Game of Thrones: The Thrill & Agony of Pacquiao-Marquez

By David Matthew on December 11, 2012
Game of Thrones: The Thrill & Agony of Pacquiao-Marquez
We must talk about PEDs as it remains the elephant in the room. So, let’s talk about it.

Boxing truly is the Game of Thrones of modern sport. Nobody is safe. Every kingdom has its reign, and its fall. New kings are crowned out of thin air…

Saturday night represented everything that is both glorious and tragic about the sport of boxing. In a superfight that actually lived up to all of its considerable hype, Pacquiao-Marquez 4 was epic, and was packed with the kind of density that requires reflection, analysis, and yes—even investigation.

This was by far the most electrifying chapter of this storied rivalry. While most were expecting something similar to the lukewarm performances exhibited in their third fight, Saturday night saw the Pacquiao-Marquez rivalry reach a scintillating crescendo of warrior poetry such that fans are now calling for Pacquiao-Marquez 5. It was as if both fighters decided that they were going to fully commit this time around. Punches were being thrown with knockout intent throughout the six rounds of the fight, which felt like an entire 12-round war. Both fighters know each other’s habits and intricacies with such heightened familiarity—and the ultimate war of dynamically contrasting styles ensued:  Manny’s high-risk flurrying vs. Juan Manuel’s masterful timing. Both were executing beautifully and traded a pair of knockdowns with incredibly precise punches that everyone knew something special was brewing.

It wasn’t just skill that made this fight special. It was the incredible fighting hearts and souls of Pacquiao and Marquez. Pacquiao was dropped early in the fight in a fashion so foreign to fans that you couldn’t help but raise your eyebrows. Just when it seemed as if he was hurt, Pacquiao—in signature fashion—put his hands up and nodded to Marquez as if to say “Okay, let’s go.” The tide suddenly shifted quickly as Pacquiao bounced back with his most dominating rounds of the four-fight rivalry. Rounds five and six featured Pacquiao at his absolute best, reminiscent of a few years ago. He was committing to every combination, using his legs to dart in with unbelievably high-risk assaults, and outscoring Marquez significantly as he was landing two punches to every one by Marquez. This prototypical Pacquiao style is why so many love watching him fight. He was busting up the face of Marquez something serious. The nose of Marquez was broken, he was breathing through his mouth, and just as it seemed that this Pacquiao tidal wave was going to crash into him and capsize his ship, Marquez navigated the stormy waters with the kind of resolve legendary warriors are made of. As round six concluded, Pacquiao darted towards Marquez, trying to punctuate what had been a one-sided round. Meanwhile, Marquez was backpedaling into the corner, setting up the trap of the decade. Seeing that Manny was going to predictably dart in as he had done many times in that round, Marquez all of a sudden set the anchor as Manny lunged in with a double-jab pump fake to set up his straight left hand. Then, just as Manny went to throw the left after his jab feint, Marquez sat down on a perfectly thrown counter short right hook that pulled the Pacquiao plug out of the socket at the MGM Grand in Las Vegas. Manny didn’t see it coming, and Marquez barely saw it land as his head was down in an effort to land the punch and simultaneously slip the Pacquiao left hand. As he turned around, Marquez saw his archrival laid out on the canvas, unconscious.

Enter the ugly underbelly of boxing. As one of the sport’s most celebrated figures lay motionless on the canvas, collapsing as if he had been rushing in on the front lines of Normandy Beach, a frenzied hyena-like laughter broke out before anyone even checked to see if Manny Pacquiao was still alive. In fact, the first hand to be laid on Manny was from a gentleman at ringside who felt the need to press his fingers against Manny’s neck in order to find a pulse. Manny was out for several minutes as his wife tried to rush the ring in a hysterical state of mind. Meanwhile, cropped photos were already being InstaGram’d making fun of Pacquiao’s unconscious state. Nobody seemed to particularly care if Manny was going to be okay. Even in the midst of the most exciting moment of his career, the great Juan Manuel Marquez went to Manny multiple times to check in on his biggest rival and comrade, and was concerned. But most fans didn’t seem to share that kind of regard for the fallen champ. He had provided the highest thrill for the blood-lusting coliseum crowd, and just as great gladiators were celebrated and honored at the height of their ascent and then spit on and thrown in a ditch after they died and were of no further use, the sports world discarded Manny Pacquiao in similarly symbolic fashion. Problem is, this is 2012, and this artistic rendition of ancient warfare that is boxing is supposed to be a more civilized version of savagery that both honors and provides the highest safety possible for its warriors, right?

Unfortunately, in the aftermath of this unbelievable fight, we must talk about PEDs as it remains the elephant in the room. So, let’s talk about it. Here’s what you should know: There were no random drug tests leading up to Pacquiao-Marquez 4. There was no EPO, HGH, or synthetic testosterone testing whatsoever. This in itself is absurd and a huge red flag. Both camps knew this going into their respect training camps—which meant that the trainers were able to deliver supplements and perhaps even substances to their fighters knowing that they wouldn’t be tested throughout the camp. So, as long as the substances cycled out of the system—or remained undetected in the event there actually were going to be drug testing either directly before or after the fight—the camps hypothetically could get away with juicing. 

Further, Marquez is now being trained by Angel “Memo” Hernandez—who in the past has supplied illegal drugs to athletes (Marion Jones, for example)—and testified for the federal government in the BALCO case. Considered a “wonder” of a chemist by many of his peers, Memo is certainly capable of concocting performance enhancing “supplements”—as his background would suggest. Even when there are random drug tests administered throughout training camps leading up until the fight, such master alchemists are still able to create designer substances that can evade the present capabilities of drug testing in boxing (which require immense modernization/improvement). However, how challenging is it for a master chemist to create performance enhancers that can circumvent no drug testing whatsoever? It’s laughable, and a shame that random drug testing was not instituted for this fight.

