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Articles of 2009

BARRERA: I Just Know The Win Is Coming

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Marco Antonio Barrera understands the scenario that has been laid out for him. He is walking a path trod by so many great champions before him when gray flecks begin to appear in their hair. He has been brought to the arena to lose.

Saturday afternoon (4 pm US time) Barrera will be at the MEN Arena in Manchester, England for the purpose of improving someone else’s resume. If that were not the belief of those who arranged this fight with young Amir Khan, the bright British prospect with the limestone chin, he would not be here. This Barrera understands completely, which is not the same as accepting its validity.

Frank Warren is many things, but not a risk taker. England’s finest and most successful promoter, Warren has often been criticized for not putting his best fighters in against top competition if there is any way to avoid it, which is why the general consensus is that Warren must believe Barrera is well shot.

Otherwise, why would he put Khan, a British boxing hero without having yet won a single championship even at the Olympic level, in the ring with a man who has won world titles in three weight classes and will one day be inducted into the Boxing Hall of Fame?

Warren is convinced he has put Khan in the perfect position. He is facing a revered former champion from whom Khan will get the keys to bigger paydays without having risked the dangers Barrera would have once represented. He is, in essence, fighting an imposter – a Marco Antonio Barrera but not the Marco Antonio Barrera.

Barrera has heard all this talk. He has heard experts claim his skills have diminished beyond repair. At 35 and the loser in his last two big fights to Manny Pacquiao and Juan Manuel Marquez in lopsided fashion, Barrera is a realist. He does not deny he is not what he once was. His point is different.

His point is that what he still is will be good enough. Good enough to teach this young man why boxing is called the hurt business.

“He has never faced a fighter with my level of skills,’’ Barrera said recently. “I know about his hand speed. I know about his footwork. I know about his chin, too.’’

With that a man once known as “The Baby-Faced Assassin’’ smiled the smile of someone who hurts people for a living. It was a smile without humor. The kind of smile nearly all of Barrera’s opponents got to see when it was too late, including Khan’s idol, the former champion Nazeem Hamed.

Hamed was a hot property the night he faced Barrera, who even then was rumored to be on the downside. By the time he was finished with Hamed it was Hamed who was on the down side, beaten to the point that he never fought again.

Khan has promised to avenge that defeat Saturday night. Barrera has reminded him of the savage beating his friend took for making the same mistake Khan now has. It is a memory he wants Khan to keep fresh in his mind as the final hours tick down and night falls on Manchester, a memory that will accompany him into the ring, a place where the door only opens in, not out.

“I’m not coming there to be a step (stepping stone),’’ Barrera snapped. “I’m coming to win. They were worried about my cut (in an ill-advised tune-up fight in Mexico in January). Amir Khan should not be worrying about no cut. He should be worrying about the fact that I’m coming for him. He’ll get 100 percent of Marco Antonio Barrera on March 14.’’

The question is how much of Barrera is left? Is 100 per cent of this version enough to defeat youth, speed and hunger even if Khan does seem to have a serious chin deficiency?

Barrera believes so, even though in a light-hearted moment he hinted that he understands the Barrera who will arrive in Manchester is not quite the same one that battered Hamed into retirement eight years ago at a time when Khan was a young amateur who adored Hamed and hated Barrera for what he did that night.

“When I was 17 I went to fight at the Forum in Los Angeles,’’ Barrera recalled, “and because I was so young and powerful they called me ‘The Baby Faced Assassin.’ I think that name is no good any more. But what does that matter? I’m winning this fight. You can bet on that.

“When I was young I studied to become a lawyer. I went five semesters (to college in Mexico) but I had to dedicate myself to the sport of boxing. That is what I naturally loved. I think I really did make the right decision.

“Now there are people out there who say I’m not a contender any more and I want to make clear that I am. I know who I am. If they don’t know who I am I will show them on March 14.’’

If Barrera can defeat Khan and then win the lightweight title in his next fight he would become the first Mexican fighter to win world championships in four weight classes. He would have done something his long-time rival Erik Morales never did. He would have done something not even the great Chavez, who is his idol and that of every Mexican boxer, accomplished.

He would make history. To do that, he knows, he first must make Amir Khan realize there are opponents and then there are men like Barrera.

Barely two months after signing him, promoter Don King took Barrera to China and somehow off a win against journeyman Sammy Ventura, a fourth round stoppage that meant little, Barrera became the WBO’s mandatory challenger for the lightweight championship. That being the case, Barrera (65-6, 43 KO) doesn’t need to fight Khan (19-1, 15 KO) or anyone else to get what he says he wants. Yet he is in Manchester anyway, because he is a professional and thus is being well paid to give Khan the chance to make a name for himself at his expense.

