Time to call out Mayweather on Pacquiao allegations

Wed, 29 Feb 06:08:00 2012

Floyd Mayweather Jr.'s implications that Manny Pacquiao is a cheater are baseless and hypocritical, says US boxing expert Kevin Iole.

2011 BOXING Undefeated boxer Floyd Mayweather Jr. - 0

Memo to Floyd Mayweather Jr.: Shut up. Please. Button up now, before you open your mouth again and say something even more stupid than you’ve already said.

Mayweather is a brilliant talent and is, in my mind, clearly the best boxer in the world. But his insistence on tearing down Manny Pacquiao and calling him a cheater is wearing thin.

On Monday in San Juan, Puerto Rico, on the first day of a media tour to promote his May 5 bout in Las Vegas with World Boxing Association super welterweight champion Miguel Cotto, Mayweather called Pacquiao a cheater.

Though he didn’t use the words “steroids” or “performance-enhancing drugs,” the implication was clear.

“Floyd Mayweather is not a cheater like Antonio Margarito and Manny Pacquiao,” Mayweather said during the San Juan news conference. “Hard work. Hard work. Hard work.”

Margarito, of course, was caught with an illegal knuckle pad in his hand wraps before a 2009 fight in Los Angeles with Shane Mosley and was sidelined for a year by the California State Athletic Commission. Margarito to this day denies knowing the insert was put in his wraps and blames ex-trainer Javier Capetillo.

But there is nothing that can be gleaned from Mayweather’s slant that Pacquiao is a cheater: Pacquiao is currently pursuing a defamation suit against Mayweather that alleges Mayweather ruined his reputation by calling his success the result of steroid abuse.

I don’t know whether Pacquiao is using steroids, or any other performance-enhancing drug. And, I can guarantee you, neither does Mayweather. If he had proof, you can rest assure it would have been public long before now.

I do know that Pacquiao has passed every drug screening test he’s been given and that he’s agreed to the so-called “Olympic-style” tests that Mayweather demands of everyone who fights him.

Mayweather has repeatedly questioned Pacquiao’s success because Pacquiao has moved up in weight and gone from strawweight to super welterweight.

Mayweather, who debuted professionally in 1996, has frequently cited Pacquiao’s leap from so many classes as evidence that something must be amiss for Pacquiao to have gotten so big.

Pacquiao weighed 106 when he turned pro, but he was just a month past his 17th birthday. When Mayweather was 16, he was fighting as an amateur at, guess what, 106 pounds. They’ve been consistently at or near the same weights at similar ages, so Mayweather’s theory about Pacquiao’s weight gains being evidence of PED usage doesn’t hold up.

If Pacquiao is or has used steroids or PEDs, it should be exposed. Boxing is a dangerous sport when both fighters are clean. Risks skyrocket when one is chemically enhanced.

It’s easy, though, to make allegations with no evidence, or flimsy evidence, and that’s what Mayweather is doing. It’s like seeing someone run out of a bank, hearing a couple of minutes later that the bank was robbed and deciding that the person you saw leaving the bank was the robber.

Yes, it’s possible that you did indeed witness the bandit. But it’s just as possible that the person leaving was simply a customer late for an appointment, running to feed the parking meter or saw the gun the real robber pulled and made a break for it to get out of danger.

If Pacquiao is ever busted for using performance-enhancing drugs, I will join Mayweather in bashing him.

But until there is evidence that he has done so, Mayweather’s cheating allegation is flimsy.

Kevin Iole / Yahoo

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