Finally, for anyone who has been paying attention to the illustrious career of Juan Manual Marquez, we know he comes into fights in spectacular shape and works extremely hard in training. However, the physique unveiled at Friday’s weigh-in before the fight was incredible. The size of Juan Manuel’s neck and shoulders were noticeably bigger, he was more vascular/defined than ever, and the muscular bulk in his arms were striking, particularly his right bicep which looked like it had the work of a veteran bodybuilder in its inflated flex. At 39, Juan Manuel’s body had never looked better, bigger, or stronger than it looked this past weekend. In fact, even before this weekend, many insiders in the sport were commenting on the remarkable difference in the Marquez physique as they observed him squatting absurd amounts of weight for a man who weighs around 140 pounds. Amongst those insiders is none other than Victor Conte—who has been an unlikely but much needed sobering voice in the sport—consistently demanding stricter drug testing in boxing. In a recent interview with Yahoo! Sports, Conte had this to say about the unusual squatting power of Marquez:

“If you want to stimulate speed, power and strength, you do it using heavy weight and exploding from under that weight with enough on your shoulders in the squat rack.

“But how many boxers do you know who are in the weight room squatting huge poundage? You don’t see that. That in and of itself would make you stiff and sore and unable to walk for two or three days unless you are using testosterone or other steroids to accelerate the healing, where instead of it taking three days to recover from that type of workout, you’d recover in one day.”

The power generated from Juan Manuel’s punches was nothing short of shocking on Saturday night. The first right hand he landed knocked Pacquiao straight on his back with incredible force. The second such overhand right hand knocked Pacquiao out cold, instantaneously. Remarkable for two reasons: (1) Manny Pacquiao has absorbed huge power punches from guys much bigger and stronger than Marquez. Be it Antonio Margarito, Miguel Cotto, Joshua Clottey, or Shane Mosley, Pacquiao has taken their shots fairly well, and these are guys who considerably outweigh/outsize Marquez. Manny has been widely regarded for a tremendous chin and an uncanny ability to take a punch; and (2) Marquez—while considered a very good puncher—has never been a one-punch knockout artist. He has hit Pacquiao with that same right hand time and time again in their three previous fights, and while he has certainly buzzed Pacquiao (particularly in their second fight)—he has never generated power such that it would render Manny unconscious, with a single punch. So what was different this time?

Let’s be clear, this is simply a call for investigation, not an accusation. Given the incredible work ethic of Juan Manuel Marquez, I do believe it’s still plausible that he simply had the training camp of his life, and that he put his entire being into his training to get as big and strong as he has ever been—even at 39. I want to believe that this is the case here, and I do think it’s possible that he was clean, but without the requisite drug testing to ensure an even playing field, we simply are left to speculate the unusual developments surrounding Pacquiao-Marquez 4.

Further, we cannot forget all of the PED (Performance Enhancing Drugs) controversy that has surrounded the career of Manny Pacquiao, who was once a guy pulling plugs out of sockets himself (see: Ricky Hatton). During that ascent in Pacquiao’s career, his body had also gone through a notable transformation in terms of musculature and vascularity, and he was landing such thudding power shots that he was knocking out guys far bigger than him. Since that controversy Pacquiao’s body seems to have reverted back to its normal shell—still strong, muscular, vascular—but not superhuman. His punching power also has seemingly normalized, as he hasn’t scored a knockout since 2009.

Of course, PEDs are not specific to boxing, they are rampant in all professional sports where big business is high performance. The difference, however, is that the stakes are higher in boxing. In basketball, if a guy is juiced on something, he jumps a bit higher, dunks the ball a bit harder. In baseball, a juiced slugger is hitting the ball 50 yards further than usual. In boxing, a juiced pugilist is cracking his fist up against a guy’s skull with unnaturally dangerous velocity that could result in death, which is what many ringside observers actually feared when witnessing Manny Pacquiao collapse like Neo in the Matrix when trying to stop sentinels as he was hit with that brilliant Marquez counter.

When we finally acknowledge the elephant in the room—that guys have been using PEDs in boxing for a while now—and that it is still far too easy to circumvent drug testing standards (if they are even administered). Floyd Mayweather was right when he demanded stricter drug testing, and anyone who cares about the sport should want to ensure that warriors are exchanging punches organically, built on human spirit, willpower, and natural training/nutrition regimens. Of course, home runs are big business in baseball, just as knockouts are big business in boxing. With this in mind, it becomes even more imperative that capable systems are instituted to safeguard fighters and the sport against those forces that would sacrifice human dignity for unnatural performance.

Boxing truly is the Game of Thrones of modern sport. Nobody is safe. Every kingdom has its reign, and its fall. New kings are crowned out of thin air. This theater of the unexpected has provided so many plot twists throughout the years that it becomes increasingly enticing to be seduced by the mysterious science that is boxing. For those who hold the sport dear to their hearts, it’s time we did some real investigative work to demand transparency, competently designed and modernized drug testing standards, and above all else—the restoration of a sense of humanity to do more to look out for the beloved warriors that provide us with the ultimate in sporting entertainment.

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  1. Aubeen 12:28pm, 12/26/2012

    I’d certainly like to see an investigation, if not to put controversy surrounding this historic fight behind us.

  2. Aubeen 12:23pm, 12/26/2012

    Jim Lampley: “..Marquez was off balance again, now gets his feet back and tries to lure back to nail Pacquiao with a right hand…”
    Marquez’s right hand/Pacquaio’s face: ..PP@%$NNNGG!..
    Roy Jones Jr: “..OOOOOOOOOOOHHHHH..”
    Jim Lampley: “..And that’s another knockdown!”
    Roy Jones Jr: “..He’s not gettin up Jim!”
    Jim Lampley: “..WILL HE GET UP?..!”
    Roy Jones Jr: “..He’s not gettin up Jim!”
    Jim Lampley: “..WILL HE GET UP?..!”
    Roy Jones Jr: “..He’s not gettin up!..”
    Jim Lampley: “..NO! HE’S BEEN KNOCKED OUT!”

    ...One of the most memorable moments in boxing history.

  3. Mike Schmidt 03:39pm, 12/19/2012

    Manny vs Marquez III—Manny: “It’s clearly I won the fight….It’s very clear I won the fight….He didn’t throw any punches….” Thank heavens after the Bradley fight and having been thru number 3 that this one won was a KNOCKOUT—no questions about judges, Las Vegas etc etc etc

  4. David Matthew 09:47pm, 12/18/2012

    Nice quote thresh.  I also was very impressed with Pacquiao’s post-fight decorum.  He actually seemed genuinely happy for Marquez.  I’m not sure if I’ve ever witnessed that type of selflessness in the ring after a fight of this magnitude, with this brutal of an ending.

