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Articles of 2009

TSS Where Are They Now: Chuck Wepner

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Professional boxing could use a few more men like Chuck Wepner.

At a time when the sport faces its biggest identity crisis in decades, and continues to lose market share to the rising popularity of no-holds-barred MMA leagues like UFC, the ghost of old school boxers like Wepner looms large.

Wepner was nicknamed the ‘Bayonne Bleeder’ after a bout with vicious Sonny Liston under the hot lamps of the Jersey City Armory. Liston went to work on Wepner’s face so bad, that by the tenth round, Wepner’s nose and cheek were broken. In the end Wepner had sprayed ringside reporters and fight fans with so much blood, he needed 72 stitches to stanch the flow.

In his professional career Chuck Wepner compiled a record of 35 wins (17 by knockout), 14 losses and 2 draws. And he squared off against some of the hardest men ever to lace up the gloves, men like George Foreman, Ernie Terrell and of course, his epic with the greatest, Muhammad Ali, a fight that Sylvester Stallone credits as the inspiration for the movie, ‘Rocky.’

Not long ago,  I sat down with him at his home in Bayonne, New Jersey with his wife, Linda. The following is an excerpt of that interview.

JJ: So you’re about to fight Ali.

CW: I’m lying at home one night. The phone rings. I’m watching Kojak. I always watch Kojak at 11. It’s 5 after 11. I pick up the phone. It’s my mother. I say mom, I told you never call me when I’m watching Kojak. She says go up and get the news, you gotta see the back page. I say what is it mom? Tell me.  She says the back page says Ali is gonna defend against Wepner.
What happened was Don King was in Cleveland doing a promotional thing with Ali. Don King is from Cleveland and he talked to Ali and Ali agreed to the fight and he [Don King] released it immediately to the press and it was in the papers that night. I got the three papers that were left and the rest was history. Two days later I left for camp and needless to say I was excited because they had got me a place up at the Cooley granite hotel up by New Paltz in Upstate New York up by where Floyd Patterson lived. Two days later we left for camp. I went up with my trainers and sparring partners and I had a nice facility. I had the run of the hotel. You go over the camp. You sleep till eight in the morning. You go to bed at ten. You get a good night’s sleep. You do road work with your sparring partners. My trainer used to drive the car behind me.

JJ: You didn’t chase chickens, did you? Rocky didn’t steal that from you?

CW: I tell you what. He come up with some good stuff. Chasing chickens. The only thing I didn’t like was pounding the meat in the meat locker. You break a sweat and you catch pneumonia. And you know it’s very unhealthy. Hitting meat, stuff splattering….but after I saw the movie made it added a lot of depth to the movie.

JJ: So the Ali fight. What are you thinking before you get in the ring. Were you scared?

CW: No, I was never scared. You know I was nervous about doing well. I knew this was a national TV thing. I heard that they had hooked up, there was going to be fifty to sixty million people watching on closed-circuit TV. And I was a little excited, not apprehensive at all. I was in the greatest shape of my life. I had trained for seven weeks, I mean I was running five miles. I was boxing six, seven, eight rounds a day against good sparring partners and I thought maybe Ali would look past me. You know, say this is an easy one, which he might have done, you know, cause right off the bat from the opening bell on I pressed him. I was aggressive.

JJ: Ali went the first five rounds and the judges gave him three of them.

CW: One judge gave him four of them.

JJ: And that’s why you said you gotta knock this guy out?

CW: Oh, of course. We knew that going in. We knew you weren’t going to get a decision over Muhammad Ali, never. So we pressed him the whole time and we were hoping that maybe in the later rounds he would get tired. And he did. You know I have a picture of him at the end of the fight completely exhausted over in the corner and his corner men around him and unfortunately for the first and only time in my career he hit me with a punch in the fifteenth round, it wasn’t even a solid punch, hit me on the side of the face. From the thirteenth round on I had the shakes from exhaustion and the punch knocked me down. I went against the ropes and I pulled myself up and the referee gave me to seven, eight, and asked me where I was and he stopped the fight.

JJ: Did he let you respond?

CW: No. I was on one knee and he was talking to me and I stood up and he looked at me and waved it off and said my eyes looked very glassy. There was only nineteen seconds left but Tony, Tony Perez [referee], said to me later on, Chuck, I knew there was like nineteen seconds left, I wasn’t going to stop the fight.

JJ: The knockout. You walked back [to your corner] from knocking Ali down. The 9th round, was it? You walked back to your corner and what’d you say?

CW: I said to my manager Al, start the car, we’re going to the bank. We’re millionaires.

JJ: Were you sure you had him at that point?

CW:  I thought he went down in between the ropes and all and Al said you better turn around he’s getting up and he looks pissed off. It wasn’t a great punch but I caught him off balance and he almost went into the rope, the bottom rope, and if he would have fell out of the ring we would have won the fight on a fluke. I would have won it. His [Ali’s] eyes were real wide. He was more or less surprised than anything else. He wasn’t hurt. You could hear the punch. I just caught him off balance.

