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Articles of 2009

Las Vegas Journal – April 2009

David A. Avila

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It’s still early in Chris “The Nightmare” Arreola’s heavyweight career but you can tell in the Southern California area that the Riverside fighter is building a fan base. More than a few phone calls were received as I trekked through the desert toward Las Vegas last week.

Yes this is another Las Vegas journal.

For me to reach the Nevada capital of sin it takes about three hours to traverse the 230 miles. On Thursday the press conference by co-promoters Goossen-Tutor and Golden Boy Promotions was set for 1 p.m.

Because of unexpected Easter holiday and Spring Break traffic, the roads were a little congested on a Thursday morning. So when I entered the pressroom underneath the Mandalay Bay Resort and Casino the talking heads were in perfect pitch.

Dan Goossen, the president of Goossen-Tutor, spoke about Arreola and his opponent Jameel “Big Time” McCline. All the parties gave their piece and were followed by Team Paul Williams and Team Winky Wright.

Williams sported a big smile that never disappeared throughout the weekend. It was the kind of grin that a cat might show knowing that its prey is there for the taking. In a few days he had his lunch.

After the press conference, we headed to Barry’s Gym in Las Vegas where more than a few solid boxers train on a regular basis. On this day the boxing facility was rather empty so we headed toward other destinations.

We spoke to one of the Golden Boy matchmakers to see if it was possible to take a look at Ricky Hatton work out. He told us he would get back with us. That means no.

After a night of margaritas at Palace Station it was time to go file a story. I had to wake up rather early to meet with Oscar De La Hoya who was going to talk with a few reporters on Friday morning.

That margarita was a little strong for me. It was difficult getting up so hurriedly; we drove over to the media room at the Mandalay, but we needn’t worry, De La Hoya had not arrived.

Waiting before us were super boxing and MMA writer Kevin Iole of Yahoo who lives in Las Vegas and another boxing writer whiz Dan Rafael from ESPN.com and Steve Carp who took over the boxing writer position from Iole at the Las Vegas Review Journal. GBP’s Nicole told us De La Hoya was running late and would not arrive until 1 p.m. Iole needed to depart.

As we waited a few more boxing writers and photographers arrived. Finally around 1 p.m. De La Hoya arrived wearing a gray leather jacket and dark shirt underneath. He looked rather thin, almost weak.

He talked about his coming announcement on Tuesday, and was slightly mysterious about whether he was going to jump back in the ring to show that his poor showing was because of an unexpected after-effect of over-training or a dietary miscalculation.

“I weigh 152 pounds,” said De La Hoya. “I can’t gain weight.”

This is very unusual. In the more than 16 years that I’ve covered De La Hoya, I’ve never seen him walk around when not fighting at less than 160 to 170 pounds. The sport of professional boxing is a very dangerous sport. Most fans do not realize this.

Every year about seven to 15 pro boxers die from injuries sustained in the ring. It’s one of the most dangerous sports in the world because of the risk boxers take. That’s why I never disrespect a boxer for quitting. I think boxing broadcasters should take note of this too.

Last month when Robert “The Ghost” Guerrero told a doctor that he could not see due to the cut over his eye. He was chastised by the HBO crew and fans at the event for quitting. Boxing writers ganged up on him like a bunch of cheap bullies.

Boxing is a very dangerous sport. People die. Remember that.

Personally, I’ve seen three fighters sustain injuries in the ring and ultimately expire, beginning with Kiko Bejines in 1983, Pedro Alcazar in 2002, and Levander Johnson in 2005. I was one of the last people Johnson spoke to as he walked from the ring to his dressing room. He spoke a few words to me and suddenly collapsed after he walked 20 more feet.

So if De La Hoya quits because of his inability to fight at peak capacity, so be it. He’s proven many times in the past that he has more guts than most people in the world.

Personally, I hope he retires. I don’t want to see him endanger himself in the ring. It would be great to see him enjoy the millions he gained from sacrificing his time, physical health and life since 1992.

De La Hoya said listening to boos doesn’t bother him. Over the course of his career he’s learned to endure them.

As he walked away De La Hoya looked very thin and small. Though his face looked healthy his body looked more like that of a teen.

“I lost a lot of muscle mass,” De La Hoya said.

It was clearly evident.