  5. the thresher 03:39pm, 12/18/2012

    I read this post on another site and I think it bears quoting:

    “One thing I like here is the acknowledgement of the character Pacquiao displayed after the Bradley and Marquez defeats. You might question whether or not he is genuine when he acts so graciously in the face of what would be for any normal person an incredibly bitter moment, but then you have to acknowledge that he was master of himself when the moment came. I never felt more that I had chosen well when I liked Manny the fighter than when he said that he accepted the Bradley decision though he believed he won, and he was equally polite and sportsmanlike when he recovered from the Marquez knockout. These are real victories, and very rare.”

  6. Bodyshots 08:41am, 12/17/2012

    walking off into the sunset is my preference as well. however, there remains one ripe cherry that would provide the double-exclamation point to Marquez’s superiority over Pacquiao*: the still undefeated Tim Bradley. Btw, it’s not Pacquiao’s* fanbase that’s selling-out fight venues for their fights. despite “expert” assertions that the third fight would be a blowout in Pacquiao’s* favor and that the fourth bout would be redundant and lacked popular appeal, Marquez’s fanbase showed-up for both in overwhelming numbers. conversely, it appears that Pacquiao’s* fanbase was boiled-down to Mittens and his fellow 1%rs who were “slumming-it” ringside. their horrified expressions upon watching Pacquiao* be planted face-first into the canvas was a huge bonus to the Marquez fanbase, which is the fanbase that is keeping boxing alive . . . Viva Marquez!

  7. the thresher 08:29am, 12/17/2012

    You talking to me?

  8. Mike Schmidt 04:20am, 12/17/2012

    1) JMM, aside from the first knockdown seriously rocked Manny before the knockout. Manny was showing little regard or respect in the defence department 2) JMM has a higher KO percentage than Manny in a close to equal record 3) Although Manny commands more dollars a 25 mill 6 mill split aint even going to be remotely on target. 4) jmm- not a chance he comes for a number five other than in rock solid shape- serious work horse is JMM 6) JMM had to wait close to four years back to back to get Manny back in the ring- would love to see him, at age 39, walk off into the sunset with the big win on the trophy counter!!!!!!

  9. the thresher 07:32pm, 12/16/2012

    Pac should rid himself of the Buckely curse by first beating that dullard (again).

    Then a rematch for redemption against a likely over-confident and possibly undertained JMM.

    Wores case: 2-2-1
    Best case   3-1-1 and redemption and happy retirement.

  10. the thresher 07:29pm, 12/16/2012

    The day Manny makes less than $10 million bucks for a fight will be the day Bernie Madoff gets out of prison. Pac remains the draw—now more than ever because of his vulnerability. JMM does not have the charisma of Pac, though he may well be a better fighter.

    Constant whining and piss drinking takes its toll. :twisted

  11. Bodyshots 07:16pm, 12/16/2012

    Btw, i am opposed to a fifth matchup unless Pacquiao* accepts conditions that would discourage anybody but the most determined ring-warrior, e.g., Juan Manuel Marquez. weight, location, gloves, trunks, socks, ring-size to be determined at Marquez’s discretion and Manny* receives a flat-fee of $1 million. Take-It or Leave-It. this is actually a considerate offer considering the way these jerks have dikked Marquez around for the past nine years. otherwise, a 5th matchup is about as necessary as a rematch between McCallum and Curry was: It’s Not.

  12. Bodyshots 07:07pm, 12/16/2012

    Thanks for the acknowledgement Mr. Schmidt and Thanks to Matthew for the rigorous cyber-sparring. as Mr. Schmidt explained, i’m just a hardcore fight-fan and i’m not going after anyone or anything but the truth about my favorite sport, e.g., “If Marquez was dominating Pacquiao up until the KO I would agree with you, but that simply was not the case”(?). so in addition to a KD and Devastating KO win, Marquez is also expected to dominate every round? what kind of double-standard is that? otherwise, that analysis ignores two fundamental factors about this fight: 1) Marquez publicly asserted and transparently prepared to win by KO and NOT the scorecards. hence the ultimate and premeditated result. 2) i gave Manny* the first two rounds; Marquez rounds three and four; Pacquaio* won five and was winning six before the KO i.e., ebb-and-flow. however, i was one of those fight-fans who thoroughly believed Marquez’s pre-fight assertions, which had me looking for KDs and powerpunching, which Marquez delivered. in fact, the decisive factors of this bout were Marquez’s powerpunching along with his confidence that Pacquiao* would provide him with the targets to test his newfound power. that was the publicly-asserted fight-plan that Marquez executed to perfection, give or take a couple of irrelevant rounds. if Marquez had lost every round prior to the KO, it would still be considered a KO win for Marquez . . . Peace.

  13. Brian Moloney 07:00pm, 12/16/2012

    Marquez I am happy to see you get your REVENGE!!!!!!!  Marquez has been ROB by the judges in his last 2 fights with Steriodpacshit.. But the REAL DAMAGE was NOT the 2 loses on Marquez’s record .. BUT THE MILLIONS AND MILLIONS of dollars in LOST revenue MARQUEZ was cheated out of!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!  Had the judges SCORE the last 2 fights properly MARQUEZ would of been the winner.. He WHO controls the BELT controls the BIGGER PURSE!!!!!!!  PAC MAN made $25 million Marquez $3 million. Yes MARQUEZ was NOT only ROB in the RING on the phony score cards but in $$$$$$$ as well in future fights.. GOOD for you MARQUEZ . There is a GOD and justice was SERVED well Viva Marquez and VIVA MEXICO… I am the happiest man on the planet. FINALLY there is JUSTICE .. Marquez YOU are the CHAMPION NOW!!!!!!!  In my eyes and in many EYES you were ALWAYS the TRUE Champ.. Your next fight have it in MEXICO and YOU make most of the PURSE $$$$$$$... The judges in the USA could NOT ROB you this time.. Dont ever fight in the USA again. As you KNOW Mexicans dont get a fair shake on the score cards

  14. Mike Schmidt 06:19pm, 12/16/2012

    Bodyshots- this just in -Marquez SERIOUSLY considering defamation action against Fred Roach given he tested clean on NSAC results- and well he should - not won scintilladooooo of evidence to suggest El Grand Campeon cheated. All these accusations are just cheap innuendo and sour grapes- Manny and JMM are in the same boat- the agreed to NSAC tests ( as limited as they may be) and both passed. Do number five and if they both want- and Marquez has never seemed to have any refusal with advanced testing, unlike various suggestions that Manny in the past did, then let number five rip ahead although if Marquez did decide to retire it would be one glory road of an exit with knockout that will be remembered in the way Rocky slammed that right on Jersey’s jaw- my humble opinion lads- Bodyshot your comments are well taken. David I hope you are in shape because body by his posts looks like he believes in that old- kill the body and the head will die- he keeps on coming at you!!!! With due respect to both of you as hard core boxing fans.