JJ: How did your life change after that fight?

CW: Oh, it changed quite a bit. I fought Ali for the title. I went almost the complete fifteen rounds. I had him down. Then Stallone comes out with a movie. And the movie winds up winning movie of the year, best picture of the year. He was nominated for best actor. Thirty years later people still talk about it. People see the fight on Classic Sports, constantly. Last week two or three people come up to me. Chuck, I finally saw the fight on Classic Sports, great fight, man you got all kinds of heart. You know I never claimed to be a great fighter I just claimed to be a tough guy with a big heart and a great condition which is what Stallone portrayed Rocky as. You could see Rocky was a wild guy.

JJ: Your thoughts about boxing as a sport. At that time boxing was the third most important sport behind baseball and horse racing. Do you feel you gained a lot from the sport? Did it let you down in any way?

CW: No, I feel I gained a lot from the sport of boxing. You know, it made me world famous and I probably would still be working as a security guard now. I don’t see how I would have anywhere near the life that I have now. I owe a great, great deal to boxing. But I also feel that my career in boxing could have gone on five more years after the Ali fight.  But I know how to market myself, I’ve always been able to market myself. I go to appearances. I go to dinners. I sign autographs. I do interviews. I’ve done over three hundred maybe four hundred interviews in the last thirty years. I’m a speaker. I tell jokes. I tell stories about the fights.

JJ: You were there. You fought everyone.

CW: I fought four world champs and I fought seven guys in the top ten.

JJ: Who hit the hardest?

CW: Sonny Liston.

JJ: What was it like getting hit by Sonny Liston, on June 29, 1970?

CW: It wasn’t fun. Every time Liston hit you. You know, for six rounds I pressed Sonny. I pressed everybody. That was my style. Al [Wepner’s trainer] wanted me to box.

JJ: That [the fight between Wepner and Liston] was after he lost the second time to Ali?

CW: Right, and Ali came to the fight. It was in the Jersey City armory and I’m downstairs, getting ready to come out and I hear this huge roar and I say Jesus, it can’t be for me, I’m not even out of the dressing room yet. And someone says Muhammad Ali just walked into the arena. He came in, it was a surprise. Nobody expected him and everybody went nuts when they saw him. And anyway, for six rounds it was a close fight but then he [Liston] closed my eyes and after that he was banging me pretty good. Matter of fact the referee  comes in towards the end of the ninth round and said, ‘Chuck I’m gonna stop the fight because you can’t see’ and I said to Barney [referee], one more round, let me finish the round , let me finish the fight, I’m alright. And he said well how many fingers do I have up? And my manager had his hands on my back and he tapped me three times. All I could see was blurred. And he [referee] said ok, you can see so I’ll let you come out. But I’m gonna watch you. So I come out and about 30 seconds into the round all I can see was shadows and I threw a hook and a right hand and I wound up hitting the referee on the shoulder. He turned around to avoid it and Jersey Joe Walcott jumped up on the ring apron and stopped the fight.

JJ: Sonny Liston was dead how many months after that fight?

CW: Three months later.

JJ: In what year did your boxing career end?

CW: 1980. I fought a kid named Scott Frank. I held the New Jersey title for 16 years and I lost a 12 round decision to him and that was it. I quit. I was really gonna quit before because I won the fight before that, but they offered me five thousand dollars and I said, you know, in them days, thirty-one years ago, five thousand dollars was a pretty good pay day for me and the only really big one I had ever gotten was Ali and then the fight with Inoki in Japan and Andre the Giant, forty thousand each I got for that. You know you always think you have one more good performance. Fighters don’t want to quit. So I took the fight and the kid was a lot better than I thought. It was a unanimous twelve-round decision. He beat me pretty good. I could have quit. By the ninth round I was tired. I was forty-one years old and I was getting banged around. I lasted the last three rounds.  And he beat me and that was it. I had some offers to make a comeback. They offered me some money. Some kids coming up that wanted a name on their record. But I said, no, I’m not gonna fight.

JJ: You talked about cuts…

CW: Yeah.

JJ: Second most…

CW: I had 300 (stitches), Vito Antuofermo had 345, and I said to my manager let’s have one more fight because I want to be number one and he said nah, you aint gonna fight no more.

JJ: And this is where the name the “Bayonne Bleeder” comes from?

CW: No, I got that from a guy named Rosie Rosenberg from the Bayonne Times after the Sonny Liston fight. He was sitting there with this Doctor Farrar who had a white suit on, it was in the summer, it was hot that day and every time Liston hit me the spray of blood would go out ringside. A lot of people at ringside were getting blood on them and Rosie Rosenberg says to Doctor Farrar, man oh man, there’s blood all over the place, this guy’s the Bayonne Bleeder and the name stuck.

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Articles of 2009

UFC 108 Rashad Evans vs. Thiago Silva

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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

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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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