Later that night, we waited around for Alfredo “Perro” Angulo who was arriving with his trainer Clemente Medina and friends to watch the fights. He had agreed to stay at a friend’s house where I was also staying and needed someone to show him where it was located. Around 1 a.m. he arrived and we headed toward another section of Las Vegas.

Mosley

On Saturday morning, I had a breakfast meeting with Sugar Shane Mosley who met with about five boxing writers at the Border Grill at the Mandalay Bay. Also present were several Golden Boy reps including Richard Schaefer, Monica Sears and Nicole Becerra.

Mosley was concerned that after beating convincingly Antonio Margarito, suddenly he’s been lost in the shuffle of the aftermath concerning the Tijuana fighter’s suspension and the possible re-emergence of Floyd Mayweather Jr.

He also spoke of meeting Mayweather and his friends for a friendly game of pick-up basketball.

“We beat them,” said Mosley. “I made the winning shot.”

After the game Mosley asked Mayweather for a fight. The former Pound for Pound king muttered that he was retired and wanted to stay retired and spend time with his kids.

“He don’t want to fight me,” said Mosley.

The Pomona speedster, who is the only man to knock out Margarito, hopes that he gets the winner between Manny Pacquiao and Ricky Hatton.

According to Mosley, the Pacman said he would fight Mosley and prefers a fight with the new WBA welterweight titleholder because of his crowd-pleasing style.

“I hope he fights me if he wins,” said Mosley. But he’s worried if Pacquiao has too tough of an outing against Hatton he might look for an easier fight. Or if Hatton wins that he may not want to fight at welterweight again.

Mosley just wants a mega fight.

When Williams' name came up Mosley honestly offered that the much taller fighter is a bad match for him because of his long arms. It’s a bad style match up. Plus, the Pomona fighter wants mega fights.

The topic turned to De La Hoya and when one of the writers mentioned that De La Hoya was not as good as people purported him to be, Mosley jumped to his defense immediately.

It was kind of cool to see.

Mosley and De La Hoya have been adversaries since childhood. The East L.A. boxer was seven and the Pomona boxer nine when they first met in the ring as amateurs. They fought two close and sizzling battles yet here they are friends and working for the same goal in the same company.

“Oscar De La Hoya is the best fighter I ever fought,” said Mosley who battled against many of the best in the last 15 years. “His left hand is one of the sharpest punches I’ve ever face. He could do so much with it.”

Mosley thinks that when De La Hoya changed his boxing style when Floyd Mayweather Sr. came aboard, he lost something.

“He was a much better fighter when he fought straight up and he was on his toes,” said Mosley.

Maybe he is right.

Williams and Arreola win

In the fight card Arreola reacted as I expected. Once Jameel McCline landed a blow I knew Arreola would open up with both barrels. The end came soon.

Williams, however, beat Winky Wright so convincingly I was a little in shock. I expected a closer battle with the younger fighter using fresher legs to pull it out. Instead he almost won every round with nonstop punching. It was amazing.

That night we had dinner with Perro Angulo and his people and talked about the fight. Angulo will be fighting Kermit “The Killer” Cintron next month in Miami, Florida.

After dinner, we headed for the Luxor Hotel where Arreola was having an After-Fight party at LAX. On the way we saw Librado Andrade and stopped to talk about his experience in Canada. It seems the fans love the Mexican slugger up there. He loves Canada.

Around 1 a.m. we reached the nightclub and after about 40 minutes finally spot Arreola and his crew. The party is in full gear and money is raining down on the crowd. The Riverside heavyweight looked solid in his fight and was having fun.

Around 2:15 a.m. I headed back to the pad.

Melinda Cooper

On Sunday I typed out my column for a newspaper and then spoke to Melinda Cooper, one of the most exciting female fighters today. If you’ve ever seen Cooper outside of the ring she’s a very pretty intelligent girl who could easily be an actress, lawyer or any other profession. She’s very poised and well spoken. Inside the ring, she’s as deadly as a rattlesnake. The speed of her punches and power behind them are awe-inspiring.

Cooper will be fighting on May 16 at the Planet Hollywood in Las Vegas. She’s preparing to fight Monica Lovato, a strong fighter out of New Mexico. It should be a great fight.

Because of her outstanding amateur experience and undefeated record as a professional, it’s difficult to find opponents. She gets some offers but they’re not frequent.

Plus, she’s one of the few female fighters below middleweight who has real knockout power.

One day soon, fans will discover Melinda Cooper.

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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