  15. David Matthew 04:20pm, 12/16/2012

    @ Bodyshots—- Ok, I see where your head is at now re: Pacquiao/Marquez.  It didn’t have to take this long in the thread to profess that you feel Marquez is the superior fighter lol.  No need to shield one’s perspective, especially not here.  I think your points are valid re: the collective pass that the boxing world gave Pacquiao re: testing when the initial negotiations with Mayweather surfaced.  However, you should direct that to other writers and people in boxing - for I never gave him such a pass and was very critical of him during that period.  Again, in this article I pointed that out and talked about the irony of the suspicion being aimed at Marquez when it was Pacquiao who first was the suspicious party.  Further, I don’t think you can say that the KO settles the 4-fight rivalry in such definitive fashion, particularly when you consider how well Pacquiao was doing against Marquez up until the KO.  If Marquez was dominating Pacquiao up until the KO I would agree with you, but that simply was not the case.

  16. Bodyshots 09:32am, 12/16/2012

    bottomline, every Pacquiao* win above lightweight is suspect because of the lack of random blood and urine testing, which Pacquiao* rejected to face his primary P4P rival and a projected $25-$50 million payday. THAT was the moment to begin pounding the drum of OSTing. not now when Marquez has KTFO of his primary P4P rival, who he’s previously dominated and who has also been Boxing’s most prominent opponent of OSTing.

  17. Bodyshots 09:26am, 12/16/2012

    Btw, Marquez’s devastating KO of Pacquiao* does put their rivalry to rest in the most convincing fashion possible. there is no more need for a 5th match than there was for Martinez to rematch Williams or Pacquiao* to rematch Hatton. only those desperate to salvage Pacquiao’s* predictably tattered ring-legacy want a 5th match between Marquez and Pacquiao*. if Marquez is smart, he’ll either retire, or go after Bradley and then retire with his superior ring-legacy intact. IMO, Marquez is already 3-0-1 v. Pacquiao*. he’s got nothing more to prove after completing his 9-year mission of stalking and finally defeating Pacquiao* beyond any reasonable doubt.

  18. Bodyshots 09:21am, 12/16/2012

    Pacquiao* hasn’t agreed to anything until he signs on the dotted line. everythiing else is nothing more than promotional hype attempting to leverage public opinion against Floyd for even requesting OSTing, which he’s already implemented on a mutual basis v. Marquez, Mosley, Ortiz, and Cotto to zero praise and wouldn’t that be the optiomal opportuniity for those concerned(?) to generate momentum in favor of improved testing? when it’s actually occuring in a title-fight between P4P fighters with no objection to the testing? instead, i read articles by presumed “experts” questioning Floyd’s desire to fight (but more like cruelly dominate and destroy) Pacquiao*(?!?). moreover, i’ve yet to read a single article condemning Team Pacquiao* for rejecting OSTing or any truly dilgent attempt to dig deeper than Pacquiao’s* initial and utterly absurd excuses, which may be no more than wanting to avoid Floyd (for obviious reasons) or more sinister motives. anyway, what the antiquated testing does prove is that Marquez was no more or less “juiced” than Pacquiao* whose “initial” objections were the original red-flags when it comes to avoiding improved testing.after all, it’s Pacquiao* whose “greatness” is based on defeating bigger (albeit faded, ringworn, and/or contractually-compromised) fighters. conversely, Marquez has yet to defeat a single bigger fighter. somewhere along the line, the “experts” lost the plot and are now attempting to make Marrquez the trigger for investigation. irresponsible at best, truly pathetic and despicable bias at worst.

  19. David Matthew 12:54am, 12/16/2012

    A couple things:

    (1) I agree with the criticism of team-Pacquiao in regards to the way they (initially) danced around Olympic-tyle drug testing for the Mayweather clash.  I also was a critic of how that was handled, and it raised suspicion.  That said, Pacquiao has at least corrected that error in accepting such testing standards in a potential clash with Mayweather.

    (2) Nothing should be seen as “concluded” simply because Marquez passed an antiquated, urine test administered by the NSAC.  No blood work was done, no random testing during camp, no testing for HGH or olympic-style tests that are better equipped to detect designer substances.  In short, it was a simple pass to test, even for a cheater.  Now, I’m not saying Marquez cheated, but I’m certainly not willing to say that a singular urine test collected by the NSAC after the fight puts this issue to rest.

  20. Bodyshots 08:10am, 12/15/2012

    the recent test results confirm that Marquez was no less clean or “dirty”(?) than his opponent. meanwhile, if Pacquiao* demands to OSTing for a fifth matchup v. Marquez, it becomes obvious that it was Mayweather not “needles” that Pacquiao* was avoiding all along and what a ride Pacquiao’s* fanboys have been taken for (lol). Team Pacquiao* actually relies on stupid fanaticism to cover their boy’s pussy-footing tracks. even now Pacturds can’t stop whining and crying over drug testing they were vouching for just a couple of weeks ago to defend Pacquiao’s* integrity(?!). meanwhile, Pacquiao* needs to earn a fifth match v. Marquez. he’s coming off of three consecutive losses and this last one was conclusive. it ranks right up there with Marciano v. Walcott, Hearns v. Duran, Martinez v. Williams, Pacquiao* v. Hatton, Rahman v. Lewis. in fact, considering the context, i can confidently rank Marquez’s demolition of Pacquiao* as the Greatest KO in Boxing history, which provides their rivalry with a worthy bookend to the Biggest Choke in Boxing History. also provided courtesy of Pacquiao’s* limited boxing skills. Viva Marquez!

