When news broke last week that Manny Pacquiao’s camp was request USADA testing for the Brandon Rios fight, critics jumped at the opportunity to call him a hypocrite. He famously spurned Floyd Mayweather Jr.’s attempts at securing Olympic-style drug testing for their proposed dream match at one point, so him requesting it now struck folks the wrong way.
Unfortunately, the comparison between what Pacquiao is doing now and Mayweather did then fails on multiple levels.
When Mayweather asked for Olympic-style drug testing a few years ago, there was literally zero reason to believe that Pacquiao was on something. The sole justification presented for the request was Pacquiao’s ability to succeed at different weight classes. Essentially, Mayweather’s argument in favor of enhanced, rigorous drug testing was: He’s too awesome to be doing this naturally.
Pacquiao’s request, however, is rooted in fact. Rios is currently working with a known PED peddler in Angel Heredia, a.k.a. Angel Hernandez. This is the same guy who gave Juan Manuel Marquez a brand new body at age 39, and whose history of shadiness really speaks for itself.
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Whereas Mayweather's enhanced drug testing request was based solely on instinct; Pacquiao’s is based on written, indisputable history. Heredia his given his guys stuff before. Rios is currently one of his guys. Hence the suspiciousness.
Now, with that being said, the fact that Mayweather’s request wasn’t rooted in anything legitimate doesn’t mean that Pacquiao had to be such a big baby about it. He ultimately agreed to the testing, but it was well after Mayweather took the offer off the table.
Regardless of how you feel about Pacquiao, Mayweather, Rios, Marquez or Heredia, though, it’s hard to dispute the fact that you’re pretty much comparing apples and oranges when you’re stacking these PED requests against one another.