Manny Pacquiao’s history with performance enhancing drug testing is a matter of public record. He was vehemently against committing himself to a stringent examination when Floyd Mayweather Jr. initially requested it. Then when Mayweather dismissed the Filipino star and moved on to other potential opponents, he relented and agreed to it.
Only by that point it was too late.
Then Mayweather requested even more strict testing guidelines, and Pacquiao balked again. Rinse and repeat that process for three years and you get to where we are in the here and now.
Pacquiao is currently coming off a knockout loss to Juan Manuel Marquez. Heading into their fourth bout, Pacquiao and Marquez had fought to some very controversial decisions. Different people had different fighters winning each one, but no matter who you thought prevailed, there was no denying that the matches typically went the same way. Nobody came close to knocking the other guy out.
Prior to last December’s showdown, Marquez began working with a known and admitted PED peddler. After working with said peddler for months, Marquez emerged from training camp boasting a sculpted body and newfound power. He subsequently used that power to knock Pacquiao out.
With that experience still fresh in his mind, Pacquiao requested stringent PED testing for this November’s showdown against Brandon Rios. The fact that Rios has ties to the same PED peddler no doubt played a part in this decision.
While nobody can blame Pacquiao for taking the necessary precautions heading into his next match, it is funny that he finally sees why Mayweather wanted strict drug testing for their prospective bout. It’s an issue that doesn’t matter until it does.
Mayweather looked at the way Pacquiao jumped divisions and felt there was something strange about it. He had no proof, just like Pacquiao has no proof about Marquez or Rios being on anything. But he didn’t want to risk his unblemished record against someone who may be dirty. If everyone is clean then there should be no problems with anyone submitting to a test, he thought. But Pacquiao didn’t want to give in to those requests because he didn’t see why PED testing would be important.
Now he does.
Too bad that realization is coming three years too late.