  21. Waks 03:07am, 12/15/2012

    Pacquiao focused on many many things while Marquez only focused and dedicated his life on defeating pacquiao for 4 months.

    That’s been the difference.

  22. THE THRESHER 04:34pm, 12/14/2012


  23. THE THRESHER 04:31pm, 12/14/2012

    BTW, will someone please tell me how marijuana is considered a PED?

  24. Mike Schmidt 03:47pm, 12/14/2012

    NSAC- Kizer has both Manny and JMM clean tests shown—end of story—enjoy a great fight, great KO, two great Champions, and congrats to Grand El Campeon Juan MM

  25. the thresher 04:56pm, 12/13/2012

    Mike, I was indeed an alter boyo!

  26. raxman 02:48pm, 12/13/2012

    irish - maravilla - old - late in his career - no history of one punch ko’s. juiced?
    mate i am just not feeling your jmm juiced argument. i admit i don’t want to. i was forced to turn on pac when he refused testing. this is the one sport that if you juice you should be banned for life - we’re punching people in the head for god sake - but that is why its important not to cast the stones without a hint of proof
    jmm’s S&C trainer has a history? who hasn’t? b-hop did time for armed rob - should he be a usual suspect everytime his local liqueor store gets gets taken off?

  27. raxman 02:40pm, 12/13/2012

    Mike S -  i’ll be onto that nov 16 2011 piece as soon as my boss leaves the office.

  28. Mike Schmidt 11:16am, 12/13/2012

    Wasn’t Don King?

  29. Mike Schmidt 10:39am, 12/13/2012

    That’s deep Bull—don’t tell me you were an alter boy in yer yoot were ya den.  You mean Libel and Slander don’t you…. heee heee

  30. Don from Prov 10:39am, 12/13/2012

    Hey—you just stole that from me!

    Who in turn stole it from
    Well, that’s the $10,000 question: Who originally wrote those words

  31. the thresher 10:09am, 12/13/2012

    “What we cannot speak about we must pass over in silence”—

  32. MIKE SCHMIDT 09:00am, 12/13/2012

    Urine samples will not be provided at anytime by Grand Campeon Marquez- this just in—“He keeps destroying the sample before testing—he keeps drinking his own piss-what ya gonna do.” LO.L Seriously though—great stuff David and obviously has brought some strong reaction—the real problem is going to be $$$$ (this is not the billion dollar Olympics or NF that have the means and mechanics to get it done) and how to set up unified enforcement—Senator McCain Sir please drop on in with a post anytime. As Bob Arum has said (and yes of course he is passing the buck-only one probably and certainly not 50 cent)—that is up to the Commish to decide and set up—they are the governing body for the rules of punching the other guy in the nose in your State—ah well David—if a guy like the good Senator goes down in flames on a National Boxing Body—good luck on the piss test business getting done—and god forgive somebody dies in the ring and it turns out the survivor fails his piss, blood etc etc tests—my oh my as my good friend Varela would say—“Schmeet the sheeeeeet is gooona hit the fan amigo.”

  33. David Matthew 08:12am, 12/13/2012

    I’ve truly appreciated the discussion, aficionados.  One thing is for certain:  If the minds in this Comments Section alone got together and invented solutions to the problem of how to administer fair testing re: PEDs, it would undoubtedly get done.  Your well-informed, nuanced, and original ideas are always enlightening.  -D. Math

  34. Gyp 04:15am, 12/13/2012

    Well done on the article. Don’t expect to get any thanks for it.

    As someone who followed the torrid Lance Armstrong affair from the early days, the attitudes displayed by many to the manifestation of this scourge in boxing is depressingly familiar.

    Any journalist who writes about PEDs, and who doesn’t treat it as an act of god, but rather highlights individuals of whom questions must be asked will be first ignored, then villified, then threatened. Those amongst the general public who register their skepticism will be labelled cynics, begrudgers, and a wide variety of other unpleasant titles.

    As far as last Saturday night goes, well I wanted Marquez to win. He is my favourite fighter, a boxing genius who had never had that glorious moment to crown his great career. Last November he was robbed of it by the judges, and when the judges robbed him of that moment, they robbed the boxing world of one of its greatest practitioners as well.

    That wasn’t the Juan Manuel Marquez I worshiped in the ring the other night. That was the product of the sport’s willingness to deal out unjust outcomes to its participants, and the sport’s unwillingness to ever shine a light in dark corners.

    For 20 years Marquez had shunned the Memo Heredias of this world, he had trusted in his own craft and peerless timing in the the ring and no doubt believed that in time he would get what he deserved. I guess he finally realised that nice guys don’t finish first.

  35. rob 10:56pm, 12/12/2012

    The “steroid controversy” relating to MP has been Mayweather running his mouth. What people forget or choose not to address is that for a number of years and weight classes, Pac’s weight in the ring has been remarkably consistent. From that, clearly it was more of a challenge to make the appreciably lower weights—which wouldn’t do good things for his or anyone’s body.

    Oh by the way, Mayweather has completely undermined his “argument” by pointing out that he’d have titles in just as many weight classes as Pac if he’d turned pro as a teen (like Pac did), rather than being an amateur for a longer period of time.

  36. Mike Schmidt 08:20pm, 12/12/2012

    Good post Eric and for the pleasure of those that have scene Juan M Marquez train in person—he is as high of an intensity kind of guy workout athlete that I have ever seen—his work ethic is old school hard hard

  37. Eric 06:30pm, 12/12/2012

    Don’t know how much time JMM has spent on lifting weights in the past, or if he did any weight training at all for that matter. However,  anyone who has ever lifted weights can tell you that for the first few months or even a year your body makes remarkable gains. Later on of course gains in musculature or strength will come much more slowly. People are talking about JMM squatting with a “ton” of weight on the show 24/7, while in reality it looked like maybe 275-300lbs at most and it looked as if he did something between a quarter and a half squat at that. Watching his training routine on the HBO show 24/7 and the amount of weight training, and other strength and conditioning exercises he performed surely explains his physique transformation. It would be unnatural if he didn’t reinvent his physique given the intensity and the amount of exercise he was doing for an extended length of time. Of course steroids do exist in the sports world and I’m sure there are people who know how to “beat” the testing procedures but from what I see and believe what JMM did with his physique is totally natural and nothing spectacular or unbelievable at all.