But he is there for quite another reason too. He is there to win regardless of what Frank Warren or Amir Khan may think.

“I know I can retire and be a legend right now but I am only 35,’’ Barrera said. “I still have a lot to give to boxing. Retirement will come one day. Two or three more fights. But not yet.

“If I beat this kid, it will get me a shot at the title. That is what is driving me, the chance to be the first Mexican to be a world champion in four divisions. I want to write my name in history in Mexico. I just know the win is coming.”

That has been the mantra that blinded many ex-champions as they began to fade away. They all knew the next win was coming but when the fight arrived most often youth prevailed and only sadness reigned for the fallen former champion.

Barrera knows this because he saw it in the most painful of ways. He saw his idol, Chavez, suffer it at the hands of young Oscar De La Hoya and too many fighters after him. He saw even a journeyman like Frankie Randall beat Chavez, so he understands at some point, skills evaporate. No one knows where they went but they are gone.

Yet he and King believe what Khan and Warren think is impossible. They believe youth will not be served this night. Rather, it will be served up at the altar of what Marco Antonio Barrera once was.

“When a guy like this pops up on your doorstep unexpected it’s SPIRITUAL, man!’’ King thundered. “He called up one of my guys and said he wanted me to promote him. I brought him in and told him how it was and started working with him.

“With guys like this, it’s a mind game. New guys in promoting just look at the physical prowess but if you get into the man’s mind and revitalize it and he’s got championship qualities, you can do great things.

“Barrera is a fighter. He’s got Julio Cesar Chavez qualities. He’s a warrior, man. You get someone like that come to you and he wants to fight, you got to sober his mind first. Plant the seed of invincibility. The physical you can work on but the mindset is what makes the fighter.

“We’re going to come over there to merry olde England and shock and amaze! They’re talking like FDR (U.S. depression-era and WWII president Franklin Delano Roosevelt) who said, ‘We have nothing to fear but fear itself.’ I want them to keep that mindset until the night of the fight. Then it’s too late for them.

“I sat down and talked with Barrera to see if there were any inhibitions. He wanted to fight. He said the people saying he was finished don’t know him. I’m confident Barrera will rise to the occasion. Khan thinks he’s going to catapult himself but I’m betting everything on Barrera because when it comes to a fighting nature he has it hands down over Khan.

“When Khan got in a fight where that had to come out he got himself knocked out. I’m going to get a thrill out of this, bringing back the hero of the Mexican people. Once I felt he was still able to fight I went into what it means to be a Mexican fighter. He stood up strong.’’

He even stood up to his brother, who has long been in his corner. After Barrera sustained a serious cut in a meaningless tune-up fight in Jalisco, Mexico on January 31 in a victory over Freudis Rojas (1-7-1) not far from Barrera’s hometown that King opposed him taking, his brother wanted him to postpone the Khan fight or call it off all together.

He felt there was no need for it with a title shot already secured, arguing that the reward was not worth the risk. King disputed that, pointing out that in boxing nothing is secure, especially the head that wears the crown, or used to wear it. Finally, The Fighter ended the debate.

“If it was up to his brother there wouldn’t be no fight,’’ King said. “It’s easier for those not taking the punches to say no. Barrera stood up and said ‘Let’s go!’

“I was disappointed when they took that fight. I shouldn’t have let him but the guy had given his word to his people. He laid that on me and I had to let him go do it. Then he comes back cut and reality is staring me in my face. Everything I told him came true. They switched opponents on him. He could have got out of the fight but he wanted to keep his word. It may be a blessing though because he came back contrite and more committed.

“He laid into his brother’s ass. In the line of fire you ain’t got no moratorium. His brother said, ‘You ain’t getting no money!’ Marco said, ‘I’ll fight for what Don says.’

“Churchill said ‘This is the beginning of the end or the end of the beginning.’ That’s what it is for Barrera. A new beginning.  After he beats Khan he’s going to be renewed and resurrected.’’

Either that or he’s going to be bruised and sadly affected because if he loses to Amir Khan the lightweight title shot he wants so badly will go with him. That is a thought that Marco Antonio Barrera refuses to entertain.

He bristles at the suggestion this fight is about Khan and not him. Although he understands the consequences of defeat at this stage of his career, he still sees only victory.

