My sands, Jermaine Spradley, wrote an eloquent piece on why he believes that Manny Pacquiao is on steroids. Before you read what I’m about to say, please check out Spradley’s piece by clicking here. Trust me, it’s worth it.
Finished? Good. Now let me put on my devil’s horns and advocate for…well, no one in particular, but some things need to be mentioned.
First and foremost, Spradley is a fan of Money Mayweather. That disclaimer has to be put on the record.
Second, I read Spradley’s piece, then I watched an ESPN.com clip of Teddy Atlas wonder aloud why Pacquiao would turn down upwards of $30 million for this fight because of drug testing. And he was right, some things don’t make sense here…it’s just not as obvious.
Flash back to 2008. Floyd just finished whipping Ricky Hatton’s ass for 10 rounds, culminating with a knockout in the 1oth. He retires as, pound-for-pound, the best fighter in the sport at 40-0-0. He may never have to take another fight in his life, because there’s no one left to beat…except for Manny Pacquiao.
Most of you know what happens next…
- Everyone says that Floyd now has to fight Manny
- Floyd schedules a tune-up fight with Juan Manuel Marquez, who he dominates for 12 rounds (Manny needed a controversial split decision to beat Marquez in their 3rd fight in March 2008)
- Floyd and Manny agree to fight in Las Vegas on March 13
- Floyd asks for an Olympic-style blood doping test for both fighters
- Manny says no and gives 8,000 reasons why, most of which are admittedly wishy-washy.
- Fight gets canceled.
In the aftermath, Manny now looks like a fraud who only won world titles in seven different weight classes because of steroids, and Floyd can once again “claim” his spot as the best fighter in the world.
Except that…in my humble opinion…I don’t think Floyd wanted to fight Manny, and never planned to.
Think about it.
Why would Floyd agree to a fight a guy who you know is on the juice and hasn’t lost any speed even though he’s moved up ten weight classes and would probably give him his first “0” in the loss column?
Here’s the answer: you don’t fight him. You only make everyone think you’ll fight him.
If Floyd thinks Manny is a juicer, I doubt he discovered this between the day the fight was announced and the day he started asking for an Olympic-style blood test. He had to have always thought so in the back of his mind, at the very least.
The problem was Manny was beating everyone Floyd beat with relative ease. And when Manny washed up Ricky Hatton in the second round (while it took Floyd ten rounds to do so), the pressure was on. He HAD to fight him.
But instead of fighting Manny, Floyd would make it seem like he was going to fight Manny, then ask for an Olympic-style blood test (something he had NEVER asked for before in his previous 40 fights), knowing all along that Manny would balk and the fight would be off.
Now Floyd can say, “Hey…I tried,” and no one would question him.
Whether you believe Manny is a cheater or not, only one thing matters: Floyd knew he was never going to beat Manny in the ring.
And now it looks like he may never have to.
– William H. Strafe
PS – See the Teddy Atlas ESPN.com Interview