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Wednesday, December 23, 2009
 
The Rules Regarding Blood That May Put Mayweather-Pacquiao in the Crypt

It is being widely reported this week that the proposed mega-fight between the two best fighters in professional boxing today, Filipino sensation Manny (Pac Man) Pacquiao and the undefeated Floyd (Money) Mayweather, Jr., tentatively scheduled for March 13, 2010, may now be in serious jeopardy. The reason: Pacquiao does not wish to contractually consent to Olympic-style drug testing procedures. According to Dan Rafael of ESPN.com:

“Olympic style drug testing is more rigorous than the drug testing performed by the Nevada State Athletic Commission [the commission with jurisdiction over Las Vegas’ MGM Grand, where the fight is reportedly now scheduled to be held] and other state commissions. It would involve
random blood and urine testing before and after the fight. Nevada commission testing only tests urine for banned substances, only just before the fight and once immediately following the fight.”

Mayweather, whose father has been quoted in the press since after Pacquiao’s November 14, 2009 bout with Miguel Cotto as saying that he believed that Pacquiao uses performance enhancing drugs, reportedly wants a provision for random drug testing in their bout agreement “to ensure fair play and sportsmanship by both fighters.” The Pacquiao camp, in turn, has reportedly stated that Pacquiao has difficulties with taking blood and does not wish to do so in close proximity to the fight. Regardless of the rationale, two of the many questions that arise are where exactly does this request find its origin, and what are some of the possible implications and extensions of contracting to Olympic-style drug testing? A quick analysis of each question follows...

For the full article please go to http://www.8countnews.com/news/125/ARTICLE/2169/2009-12-23.html.





4 Comments:

Paul,

I have two questions. First, the NSAC has an entire body of rules and regulations that govern professional boxing, including rules regarding drug testing procedures. Why, and under what circumstances, should two boxers be permitted to contract around any of those rules? Would two boxers be able to agree to no drug testing at all? Is there a provision in the NSAC regulations permitting athletes to contractually revise their rules?

Second, what basis does Mayweather's father have for saying Pacquiao used PED's when he beat Cotto, thus accusing him of cheating? Reminds me of a defamation case involving former heavyweight champ Jack Dempsey, whose manager said he cheated using "loaded gloves".

Blogger Rick Karcher -- 12/24/2009 7:40 AM  


Rick, My initial thought is that in the event that two boxers actually contract for specific types of blood and urine testing (this is fairly uncommon), they would have to come up with a method that would serve only to expand on the NSAC rules, and not contract or otherwise infringe on them. I don't think the NSAC would have any problems with additional pre-fight drug testing, as long as it did not disrupt its own mandatory testing schedule. Similarly, I don't think the NSAC would have any problem with an expansion of the number of substances tested for. In short, my feeling is that the NSAC, or any other commission, sets the floor, rather than the ceiling, for drug testing.

What Pacquiao and Mayweather are contemplating could actually be a useful device for bouts taking place in weaker commissions than Nevada's, and such contractual additions to mandatory testing could actually be used to heighten testing for any number of things pre-fight, including HIV/AIDS, brain injuries, etc.

As for Floyd Mayweather, Sr.'s comments, I believe the origin of his suspicion is that he, like many, marvels at the fact that Pacquiao is one of those rare boxers that has not just shown himself to be a capable boxer as he goes up in weight, but also one that has been wholly capable of taking his punching power and conditioning up in weight with him. What is lost in Mayweather's suspicions, however, is that (a) Pacquiao turned pro at about 16 years old (he's now 31), and thus was far from his maximum weight and size at that time. When I was 16, I was at least 40 lbs lighter than I am today. So too was Pacquiao, who turned pro at 108 lbs and is now fighting at 147 lbs; (b) Pacquiao did not have the same nutrition regimen when he fought in the lower weights while living in the Philippines than he has now. Indeed, his budget was a lot smaller until his U.S. campaign and major television backing; and (c) Pacquiao's camp acknowledged that he needed to eat at least 5 times a day to even make 147 lbs and acknowledged that he took permissible nutritional supplements to help him put on the weight and strength he needed for the Cotto fight. Having said all of that, while Mayweather's comments may have bordered on defamatory, he's got a reputation as kind of charlatan anyway; he's taken very seriously as a trainer, but not as an expert on nutrition, or tact for that matter...

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