Saturday night in England, far from where it all began for him in Mexico, Marco Antonio Barrera will measure himself one more time. He expects to learn he still fits in a most savage workplace.

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Articles of 2009

UFC 108 Rashad Evans vs. Thiago Silva

David A. Avila

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Former champion Rashad Evans meets Brazil’s venerable Thiago Silva in a non-title belt that can lead to a return match with the current champ, but first things first.

Evans (15-1-1) and Silva (14-1) meet in Ultimate Fighting Championship 108 in a light heavyweight bout on Saturday Jan. 2, at the MGM Grand Hotel and Casino in Las Vegas. A win by either fighter could result in a world title bid. The fight card is being shown on pay-per-view television.

Events can change quickly in the Octagon and anybody can beat anybody in the 205-pound weight division. Just ask Silva or Evans.

Silva and Evans are both experienced and can vouch firsthand about the capriciousness of fighting in MMA and especially as a light heavyweight. On one day this man can beat that man and on another day, that man can beat this man. It can make you absolutely daffy.

Evans, 30, is the former UFC light heavyweight world champion who only defended his title on one occasion and lost by vicious knockout to current champion Lyoto Machida of Brazil. It’s the only defeat on his record.

Silva, 27, is a well-rounded MMA fighter from Sao Paolo, Brazil who is versed in jujitsu, Muy Thai and boxing. He can end a fight quickly in a choke hold just as easily as with a kick or a punch. His only loss came to who else: Machida.

Evans and Silva know a win can push open the door to a rematch with current UFC light heavyweight champion Machida.

“A win against Rashad would put me in the track against Lyoto,” said Silva, in a telephone conference call. “That's what – what I want to do.”

When Silva fought Machida the two Brazilians were both undefeated and feared in the MMA world. The fight took place in Las Vegas and with one second remaining in the first round a perfectly timed punch knocked Silva unconscious.

“I was humbled big time, man,” says Silva who fought Machida in January 2009. “I learned a lot from that fight.  I think I can correct the mistakes from that fight, not overlooking anything else right now, but just I want to get the chance to fight him again.”

For Evans it was a different circumstance. The upstate New Yorker held the UFC title and was defending it after stopping then champion Forrest Griffin by knockout. Still, many felt Machida was far too technically versed. Evans was stopped brutally in the second round.

“I've made it a point to not – to not get distracted on what I want to do, because you know Thiago (Silva) is a very hungry fighter,” said Evans who has not fought since losing the title to Machida last May. “My focus is just on Thiago so much.  You know I don't want to overlook him, you know, not even a little bit.”

Dana White, president of UFC, says the winner of this fight could conceivably fight Machida in the near future. Evans and especially Silva are motivated by the open window.

“I learned a lot from that fight. I think I can correct the mistakes from that fight,” says Silva. “Not overlooking anything else right now, but I just want to get the chance to fight him again.”

What a prize. The winner gets to face the man who beat him: Machida.

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Articles of 2009

No One Is Leaving This Stage Of Negotiations Looking GOLDEN

George Kimball

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Early in his political career, the young Lyndon Baines Johnson served as a congressional aide to Rep. Richard Kleberg, the wealthy owner of the King Ranch who was elected to seven consecutive terms in the House of Representatives, at least in part because he often ran unopposed.

One year an upstart rival politician we'll call Joe Bob had the temerity to challenge Kleberg in the Democratic primary, resulting in the convocation of the Texas congressman's staff to plot an election strategy. Several ideas were kicked around before Kleberg himself came up with a brainstorm.

“Why don't we start a rumor that he [copulates with] sheep?” proposed the politician.

This was a bit over the top, even for Lyndon Johnson. The future president leapt to his feet and said, incredulously, “But you know Joe Bob don't [copulate with] sheep!”

“Yeah,” replied the congressman, “but watch what happens when the son of a bitch has to stand up and deny it!”

******

Events of the past week or two have seen the Floyd Mayweather camp adopt a similar tactic with regard to Manny Pacquiao.  But if introducing what would appear to be a red-herring issue — the debate over drug-testing procedures — to the negotiating process was intended as a negotiating ploy, it would appear for the moment to have backfired.  The idea might have been to force Pacquiao to go on the defensive, but Pac-Man instead responded with his stock in trade, the counterpunch — in this case the multi-million dollar defamation suit he filed against the Mayweathers, pere et fils,, with the U.S. District Court in Las Vegas on Wednesday.