  38. Irish Frankie Crawford Beat Saijo (aka) Gimpel 06:26pm, 12/12/2012

    Raxman-No one is saying to a certainty that JMM was obsessed with the idea of finally having his hand raised in a fight with Manny. Or that he was willing to do just about anything to attain that goal. Or that a steroids dealer and snitch who operated under an alias was not a pure as the driven snow in this instance. Or that you and others on this site can’t diagram, diagnose, and dissect Saturday night’s fight to a fare thee well. But some who are not totally naive and ignorant or Pacman fanatics are simply saying this… it a perfect punch….say that Manny literally dived jaw first into this perfect punch…..the realty is this… in his entire career JMM never demonstrated the degree of explosive kayo power that he did last Saturday at age 39 and many years into his storied career….oh wait….I take it all back….I just remembered Likar Ramos….nothing suspicious about JMM’s punching power in that one that’s for sure.

  39. Mike Schmidt 06:22pm, 12/12/2012

    Rax if you click on my name here at and go to page seven of my articles from Nov 16 last year “Top Rank Media Week- Arum Style” my mention of Marquez and Manny running two days before fight at same time—PS neither guy acknowledged the other guy.

  40. Mike Schmidt 06:16pm, 12/12/2012

    Numero Uno—whether we agree or not—David fine writing—2) RAXMAN you are the man—your posts are superb—I can tell you this Rax—I met both Pac and Marquez for number three early in the morning running the UNLV track—Pac had his time late (wow what a surprise) and ended up running track at same time—dawn’s early light!!! Nacho was gracious enough to let me talk to JMM and get a nice picture together—JMM is a bigger boned dude—wrists, fists, back—he is a strong strong dude when you meet him up close.

  41. raxman 05:26pm, 12/12/2012

    correct me if i’‘m wrong. jmm had never really gone into the whole strength and conditioning side of boxing prior to the floyd fight? he’d fought at the lower weights, settling at 135 - a weight that given his starting around featherweight that you would imagine he would end up at feather to batam to light, and all the junior/supers in between.
    when he took the floyd fight and needed to put the 7 pounds on he had poor S&C coaching - he was bulky and slow and he returned to 135 for diaz #2 and katsidis
    now here is my question; wasn’t it only after katsidis, when a third fight with pac was mooted that jmm started working seriously at putting the pounds on? wasn’t it then that he starting training with his current strength and conditioning team? a keep in shape 1 rounder at 140pound (jmm weighed 138) whilst waiting for pac and then the S&C journey began, the destination a 144 catch weight fight with pac - a weight which at the time had us all worried for jmm as he’d looked awful carrying that weight vs FMj. had us all criticizing pac for not fighting jmm at a more reasonable 140pounds - again pac seemed to be stacking the deck w his catch weight demands.
    but come november 2011 jmm no longer looked bulky at the higher weight - like many a reasonable and even minded man i thought jmm was robbed of victory - however no matter what side of that fence you fall on, jmm was praised for the shape he (and his team) had got himself into. and there were no accusations of PEDs
    so given jmm has had a year longer to focus on S&C the way its meant to be used for boxing that it is in fact no only reasonable to believe him to be natural but most likely that he is?
    reasonable to think that given both fighters aggression in this fight as opposed #3 that a ko was likely? had pacquiao fought with same recklessness he’d have been ko’d in the last fight? had jmm not been on the end of questionable decisions he may not have been as aggressive himself?
    there are a load of reasons why this fight went the way it did. its a shame that PEDs is the main one being spoken about.
    a shame but not surprising. pacquiao’s fans have always been a stubborn and biased bunch, so its no wonder they’re all looking for a reason for this loss no to be real.

  42. alfredo 05:07pm, 12/12/2012

    Manny Pacquiao need to try Mayweather, and the winner of that fight will unify titles with Marquez.

  43. the thresher 04:33pm, 12/12/2012

    Be careful, David, I smell a trap.

  44. enrman 03:59pm, 12/12/2012

    Mr Matthew, I liked your comments about Marquez. It looks like you know what you are talking about. Just one question: how do you explain Pacquiao success jumping like 3 or 4 weight divisions with loosing speed or power ???. I think you should talk about that too.

  45. Mike Schmidt 02:23pm, 12/12/2012

    Somebody help me out—what was the wrongful death lawsuit that involved or alleged problem only one doctor who apparently had to supervise the whole card—Ted was that Stephan Johnson—anybody know how that turned out—interesting point David—what happens God forbid if a boxer dies and it turns out post factor that the other chap was using juice roids—UGLY UGLY—I still think John McMain and his push at the time for one national boxing oversee would have done wonders for the sport—just wonders.

  46. Mike Schmidt 02:12pm, 12/12/2012

    As per my post Witch Hunt refers and is in reference to JMM only—innocent until proven guilty—Let him enjoy a great victory—use the already caught and ample number of cheaters to push for appropriate tests—how they are financed is a whole different story—How does the I.O.C and its partner groups do it—Welll easy for them they are at any given time a 4 Billion dollar capital power group. Promters—hell they don’t want to pay for it- and unless it is limited to big Championship fights the smaller promoters will have big trouble expencing it out. Hell up to a few years past New York State did not even have a second Doctor available on its cards - help me out on that one Ted “Memory Bank”- did that all change with Stephan Johnson…. YES TESTING NEEDS TO TAKE PLACE- YES IT CHEATERS ABOUND- -NY EVIDENCE ON MARQUEZ THAT WOULD HOLD ANY WATER OR PEE PEE—NOPE

  47. Irish Frankie Crawford Beat Saijo (aka) Gimpel 01:22pm, 12/12/2012

    Through the years Manny has provided each and everyone writing and posting on this site with hours and hours of honest to God high drama pure excitement, and truly great entertainment….he has never disappointed. If the crushing obliteration that he suffered on Saturday was in fact the result of chemical warfare, it was not only dirty….it was an obscenity, it was vile, and it was loathsome.

  48. the thresher 01:03pm, 12/12/2012

    Look, I want to stay out of this issue but I did stumble across these three articles:

  49. the thresher 12:51pm, 12/12/2012

    Another view from another of my favorite writers:

    But mind you, I don’t want anyone to think that I am less than “ignorant” about this touchy subject.

