The lead-up to Manny Pacquiao and Juan Manuel Marquez has featured the usual performance enhancing drug talk, but it's been Marquez in the crosshairs this time. Pacquiao trainer Freddie Roach made the accusations initially, saying "If (Marquez's body) is natural, I will kiss his ass. ... (Marquez) has gotten bigger and gained weight — it throws up a red flag."
Scott Christ of SB Nation's boxing blog Bad Left Hook discussed the accusation at the time:
It is frankly somewhat remarkable that Roach would so easily throw the accusation around -- he says he "hates" to do so, since so many of his fighters have been accused, but he said it anyway. He's gone on record. It's almost laughable that he would use "he's gotten bigger and gained weight" as a "red flag," considering his fighter Manny Pacquiao has done the same but with even more stunning success since 2008.
It really was dripping with irony given that Roach's language was basically exactly the same as the Floyd Mayweather camp used when talking about Manny. That talk from Mayweather led to a defamation lawsuit which was later settled.
Not surprisingly, Marquez strength and conditioning coach Memo Hernandez has said (via Boxing Scene) that they'd be suing for the accusation:
"The fact is, I'm going straight to the federal laws, and I talked to my lawyers yesterday and it is a fact that Freddie Roach will be sued for defamation. We are ready to proceed."
Another part of Roach's statements were that they offered to do additional drug testing for the fight but the Marquez camp turned it down.
This is something that Top Rank's Bob Arum is now shooting down (Boxing Scene again):
"Nobody suggested drug testing on either side until the issue came up this week. Because if the fighters had wanted drug testing I would've given the issue to the commission provided the commission would fund and the commission would've run pre-fight blood and urine tests. But nobody asked me."
Arum is living in a boxing world that simply doesn't exist when it comes to drug testing. VADA has been very successful, with positive tests from Andre Berto and Lamont Peterson, and is developing a solid reputation. Of course, drug testing that catches people and leads to punishment isn't actually what promoters want. Which is why Top Rank rival Golden Boy Promotions has taken to a preference for USADA. After all, when Erik Morales tested positive before his last fight they simply let him test until they got a clean result.
The commissions aren't going to do blood testing, and they certainly aren't going to do it if they have to pay for it. For Arum to act as though it would need to be paid for by the commission is crazy. Given the millions and millions of dollars involved in a fight like this, something like $20,000 (or even more) to do legitimate testing. You know...if it were actually something they wanted to do.
You can follow all of our Pacquiao vs. Marquez 4 fight week coverage right here, or you can follow the tremendous SB Nation boxing blog Bad Left Hook for their in depth coverage.