In boxing even more than in life, you never say never, but you'd have to say that Pacquiao-Mayweather is a dead issue right now, at least in its March 13 incarnation. Bob Arum says Pacquiao is prepared to move along to another opponent, and Mayweather is supposedly looking at Matthew Hatton in England.

We'll believe that when we see it, for at least three reasons: (1) There would hardly seem to be enough money in that one to make it worth Floyd's time, (2) He's going to have to put so much into preparing a defense to this lawsuit that he mightn't have time to train and (3) He'd get a better workout if he stayed in Vegas and boxed one of Uncle Roger's girl opponents.

*****

Colleagues on this site have already done a good job of dissecting this process. Ron Borges is absolutely correct in noting that in the midst of all the posturing that's gone on, you'd be a fool to accept at face value anything coming out of any of the parties' mouths. And Frank Lotierzo is spot on in noting that if you had absolutely no desire to actually get in the ring with Manny Pacquiao but were still looking to save face, you'd do pretty much exactly what Mayweather has done. Which is to say, talk tough while you get others to run interference with a series of actions seemingly calculated to ensure that the fight doesn't come off.

But left almost unscathed in all of this heretofore has been the convoluted role played by Golden Boy — by CEO Richard Schaefer, by the company's namesake Oscar the Blogger, GBP's subsidiary enterprise, The Ring, and at least a few of the lap-dogs and lackeys whose favor GPB has cultivated elsewhere in the media.

In late March of 2008, Shane Mosley and Zab Judah appeared at a New York press conference to announce a fight between them in Las Vegas two months later. As it happened, the BALCO trial had gotten underway out in California that week. That day I sat with Judah and his attorney Richard Shinefield as they explained that they intended to ask that both boxers agree to blood testing in the runup to the fight. Citing Mosley's history with BALCO and its products The Cream and The Clear (which Shane claimed Victor Conte had slipped him when he wasn't looking), Shinefield and Zab, noting that Nevada drug tests were limited to urinalysis, proposed that the supplementary tests be administered by the World Anti-Doping Agency.

Want to know what Richard Schaefer's response to that was?

“Whatever tests [the NSAC] wants them to take, we will submit to, but we are not going to do other tests than the Nevada commission requires,” said Schaefer. “The fact is, Shane is not a cheater and he does not need to be treated like one.”

But the fact is that Mosley had a confirmed history as a cheater. Manny Pacquiao does not. Yet in the absence of a scintilla of evidence or probable cause, less than two years later Schaefer was howling that the very integrity of the sport would be at risk unless Pacquiao submitted to precisely the same sort of testing he had rejected for Mosley.

And you thought it was Arum who was famous for saying “Yeah, but yesterday I was lying. Today I'm telling the truth!”

Schaefer, by the way, defended his 180-degree turnabout by saying he is now better educated on the issue. He couldn't resist aiming a harpoon at the media by adding that many sportswriters “don't know the difference between blood and urine testing.”

Don't know how to break this to you, Richard, but sportswriters, who have had to deal with this stuff for the past twenty years, probably know more about drug-testing procedures than any other group you could name.

*****

Now, the reasonable assumption would be that by assuming the role of the point man in this unseemly mess, Schaefer was insulating his boss (De La Hoya) and his fighter (PBF) by keeping their fingerprints off it while he made a fool of himself publicly conducting this snide little campaign.  

And yes, Money would have stayed out of the line of fire had not a two-month old, expletive-filled rant in which he described the Philippines as the world's foremost producer of performance-enhancing drugs not exploded on the internet at the most inopportune moment. That the lawsuit was filed less than 24 hours after “Floyd Meets the Rugged Man” overtook the Tiger Watch probably wasn't a coincidence.

And we're assuming that this Dan Petrocelli, the lawyer who filed Pacquiao's suit, knows what he's doing, because if there were an even one-zillionth chance that somebody could credibly link Manny to PEDs, then it was a pretty dumb thing to do. You could ask Roger Clemens about that.  Clemens' transformation from Hall of Famer-in-waiting to nationwide laughingstock didn't come from the Mitchell Report. It came from his wrongheaded decision to file a lawsuit against Brian McNamee, which in turn threw everything open to the discovery process.

*****

De La Hoya, in the meantime, was playing both sides of the fence. He let Schaefer play Bad Cop as he distanced himself from the negotiating process, but simultaneously was sniping away at Pacquiao from his First Amendment-protected perch as a Ring.com blogger.

