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Articles of 2009

Latin Fury Colts

George Kimball

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The participants in the four televised bouts on Top Rank’s PPV show at Atlantic City’s Boardwalk Hall Saturday night are from eight different nations. Although the card is being billed as “Latin Fury 9,” only three of the eight headliners are from Spanish-speaking countries — and should Imperial Hank follow Boardwalk equine tradition and drown Jorge Arce in the Atlantic Ocean Thursday morning, Latin Fury’s Latino Quotient could be down to two.

In a 1931 episode subsequently immortalized in the film “Wild Hearts Can’t Be Broken,” 24 year-old Sonora Webster plunged off a tower and into an 11-foot swimming pool while astride a horse named Red Lips. Red Lips reportedly dove like Jorge Arce fights, which is to say awkwardly. Although both horse and rider landed in the pool, Ms. Webster, who was fond of watching her horse’s shadow during the descent, hit the water face-first with her eyes open, incurred two detached retinas and was blinded for life.

Arce, a jockey-sized former 115-pound champion from Mexico, will attempt to emulate Sonora Webster Thursday morning by galloping up the Boardwalk aboard a New Jersey-bred nag named Imperial Hank. Although no flying leaps into the ocean are on the agenda, with the fun-loving Arce you never know, and should the publicity stunt devolve into a horse-bites-man story Bob Arum probably won’t even be surprised. (Ed. Note: JuanMa rode the horse on the boardwalk on Thursday.) That’s just about the only injury that hasn’t yet visited this star-crossed card.

Originally, remember, this was going to be Kelly Pavlik vs. Sergio Mora, but that bout was scrapped when the middleweight champion came down with a staph infection. Paulie Malignaggi was going to fight undefeated Coloradan Mike Alvarado, but that one fell apart with an injury to Alvarado, and Paulie, rather than face a substitute, signed to fight Juan Diaz instead. Fernando Montiel’s bantamweight title defense against Eric Morel also blew up when Montiel hurt his hand sparring.

Arce (51-5-1 and coming off a one-sided butt-kicking at the hands of Vic Darchinyan) was actually supposed to be riding a Mexican horse in Tijuana last Saturday night, but with the participants dropping like flies, Arum figured that it would be a good idea to have a couple of actual Latins on Latin Fury 9, and transferred Arce’s bout against Fernando Lumacad to Atlantic City.

Described as a “Filipino Fireball,” Lumacad is 19-1-2, but will be fighting outside his homeland for the first time. In introducing him, Arum said Lumacad was from Manila, and when an interpreter pointed out that he was actually from General Santos City, the hometown of a somewhat more prominent Filipino boxer, the promoter quickly recovered, saying “I just didn’t want to scare Jorge.”

Actually, the thought had already occurred to the Lollipop Kid anyway:  “When I told my friends in Mexico I was fighting a guy from the Philippines, they all said ‘Oh, no, not Manny Pacquiao!” revealed Arce.

Despite the wholesale defections, the multi-national array on the PPV show (the others are from Puerto Rico, Cameroon, Armenia, Ukraine, Belarus, and the United States) boasts a staggering aggregate record of 219-14-5.

#     #      #

On August 22, 2004 I was at the Peristeri Boxing Hall in Greece when Vanes Martirosyan lost a decision to two-time wold champion Lorenzo Aragon of Cuba in a quarterfinal match of the Athens Games.  Aragon was a wily 30 year-old veteran, and Martirosyan had just turned 18 and was (behind Rau’shee Warren) the second-youngest member of the Ameican team, few had really expected him to win then, but it was a significant occasion nonetheless, because he hasn’t lost since.

Actually, no one, including Matrirosyan himself, had expected him to be even in Athens. Born in Armenia, he had moved to the United States at the age of four, and 13 years later his father had told him “Go ahead and go to the Olympic Trials, have some fun and get some experience, and hopefully you’ll be ready by the 2008 Olympics in China.”

Vanes was one bout away from elimination at the Trials that year, but then came the Andre Berto body-slam to Juan McPherson that knocked both guys off the US team. McPherson wound up in the hospital and Berto, disqualified, wound up fighting for Haiti, and the next thing he knew, Martirosyan was fighting his way through qualifiers to win a spot on the squad for Greece.

“The plan was still to aim for 2008, but then I started beating guys like (current world champions) Timothy Bradley and Andre Berto and I knew I could hold my own,” said Vanes. “So I decided to turn pro after the Olympics.”

He originally signed on at Freddie Roach’s Wild Card Gym, but left two years ago to train under Ronnie Shields in Houston. Then earlier this year, said Martirosyan, “I knew if I was going to get to the next level, Freddie was the guy to train me,” so he moved back to California.  He and fellow Roach disciples Pacquiao and Amir Khan share the same personal trainer, Alex Ariza, and are workout partners.

