and the intensity never let up. Vargas seemed to win the first two rounds, but by the fourth round, Miura seemed to pull ahead, scoring a knock-down and fighting with a lot of confidence. After brawling the first four rounds, Miura appeared to settle into a more technical approach. Rounds 5 and 6 saw the pendulum swing back towards Vargas, as he withstood Miura’s rush to open the fifth round and the sixth round saw both men exchanging hard punches.

The big swinging continued, and though Vargas likely edged Miura in rounds 5 and 6, Vargas’ face was cut in at least two spots and Miura started to assert himself again in rounds 7 and 8. Miura was beginning to grow in confidence while it appeared that Vargas was beginning to slow down, and Miura appeared to hurt Vargas at the end of the 8th round.

Vargas turned the tide again at the start of the ninth round, scoring a knock down with an uppercut and a straight right hand that took Miura’s legs and sent him to the canvas. Purely on instinct, Miura got back up and continued to fight, but Vargas was landing frequently and with force. Referee Tony Weeks stepped in to stop the fight at the halfway point of round 9 as Miura was sustaining a barrage of punches.

Miura still had a minute and a half to survive if he was going to get out of the round, and it was clear that he was not going to stop fighting.

A back and forth battle of wills between two world championship level fighters, Takashi Miura versus “El Bandido” Vargas wins the 2015 Fight of the Year.

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Jan 9 in Germany – Feigenbutz and De Carolis To Settle Score

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This coming Saturday, January 9th, the stage is set at the Baden Arena in Offenburg, Germany for a re-match between Vincent Feigenbutz and Giovanni De Carolis. The highly anticipated re-match is set to air on SAT.1 in Germany, and Feigenbutz will once again be defending his GBU and interim WBA World titles at Super Middleweight.

The first meeting between the two was less than three months ago, on October 17th and that meeting saw Feigenbutz controversially edge De Carolis on the judge’s cards by scores of (115-113, 114-113 and 115-113). De Carolis scored a flash knock down in the opening round, and he appeared to outbox Feigenbutz in the early going, but the 20 year old German champion came on in the later rounds.

The first bout is described as one of the most crowd-pleasing bouts of the year in Germany, and De Carolis and many observers felt that the Italian had done enough to win.

De Carolis told German language website RAN.DE that he was more prepared for the re-match, and that due to the arrogance Feigenbutz displayed in the aftermath of the first fight, he was confident that he had won over some of the audience. Though De Carolis fell short of predicting victory, he promised a re-vamped strategy tailored to what he has learned about Feigenbutz, whom he termed immature and inexperienced.

The stage is set for Feigenbutz vs De Carolis 2, this Saturday January 9th in Offenburg, Germany. If you can get to the live event do it, if not you have SAT.1 in Germany airing the fights, and The Boxing Channel right back here for full results.

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2015 Knock Out of the Year – Saul Alvarez KO’s James Kirkland

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On May 9th of 2015, Saul “Canelo” Alvarez delivered a resonant knock-out of James Kirkland on HBO that wins the 2015 KO of the Year.

The knock-out itself came in the third round, after slightly more than two minutes of action. The end came when Alvarez delivered a single, big right hand that caught Kirkland on the jaw and left him flat on his back after spinning to the canvas.Alvarez was clearly the big star heading into the fight. The fight was telecast by HBO for free just one week after the controversial and disappointing Floyd Mayweather Jr. and Manny Pacquiao fight, and Alvarez was under pressure to deliver the type of finish that people were going to talk about. Kirkland was happy to oblige Alvarez, taking it right to Alvarez from the start. Kirkland’s aggression saw him appear to land blows that troubled the young Mexican in the early going. Alvarez played good defense, and he floored Kirkland in the first round, displaying his power and his technique in knocking down an aggressive opponent.

However, Kirkland kept coming at Alvarez and the fight entered the third round with both men working hard and the feeling that the fight would not go the distance. Kirkland continued to move forward, keeping “Canelo” against the ropes and scoring points with a barrage of punches while looking for an opening.

At around the two minute mark, Alvarez landed an uppercut that sent Kirkland to the canvas again. Kirkland got up, but it was clear that he did not have his legs under him. Kirkland was going to try to survive the round, but Alvarez had an opportunity to close out the fight. The question was would he take it?

Alvarez closed in on Kirkland, putting his opponent’s back to the ropes. Kirkland was hurt, but he was still dangerous, pawing with punches and loading up for one big shot.

But it was the big shot “Canelo” threw that ended the night. Kirkland never saw it coming, as he was loading up with a huge right hand of his own. The right Alvarez threw cracked Kirkland in the jaw, and his eyes went blank. His big right hand whizzed harmlessly over the head of a ducking Alvarez, providing the momentum for the spin that left Kirkland prone on the canvas.

Saul “Canelo” Alvarez went on to defeat Miguel Cotto in his second fight of 2015 and he is clearly one of boxing’s biggest stars heading into 2016. On May 9th Alvarez added another reel to his highlight film when he knocked out James Kirkland with the 2015 “Knock Out of the Year”.

Photo by naoki fukuda

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