“If Pacquiao, the toughest guy on the planet, is afraid of needles and having a few tablespoons of blood drawn from his system, then something is wrong…  I'm just saying that now people have to wonder: 'Why doesn't he want to do this?' Why is [blood testing] such a big deal?' wrote Oscar the Blogger. “A lot of eyebrows have been raised. And this is not good.”

Ask yourself this: Exactly what caused those eyebrows to be raised, other than the innuendo coming straight from Oscar's company?

Providing De La Hoya with a forum from which to dispense propaganda  only begins to illustrate the hopelessly compromised position from which The Ring continues to operate. They might as well give Schaefer a column, too, while they're at it.

Nearly seven months have elapsed since we last visited the Ring/Golden Boy relationship, and at the risk of winding Nigel up, it might be useful here to note that in the midst of last June's discourse, The Ring's editor offered a laundry list of the magazine's covers since the De La Hoya takeover as a demonstration of Golden Boy's restraint.

After listing them, Nigel Collins wrote “that's 28 covers over the course of 21 issues, of which Top Rank had 12 fighters, as opposed to eight for Golden Boy and eight for other promotional entities. Obviously, The Ring has shown no bias to Golden Boy when it comes to magazine covers.”

It had never even been suggested that the conflict of interest extended to the magazine playing favorites in choosing its cover subjects, but since Nigel brought it up it is probably worth noting now that of those eight covers given over to “other promotional entities,” two were of David Haye, whose promoter was properly listed as “Hayemaker,” but who had also signed a promotional deal with Golden Boy in May of 2008. (Just last month GBP issued a release in De La Hoya's name in which it described itself as “Golden Boy Promotions, the United States promoter of World Boxing Association Heavyweight World Champion David Haye.”)

And even more to the point, in four other issues Nigel Collins offered in evidence the cover subject was Floyd Mayweather (Independent), although what has transpired with regard to the Pacquiao fight doesn't make Money look very independent at all, does it?

We don't regularly keep track of these things, but in making sure we didn't misquote  Oscar's Blog we also came across a representation of the January 2010 issue on The Ring's website.  The picture on the cover of the Bible of Boxing is of the Golden Boy himself, and the cover story “De La Hoya: The Retirement Interview.”

Wow! Now there's a hot topic for crusading journalists.

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Articles of 2009

Paul Malignaggi Explains Why He Thinks Manny Has Used PEDs

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In theory and in practice I am vehemently opposed to people tossing out unfounded allegations against someone. Supply evidence, then we can talk. But saying someone is using steroids, or EPO, or HGH, based on a theory, or your gut instinct….I have to consider, what if the allegation were thrown at me, and I was 100% innocent. I'd be mightily irked. And so too would you be.

Manny Pacquaio has been hammered from all sides with folks insinuating and coming right out with the contention that they think he's been cheating, that he's been using illegal performance enhancers to give him an edge in competition. Floyd Mayweather Sr, Paulie Malignaggi, Miguel Cotto and Kermit Cintron have either accused Manny, or insinuated that he's been using PEDs. One has to wonder, where's all this smoke coming from? Is it possible that there's fire lurking? That these folks aren't just lobbing unfounded barbs at Manny, that their allegations and hints aren't just sour grapes, or posturing, or a ploy to lure Manny into a fight?

By and large, there hasn't been much in the way of coverage from the standpoint of: what if Manny is using PEDs, or was using PEDs? I think that is rightly so; I'd be more comfortable if none of us trafficked in the innuendo and speculation, and worked within the realm of evidence, and facts. But it's out there, and a topic of conversation and speculation. Perhaps it's a symptom and sign of the times we live in…

TSS reached out to Malignaggi, just off a solid win in his Dec. 12 rematch with Juan Diaz. The Brooklyn-based pugilist has never been shy about speaking his peace (I picture him exiting his mom's womb and barking at the labor and delivery crew to get the room cleaned up, stat!), and he shared with TSS what he bases his allegations, which he's careful to label opinion, upon.

First off, Malignaggi is of the belief that if the Pacquiao-Mayweather negotiations are at a fatal impasse, Yuri Foreman, and not he, will get the coveted date with Pacquiao. Malignaggi has been mentioned as stand-in for Mayweather.

He started off by insisting that ” I have nothing against Pacquiao” but then went from mellow to madman in a 30 second span.

First off, the boxer wonders why Team Pacquiao isn't going after big-time newspapers, with deep pocketed owners, for libel, for insinuating that Pacquiao is drug cheat.

“If Pacquiao's so sue happy, why not sue the New York Daily News?” he asked. “Maybe they know the steroid allegations are true.”