Although Roach’s stable has swelled with his burgeoning reputation, Matrorosyan doesn’t feel overlooked. In fact, he says he gets more quality time with the three-time trainer of the year now than he did in his first go-round at the Wild Card.

Roach had intended to be in London with Khan Saturday night, and even after Khan-Andres Kotelnik was postponed elected to remain in LA with Khan. The latest addition to Roach’s training staff, Jesse Reid, accompanied Martirosyan on the trip east.

The original plan had been that Michael Moorer would handle the Martirosyan corner for Saturday’s bout against Joe DeGuardia’s Andrey Tsurkan (25-4), but Roach’s already fragile relationship with the former heavyweight champion reached the boiling point a week ago, and last Friday Freddie showed Moorer the door.  Pfft.

Roach was already more than somewhat annoyed six weeks earlier when Jim Lampley claimed on the Pacquiao-Hatton telecast that Freddie had brought Moorer on board as a concession to his physical limitations as a result of his Parkinson’s Disease. It wasn’t true (Lampley was apparently repeating the fanciful brainstorm of a 24/7 producer), but neither did Moorer attempt to disabuse TV people of their assumption.

“I didn’t hire Michael Moorer because I was sick,” Roach told us then. “I hired him because he was broke and he needed a job.” But even then Moorer’s overbearing presence was wearing thin.

“He’d antagonized a lot of people in the gym,” confirmed Reid, who trained Gaby and Orlando Canizales and who was the chief second in Hector Camacho’s corner when he ended Sugar Ray Leonard’s career. “Personally, I like Michael, but many people find him difficult to get along with.”

Roach said last week that Moorer had alienated “five or six” boxers with whom he worked. Martirosyan says if so, he wasn’t one of them: “I liked his kind of ‘tough love,” said Vanes. I wasn’t uncomfortable with Michael, and I’m not uncomfortable with Jesse.”

Martirosyan is 24-0 as a pro, and his roots notwithstanding, will be more familiar to many Latio Fury watchers than some of the actual Latinos will.  A boxer serving his apprenticeship with Top Rank is bound to wind up on a lot of Spanish-language telecasts, and Vanes has been on at least half a dozen of them, where his action-packed style has resulted in some head-turning performances.

After he beat previously undefeated Michael Medina in Primm, Nev. last September, Martirosyan experienced an unsettling moment when he found himself surrounded by a small army of Mexican boxing fans.

“Then I realized they were my fans,” said Vanes. “Even though I was fighting a Mexican guy, they all knew me from television and they’d been cheering for me.”

In addition to handing Medina his first loss, Martirosyan has also established something of a yardstick for comparison against John Duddy foes. Before he knocked out Harrison Cuello in one last month, Martirosyan beat Billly Lyell two months before Lyell put the first ‘W’ on the popular Irishman’s record, and last November he had a KO1 of Charlie Howe, who had extended Duddy the distance five months earlier.

Tsurkan represents a step up over his usual fare, and if all goes well Saturday night, Martirosyan says he is prepared for even deeper waters.   Paul Williams, for example.

If fighting on a Latin Fury card is a new experience for Tsurkan, so, apparently, is fighting for Top Rank. The Ukraninan’s entire address at Wednesday’s New York press conference couldn’t have been more than 30 words long, but five of them were “I’d like to thank HBO.”

“It’s not on HBO!” shouted Arum, who looked ready to strangle him. 

#   #    #

In the other fight on the PPV card, Belarus-born, New York-based rabbi-in-waiting Yuri Foreman (27-0) faces former Contender Cornelius (K-9) Bundrage of Detroit. Foreman, whom Tsurkan battled to a controversial split decision two years ago, will be fighting for the third consecutive time in Atlantic City, this time in a bout that has been designated an eliminator for the IBF 154-pound title. The 36 year-old Bundrage (29-4) beat former champion Kassim Ouma last year, an accomplishment that seemed more meaningful then than it does now – particularly in light of K-9’s performances in other fights in which has stepped up to a comparable level – he has lost to Grady Brewer, Joel Julio, and Steve Forbes, and was knocked out in one by Sechew Powell.

Saturday’s card was originally booked into the main arena at Boardwalk Hall, but when Pavlik-Mora went south it was moved to the more intimate Adrian Phillips Ballroom. In addition to the quartet of televised bouts, the 10-fight card includes a couple of interest. In one, Philadelphia junior welter Demetrius Hopkins (28-1) returns to the ring for the first time since dropping a split decision to Kendall Holt in last December’s WBO title fight, with Hector Munoz (18-2-1) of Albuquerque furnishing the opposition. In the another, 6-0 Russian middleweight  Matt Korobov will face 9-2-1 Mexican Benjamin Diaz.

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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