Words: Robert Delgado – Los Angeles
Photo: Chris Farina/Top Rank
With the collapse of two high-profile fights – Victor Ortiz versus Andre Berto II coupled with the Lamont Peterson and Amir Khan rematch – drug-testing continues to be one of boxing’s hot topics and, ahead of his duel with WBO welterweight world champion Manny Pacquiao on June 9 at the MGM Grand Garden Arena in Las Vegas, undefeated Californian challenger Timothy Bradley has stated that clean fighters should have no issue with blood testing.
“Drug testing was never brought up during our negotiations,” said Bradley (28-0-0, 12ko), revealing the only testing both fighters have been subject to will be by the Nevada State Athletic Commission. The 28-year-old, though, would have wanted more: “Is it something I would like? Sure, I wouldn’t mind.
“If you are clean, you shouldn’t have a problem taking the test. I’m not worried. Pacquiao is Pacquiao. I don’t know if Pacquiao ever used steroids or not, you know, bring it on. His last couple performances have not been that great.”
Pacquiao (54-3-2, 38ko) was once considered the undoubted pound-for-pound champion, however, an underwhelming performance over Shane Mosley (unanimous decision; May, 2011) followed by a narrow and inconclusive victory over long-time rival Juan Manuel Marquez (unanimous decision; November, 2011) have left question marks over the Filipino’s grip on that accolade.
“Personal problems can definitely affect a fighter in the ring,” said Bradley of the vices and troubles that were cited as distractions that led to a sub-par but still triumphant Pacquiao.
“Mentally you have to be dialed in and be focused. If not, it will take a toll on you in the ring. You need to be dialed in on what you need to do. If that’s the excuse he is using then I believe it. Marquez has that style that gives you fits and they have fought three times already and each was a very close fight. I think Marquez just knows how to fight him.”