By and large, Malignaggi thinks it is impossible, utterly impossible, for a boxer to put on 15 or more pounds between March 15, 2008, when he fought Juan Manuel Marquez and weighed 129 pounds at the weigh in, and Nov. 14, 2009 when he fought Miguel Cotto and was 144 pounds at the weigh in, and more on fight night.

“It's not natural looking,” Malignaggi said. But, I countered, what if Manny's supremely blessed, that unlike some other fighters who go up in weight, and look a bit bloated, and lack definition, he's just a special creature?

“He's not supremely blessed,” Maliganngi said. “I know body builders. They can't put on 17 or whatever pounds of muscle in a year. It's not doable, in my opinion. These are my speculations, my opinions based on certain factual evidence. Does his weight gain look normal to you? And his head looks like it has blown up in size, too.”

I offered to Malignaggi that perhaps we should be attacking the system, if we believe it to be lacking, rather than the individual.

“We can blame the system a little bit, but if you were Manny, wouldn't you want to leave no doubt? Or speculation?” said Maliganngi, who believes that by not agreeing to the terms set forth by Team Mayweather, and opposing a blood test within 30 days of the bout, Pacquaio appears guilty.

Pacquiao has agreed to take 3 blood tests: the first during the week of the kickoff news conference in early January, the second random test to be conducted no later than 30 days before the fight, and a final test after the bout. A video making the rounds from the HBO 24/7 series shows Pacquiao submitting to a blood test two or three weeks before he was due to fight Ricky Hatton, and that has cast doubt on Team Pacquiao's stance that Manny is disinclined to get a blood test too close to a bout, for fear he may be weakened. Originally, it was reported in error that that test was taken 14 days before the Hatton bout, but subsequent reports pegged the test as being taken 24 days before the scrap. Malignaggi feels Pacquiao has been caught lying, that the report from Team Pacquiao that he “has difficulty taking blood” is a cover story. “Why is he effing lying?” Malignaggi said, heatedly.

The New Yorker doesn't believe too many fighters in the lighter weight classes are using PEDs, but thinks usage isn't uncommon in the heavyweight division. “That's hard to do and make weight,” he said.

The question is asked of Malignaggi: why does the issue make him so steamed?

“I don't like cheaters,” he said. “This is not baseball. You're not just hitting home runs. You have to worry about peoples' lives. Miguel Cotto in my opinion has been beaten by two cheaters. Manny if he's cheating is taking away from guys who are doing things the right way. His team is reneging on their words.”

And what if you're wrong, Malignaggi? What if Manny is clean, and you are hurting his rep with these allegations?

“I bet everything I own that I'm not,” he said. “But we'll never find out. Hey, I would take the test in a heartbeat. I would want people to know I'm clean. He wants to leave doubts!?? His entire legacy is being questioned, he's willing to hurt his legacy and leave $40 million on the table?”

Maliganngi, after reminding TSS that he was correct in predicting he'd be gamed by judges in the first fight with Diaz, insisted that he isn't singling out Pacquiao for a personal vendetta. “”I've never had anything against him. But that's enough now. I call it like I see it.”

What about those who'd say he's just trying to anger Pacquiao, to lure him into a fight?

“No. I expected he'd take the random tests to get this fight. No way I thought he'd throw away everything. That blew me away. It was cool to have my name mentioned.”

Malignaggi thinks the boxing media has dropped the ball, and not exercised due diligence in examining the possibility that Manny has used PEDs.

“I understand most people like Manny, and not Floyd. Just cause that's the case doesn't mean Manny might not be cheating. It's nothing to do with him personally. But I call a spade a spade. Too many people avoid the possibilities because Manny's a likable person. He's got that front, his country loves him. That front works like crazy. Floyd plays the bad guy, but he's natural. Just don't downplay the fact that Manny might be cheating. You have to open your eyes and at least be willing to look at it. This is bigger than me. The fact that the fight is not being made, you have to question the integrity of Pacquiao.”

Malignaggi then offered an analogy to the Manny-refusing-to-be-subjected-to multiple-random-drug-tests prior-to-a-fight-with-Mayweather deal. “It reminds me of the drunk guy who's pulled over at 3 AM. He has a field sobriety test, the cop knows he's drunk, he looks and acts drunk. But he refuses a breathalyzer test. That don't mean the cop don't haul him to the police station.”

I reiterate…I don't think anyone should be casting aspersions based on circumstantial evidence. But with so many people ganging up on Manny, I think fight fans are owed some details on why people are accusing Pacman of using PEDs.

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