Boxing is a fickle game and as quickly as it can rise a pugilist up it can also bring them down. This unwanted award if for the boxers who wish 2013 had never happened. They started the year well respected in their field and ended it broken and lost.
The two men who have done the most to derail the carrer of Manny Pacquiao… one controversially, one chillingly… meet this Saturday in a bout that will tell us a lot about both men.
It is some ways unfair to reduce both of these talented boxers to just their bouts with the Filipino superstar but there can be no doubt that it is their battles with Pac Man that to a large extent have defined their careers. Marquez’s four bouts with Pacquiao brought him from an underrated and little known Mexican boxer stuck in the shadow of Marco Antonio Barrera and Erik Morales to one of the most well known names in boxing while Bradley’s win over Pacquiao should have turned him from an underappreciated star of 140lbs to a superstar only for the controversy over the scoring to sour the entire episode.
Both men turned down the chance to have another crack at Manny for this bout. So after this weekend, who will think that decision was somewhat foolish?
Part 2: Danny Garcia can be found here
It’s been an interesting few days for boxing, both domestically and internationally and one of the biggest news stories to come out is that Golden Boy are in the early stages of putting together a 140lbs tournament between their boxers. To quote Richard Schaefer, the Golden Boy CEO:
“My plan would be that the winner of Garcia and Judah will fight the winner of Peterson and Matthyse and then the winner of that fight will fight Amir Khan,”
It’s certainly an interesting proposition. Who wouldn’t want to see those bouts?
So in a previous post I mentioned I would do a wider article on doping in boxing.
It hasn’t been a great few months for sports and integrity as a whole. Lance Armstrong’s admission to systematic doping following years of accusations and denials, the Australian report revealing the endemic use of performance enhancing drugs (P.E.Ds) and an Europol investigation into matchfixing have all left a rather bitter taste in the mouth of a sports fan. Even sports as seemingly genteel as golf and cricket have found their involved in drugs scandals. And as always boxing, the black sheep of the mainstream sport, lingers in the shadows, implicated.
There are two reasons an individual can fail a drugs test. The previously mentioned PEDs, a list of substances where the explicit purpose is to make the user a better sportsman and the authorities have banned their use. There are also recreational drug test failures; marijuana, cocaine and all the other litany of narcotics. I don’t intend to focus on these other than to say that they are illegal and listed as prohibited substances. Whatever your personal opinions on the use of those substances those are the rules; the rules that boxers signed up for when they agreed to be licensed. If one breaks the rules on has to expect to be held accountable.
I would also stress I am no expert on steroids, PEDs, blood doping or any of the other forms of cheating of that type. I do not intend… and am not qualified to… discuss the exact benefits and side effects of using such substances. I take the general… and I believe uncontroversial… view that boxers who use these substances do so because they give them an advantage compared to not using them. They (and I speak in general terms) allow the user to train harder, get better results and recover faster.