  50. the thresher 12:47pm, 12/12/2012

    Here is an interesting take on the issue:

    Mind you, I am staying out of this because I do not deal in rumors. Someone fails a test, I’ll be on him like Toney at the buffet table. Someone is rumored to have taken PEDs because of his musculature, vascularity, ability to take crunching shots to the face without blinking, and otherwise iron-forged body, I’ll wonder about it but I won’t make accusations based on my wonderment.

  51. The Tache 10:58am, 12/12/2012

    As I commented on an article before the fight, when eyebrows were already raised about JMM’s new body, the only way to remove any controvesy is to have mandatory Olympic style testing for all championship fights. I think this is the point of the atricle rather than trying to smear JMM. I also believe it is possible for JMM to obtain his new muscle mass through different training and don’t assume he is juiced, but while the testing is so poor in boxing there will always be room for doubt and rumours. As for cost, I don’t accept that as an issue. Not many Olympians get paid 7 figure sums yet they all get tested the same, they must do 1000’s of tests. How hard can it be to test 2 guys?

  52. Mike Schmidt 10:12am, 12/12/2012

    Side note—look at the numbers on the Friday night fight in Vegas, the day before one of if not the biggest fight of the year. Correct me if I am wrong Fearless Editor—gate was $16,000- 434 give or take tickets sold—of course there is the Casino Location comp and the TV comp—but hey without that on a normal card—you are already losing money bigtime—annnnd then we get to who is paying for the tests part.

  53. Mike Schmidt 10:09am, 12/12/2012

    Understand David—great article but it seems a whole lot of folks are painting pictures around Grand El Campeion without of course connecting the paint dots. What peculiar developments are you referring to “before and durning” the fight. In terms of the KO clean and simple Manny got himself wayyyy out of position and got starched by a guy who by the by has a better K0 %.  Not much of a whisper when Manny moved up and starched the likes of Hatton.  You’re bang on David on testing but easier said than done—who pays—do you do them for all fights—what about regional fights—Promoters would not even remotely in most cases have the money to cover tests across a card—if they did will they pass it on the fighter—what about some poor bugger fighting a four rounder for the usual max of grand total $1,000—he also gives up the usual 40% split between his manager and trainer—does it pass to him—if you take your fighters to most areas the Commish is underfunded by the gov.—they don’t have the $$$ to run proper tests—around it goes in a circle. PS Val we can’t do a pee pee test on JMM—he drinks it all up!!!! Just kidding

  54. Irish Frankie Crawford Beat Saijo (aka) Gimpel 09:50am, 12/12/2012

    This is the most basic of all “sports” and therefore appeals to the most basic of instincts within us. Do you think for a New York minute the adoring multitudes in Mexico City that greeted JMM give a shit if he cheated….their guy won baby….their guy won and that’s all that matters!

  55. Irish Frankie Crawford Beat Saijo (aka) Gimpel 09:39am, 12/12/2012

    David Matthew-Beautifully done! Yet there are some on this site saying in effect don’t jump to conclusions when they really mean don’t bother to even look into it because you’re just gonna spoil it for everyone. These same paragons of fairness and reason would piss and moan if they lost a tiddleywinks match to an opponent who showed up with a thumb a tad bit thicker than usual!

  56. David Matthew 08:34am, 12/12/2012

    This isn’t about witch-hunting - nor is it about only looking at Marquez and trying to scapegoat him.  As stated in the article, I want to believe his new physique and shocking punching power is the sole result of organic training, unbelievable commitment in training camp to power/strength/velocity, and determination.  I think it’s possible that Marquez had the camp of his life - but there are too many things staring us in our face that it’s hard to just turn away, wipe our hands clean, and act like everything is normal.  As Yank pointed out, it is and has been a case of willful ignorance on the part of those In The Know - who realize something has been going on for a while but have conveniently parked that concern in the subconscious.  This is not an accusation - it’s about pointing out the lack of testing in the fight, and the peculiar developments that took place both before and during the fight.  It was a tremendous fight, but I actually think knockouts like that are bad for the sport - particularly if those knockouts are not the product of organic training and clean power.

  57. Val 08:26am, 12/12/2012

    PED is better than PEE

  58. MIKE SCHMIDT 07:11am, 12/12/2012

    PS Gents—I thought Witch Hunting and Salem days went out with Judge Corbon a lonnnng time ago. The issue is not Marquez—that’s for some crybaby types that do not like the fight result—Manny got caught with a shot not once but twice by a guy that has a KO percentage as good or better than his—the real issue is to have appropriate tests implemented—don’t use Marquez as the sword or cross—you have plenty of cheaters that have already been Balco’d out of the Park for your precedent.

  59. Mike Schmidt 07:05am, 12/12/2012

    Would the same elephant be in the room if Manny knocked out JMM Saturday night—NOT—Marquez is a great Champion, as WAS MANNY, and should be accorded the victory as such. VIVA MEHEEEEECO!! Innocent until proven guilty and that is not going to happen in this case so time to move on! I think the more interesting item is how Erik Morales was allowed to fight when pre-testing was available BEFORE THE FIGHT—What is happening post fight on that one—how did that fight get to go forward? Mr T. Hauser of course covered this PED business in very very detailed fashion the past few weeks—The Commish need to tighten things up.

  60. Lee 05:03am, 12/12/2012

    For me the most telling moment of the fight was when Pacquiao came out for the fourth after being dropped so spectacularly in the previous round, and his eyes glanced momentarily upward to heaven as if calling on his God to infuse his spirit with all of those dynamite qualities that have made him so legendary, as if he knew that now more than ever he needed them.

  61. the thresher 04:51am, 12/12/2012

    Great stuff, David.

    I sense there may be a lot of denial out there on the part of Pactards who now seem to have become zombies running wild on the street. Too many articles (not this one) have been devoted to the PED’s issue thus taking away from what was a FOTY and energizing the Paczombies. I had to zigzag through traffic to avoid them and escape with my life.

    Fact is, Pac looked pretty strong in there himself and was punishing Marquez before the end came. I am a Pactard, but I can now live with what I saw. The better man won on Saturday night.

