Saturday, May 04, 2013

Mayweather on the Money with Drug-Testing Call

Mayweather on the Money with Drug-Testing Call
By Ronnie Duncan

Eight-time world champion Floyd "Money" Mayweather has put himself in position to be considered the very best to ever lace on a pair of boxing gloves. With his flawless record of 43 victories and no defeats, “Money May” is poised to cash in big time tonight when he faces Robert “The Ghost” Guerrero at the MGM Grand in Las Vegas, Nevada.

Of at least equal importance, the fighter once known as “Pretty Boy Floyd” no longer needs to apologize for his battle against the use of performance enhancing drugs in boxing. In fact, the boxing world owes Mayweather a standing ovation for giving his sport a much-needed facelift.

Mayweather has used verbal jabs every bit as swift and sharp as his boxing combinations to expose his sport's many fraudulent overnight biological sensations. His campaign to have Olympic-style drug testing administered across the board in boxing was at first met with denunciation and resistance by an army of detractors, including many columnists and commentators. They ridiculed his assertions that many boxing stars were using  performance-enhancing drugs [PEDs] that conferred an unfair advantage inside the ropes, and for his refusal to fight under the terms of the current rules.

Mayweather also lost a fistful of dollars in a defamation of character lawsuit  brought against him by Manny Pacquiao, the former world champion whom Mayweather identified as a fighter that he suspected of using PEDs.  Mayweather suspected that Pacquiao, once referred to as his “only real challenge”, was achieving his powerful knockout without the benefits of  drug enhancements.

Ironically, after Pacquiao finally agreed to random drug testing in recent bouts, he lost his last two fights. Last December he was knocked out cold last December by Juan Manuel Marquez with a single punch that could have been a commercial for an insomnia cure. That "Pacman" Pacquiao is likely never to be the same fighter after that beatdown is powerful supporting testimony for Mayweather's assertions.

The sports world has been poisoned by PEDs from the football’s Lyle Alzado to cycling’s Lance Armstrong to baseball’s Mark McGuire, Alex Rodriquez, and Roger Clemens to boxing’s own Andre Berto and Sugar Shane Mosley. Denial has constantly been on the lips of these so-called icons who have claimed to be clean while turning their sport into a travesty of lies and deception.

Why would anyone scorn at the notion that boxing's most flamboyant and colorful star would be right?

Perhaps we need to question ourselves and not criticize Floyd Mayweather for who we think he is or who we want him to be.

Floyd has often said, “I just want an even playing field so everyone knows there is no cheating”. Perhaps if he had been Oscar De La Hoya, or an Ivy League graduate or maybe even if he just had wind-blown hair, he would been taken seriously.

From my vantage, it is a low blow to see Mayweather — who should be the face of boxing — insulted and ridiculed just for being an honest product of his environment.

Even as I write this piece no boxing commission in the United States has sanctioned a drug testing procedure close to the one that Mayweather demands be included in every contract he signs.

Boxing might be fixed as many say. But no one can say Floyd "Money" Mayweather is dirty! He's as clean as a newly minted Benjamin Franklin.

3-2-1 I am done.

Ronnie Duncan, a sportscaster currently living and working in Washington DC, previously worked in Cleveland for a host of outlets, including WOIO/WUAB and Village Television, as well as WKNR and WERE radio.