On December 8th of 2012, the landscape of the sport of boxing was changed mightily when Manny Pacquiao jumped into a big right hand of Juan Manuel Marquez that essentially left Pacquiao unconscious, laying down face first on the canvas. Marquez had finally got the win he felt he deserved on three other occasions with the Filipino super star.
The win however came with suspicion. Not only because of Juan Manuel Marquez’ amazing physique, but because Marquez was working with well-known chemist and former performance enhancing drug- dealer, Angel Heredia as his strength and conditioning coach.
Marquez will take on Tim Bradley next month in one of the most anticipated fights of the year. The testing revolving around this fight had also become an issue. To Bradley’s understanding, both men were supposed to do VADA and or USADA random blood and urine testing. To his understanding, Marquez agreed on it, then backed out and now both fighters will be tested by the Nevada State Athletic Commission using WADA protocols, while Bradley would also be tested by VADA and Marquez won’t. In an interview with ThaBoxingVoice.com, promoter Bob Arum stated that Bradley should re-read his contract regarding the testing because it was to Bradley’s understanding that VADA would be testing both fighters (http://thaboxingvoice.cogito24.com/arum-on-bradley-marquez-fights-a-go-bradley-should-reread-his-contract-regarding-drug-testing/17188).
So Bradley did. “I went back, read the contract, and my lawyers read the contract and basically the contract stated that a 3rd party can basically come in and do testing. My understanding is that the third party will be the (state) commission. I think they’re biased and I don’t agree with that. The commission then hired an outside agency to handle the testing and basically are following the “WADA” protocol and coding as far as what they’re testing for. That’s the only information I got. It had said that Nevada would do testing but VADA and USADA also. So yeah, Nevada was going to test but there is VADA and USADA testing in the contract. That’s my understanding. Marquez first agreed to VADA then said only USADA and then Arum came to us with this whole Nevada State Commission doing testing. I tried to find out as much information as possible,” Bradley stated in an interview on ThaBoxingVoice Radio Show last week.
At one point, it looked like the fight may not even happen at all because of Bradley’s disagreement on who was suppose to conduct the drug testing. But Bradley eventually caved in and explained why.
“I had to go through with it because they (Nevada) basically already had made the decision to do that and in order for me to get licensed in Nevada, you have to their testing. You know it’s like they had a gun to my head to do the testing. But I’m going to go out and still do VADA because I’m a man of my word. I’m a pay for my damn testing and prove that I’m clean. Everyone knows that’s the true testing. VADA is like the new I Phone 5. USADA is like the regular I Phone. You know the IPHONE 5 is completely upgraded and that’s what VADA is. There are more stipulations and more things that they test for, more than the other companies. You know they don’t allow anything that’s illegal or elevated. USADA isn’t a bad company but they allow 4 to 1 ratios while VADA doesn’t. It’s just stricter and by the book. I’m basically proving to the world I’m a clean athlete. I’m willing to do the best and get tested by the best because I am the best, why wouldn’t this guy (Marquez) get tested by the best company out there? I still don’t have a flat answer as to why he won’t do the testing.”
Manny Pacquiao asked for VADA testing in his upcoming bout with Brandon Rios after being knocked out by Marquez. Although he wouldn’t flat out say if it was the knockout that brought him to that decision, he did say he feels that there are dirty athletes in the sport. (http://thaboxingvoice.cogito24.com/pacquiao-to-practice-careful-aggression-talks-testing-for-rios-and-tells-mayweather-im-still-here/17635). Bradley feels the same and that’s why he’s advocating for random blood and urine testing in all of his fights moving forward.
“It wasn’t the knockout. It’s because how is this dude going to go from 122 to 147 and all of a sudden he has a crazy physique. When I thought all these other fighters taking steroids and taking illegal substances, you know what from now on, I’m going test everyone I get in the ring with. That’s the reason I tested Ruslan (Provodnikov) and so forth. Now with the fight with Marquez, the first thing I said before we discuss money, let’s talk about drug testing. Is this guy willing to do VADA, well let’s see? Obviously he wasn’t,” explained Bradley.
Bradley was open and very honest in the interview with us. He knows there’s a problem with testing in the sport and feels that it will take more than the big names like Mayweather who uses USADA for all his fights, and Nonito Donaire who was the first boxer to be sign up for year round VADA testing, to change solve that problem.
“I think anything is possible. Fighters can definitely come together and demand testing but it’s more of a state issue. It’s kind of like Nevada, they got involved and they are enforcing drug testing. This is the first actual bout that Nevada is doing more than a pee test. We’re doing blood, urine, and doping tests over basic urine tests. It’s a state issue. Every state is different. If there is boxing in every state, there should be better testing,” stated Bradley. He would continue to say that maybe the random testing can start at the top level then domino effect down.
“If it’s just for championship fights, then let it be for championship fights. I think it’s great for championship fights at least. I just don’t think that one voice or two voices is big enough like me Donaire, Amir Khan, and Mayweather. It’s going to take the whole sport and the states involved. It’s not the fact that people use during the season like baseball or training camps, it’s basically when no one is around, you’re doing this stuff and get it out the system. I just wished there was random testing for all the champions and the guys that are going for the champions, at least once a month. If you carry a belt, you should be tested once a month.”
If he feels so strongly about taking a stand, maybe he shouldn’t have taken the fight. But Bradley had to come to grips with what he says is reality in the sport. It’s all about money and him not taking the fight wouldn’t make him any to feed his family and would waste his prime sitting on the sideline being at odds with his promoter and network
“At the end of the day my hands are tied. I’m skeptical but I can’t not take the fight. if I don’t take the fight, I’m damned and deal with the consequences and if I do, I’m skeptical but I got to prepare myself the best I can possibly be, I don’t want to piss of HBO and the date is set. He (Marquez) is doing Nevada drug testing so I guess that’s ok for most people. But I’m doing VADA and the drug testing from Nevada. So I’m doing double testing just to show the fans I’m a clean athlete. And that’s all I can do. I can win the fight, it’s not based on how much muscles you have. I believe I’ll win this fight because I’m a strong guy too. If I don’t take this fight, then I piss off HBO then my contract gets extended with Top Rank because I pass on another fight and my family won’t eat. It’s a double edge sword. I’m damned if I do, damned if I don’t. Marquez is doing the testing and I’m doing the double testing and that’s what it is.”
For Full Audio Of This Interview click here: http://thaboxingvoice.cogito24.com/keith-thurman-timothy-bradley-on-tha-boxingvoice-radio/17940