  62. Napoleon Nalcot 03:08am, 12/12/2012

    Perhaps this would help people understand why Pacquiao have lost: Many people, and the whole boxing world, were shocked when Pacquiao fell with face towards the canvas against Marquez’s well-timed right counter (a short semi-right hook) at the remaining seconds of round number six. How did Marquez get such a power infused onto his system, his arsenal (the right hand in particular)? Is he on something? As we can see, Marquez got bigger and he has built up excellent muscles in only such a short period of time he looks like he’s more of a body builder now than a boxer. But whether he’s on to something or not, we must also try to see the fact that, in this fourth encounter with his arch-rival Pacquiao, he has so much worked hard for it and prepared in a way that can motivate him to only think of winning.

    Marquez is the better boxer but he’s not as strong as the Pacman. That’s why he changed things in the training camp. He hired an expert strength and conditioning coach to do the job for him. I think the proper application of plyometric exercises and lifting weights, aside from the overall nutritional factor, to a boxer’s training regimen have worked wonders for Marquez. His fighting style he has just left it at that, knowing he’s always good at what he’s already better at, but focus more on trying to add up some power in his punches. And as the saying goes “you can’t teach new tricks to an old dog”, but you can always try to improve things out though. Marquez has just proven it to us in his fourth outing with the Filipino boxing icon.

    I’m not going to say that Pacquiao did not train as hard as Marquez, or was not that sharp as he can be during the fight. But Pacquiao, as what was his strength and conditioning coach Alex Ariza have been telling before the fight, has abandoned the plyometric exercises he was supposed to necessarily undergo with and concentrate more on boxing techniques with trainer Freddie Roach instead. Pacquiao has fought a good fight and has nearly busted the lights off from Marquez if not for that single punch the Mexican was able to throw in the remaining few seconds of the sixth round that changed it all. We need to praise Marquez for the victory he so deserved and for Pacquiao, we owe him respect for putting up a good fight and may this one served him a lesson, there’s always a next time. So he must better luck for the Pacquiao-Marquez 5, if that fight will ever happen.

  63. Dr.Rostum G, Aquino 01:29am, 12/12/2012

    Yes me too was surprised why Marquez hired a PEDS notorious guy for his fight against the PACMAN, They knew in the first place that this will create suspicion on his part., Let Marquez himself answer that question.The thing is MEMO knows best the science of juicing, thats why he himself reveals that he can allude any kind of dope testing. I have a very strong feeling that something fishy is going on in that fight. Hope KARMA will not hunt Marquez in the future.

  64. Selanne 12:11am, 12/12/2012

    I’d love to see a 5th figth between these guys but I wonder if it’s possible to equal the drama, shock and suspense of this fight.

  65. boxingfan 11:55pm, 12/11/2012

    @bodyshots yeah! ironically, Lamont Peterson and Andre Berto; these fighters accept the OSDT testing and turned out positive about the illegal drugs.

  66. Juan 11:49pm, 12/11/2012

    Marquez team said they are willing to submit to any type of drug testing, but the problem here is he got the SNITCH MEMO HEREDIA who once admitted he can beat any type of test.

    lets be real, Marquez is desperate, why hire somebody like HEREDIA, he’s not a coach, he’s a chemist.

  67. Takeo 11:05pm, 12/11/2012

    Hi, I too was massively surprise in pacquiao vs Marquez 4, the difference between pacquiao conditioning coach Alex ariza was ariza was unknown until he was hired by pacquiao and never been involved in related drugs but no angel memo Hernandez is well known way back to Marian Jones Olympic year in which NO ANGEL MARQUEZ HERERRA admittedly supplied drugs to well known athletes that won gold medals and beat OSDT, also NO ANGEL MARQUEZ HERERRA admitted he can beat any type of testing, this is why I based my opinion that HULK MARQUEZ WAS JUICED but without evidence.

  68. David Matthew 10:11pm, 12/11/2012

    Thank you, sir.  You know we will.  #Salute

  69. Bodyshots 09:40pm, 12/11/2012

    nonetheless, continue to fight the good fight Mr. Matthew. i support it but there seems to be never-ending layers of obstruction and corruption that prevent this cause from gaining traction. it’s supposed to be a no-brainer but nobody wants mandates or regulations. not even when it’s for everybody’s own good.

  70. Bodyshots 09:31pm, 12/11/2012

    at the moment, i’m satisifed with OSTesting upon request but if neither fighter requests it, let the contest begin! however, i do consider a refusal to submit to presumably harmless testing to be a red-flag. thus far, Pacquiao* is the only fighter that i can name whose done that.anyway, i’ll sit out the ensuing discussion/debate regarding the tedious details of this and/or alternate systems to discourage juicing. those discussions are the reason i finally resigned myself to leaving it up to the fighters who, depending on the stakes, must be trusted to make the right decision on behalf of their own well-being. perhaps making this abundantly clear is all that’s needed.

  71. David Matthew 09:07pm, 12/11/2012

    This definitely isn’t aimed to scapegoat Marquez at all.  In fact, as stated in the article, I still believe it’s plausible that he’s absolutely clean and just flat-out had the training camp of his life—but there are just too many suspicious elements to this equation that I feel it requires further investigation.  And yes - ironic as it is - Pacquiao is on the other end of the controversy this time.  Any investigation should not simply be aimed at Marquez, but at Pacquiao and other fighters as well - so that we can modernize how testing is administered and learn about the substances that can evade detection - because they exist and guys are taking them.

  72. Bodyshots 09:02pm, 12/11/2012

    i support an investigaion of Boxing but i don’t think that Marquez should be scapegoated for its findings. besides, i do believe that Marquez and Pacquiao* were able to naturally bulk-up particularly since they could afford state-of-the-art training. i assume the same of Martinez who also yanked a memorable socket v. the notoriously durable Williams. Hatton, Williams, Pacquiao*? they could be cause for concern or examples of fine and precise punching form(?). nonetheless, what raised a red-flag with me about Pacquiao* was his refusal to submit to harmless and mutually-applied testing to face his primary P4P rival and collect a multimillion dollar payday. conversely, Marquez was practically taunting Team Pacquiao* with his public assertions that he was willing to take “Any tests. Any time. I have nothing to hide”. an offer (challenge?) that Team Pacquiao* didn’t take him up on. that alone takes Marquez beyond the crosshairs for me. accordingly, Hell Yeah. let’s investigate our favorite Sport.

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