Manny Pacquiao and Juan Manuel Marquez both agreed to be drug tested for their fourth fight. Both guys’ tests came back clean. Those are the facts. Anything beyond the reality of what happened is pure speculation and gossip.
With that in mind: a lot of people have been and still are suspicious about Marquez coming into his Dec. 8 showdown against his biggest rival boasting a brand new, much more muscular physique. After losing two fights in a row to Pacquiao because his fantastic counterpunches lacked the power necessary to knock anyone out, Marquez earned his lone victory over his Filipino foe because an admitted PED peddler helped him attain more muscle and strength at age 39 than he had ever previously had.
You will recall, a couple of days after Pacquiao-Marquez IV, I posed the following questions:
How did Marquez, at age 39, come into this thing boasting unquestionably his most muscular physique ever? What role did Angel Hernandez (a.k.a. Angel Guillermo "Memo" Heredia), a man who previously admitted to providing the likes of Marion Jones and Justin Gatlin with performance-enhancing drugs (PEDs), play in helping Marquez attain that physique? Why did an admittedly spectacular right that Marquez had thrown and landed countless times over their four fights against one another knock Pacquiao out cold this time?
Well, during a recent interview with MMA Mania, UFC light heavyweight contender Chael Sonnen expressed a lot of the same concerns.
"Pacquiao got hit by a guy who miraculously went through puberty a second time at 39 years old. He got hit by a guy that showed up with more power at 39 than he had in any of the previous fights. He had a 6 pack that he never had before,” Sonnen said.
“There's two tests that you have, Jim. You've got the pee test, but you've also got the visual test. When you take your robe off and you get in the ring that's your first test. And to act as if all of us didn't go, 'Something's going on there.' No, I haven't said that (he's on PEDs), but I sure came close, didn't I?”
Sonnen then pointed out that Freddie Roach, Pacquiao’s trainer, also expressed concerns about Marquez’s new sculpted body before Dec. 8.
“I know that Freddy Roach did. I know Freddy Roach said, 'If that body's clean, I kiss your ass.' But you gotta understand, all substances aren't illegal. Did he take something? Sure, he did. Did he take something illegal? Well, according to the test, no. I just know you don't go through puberty twice and I'll leave it at that."
Again – the drug test results came back clean. As Floyd Mayweather Jr. learned the hard way, accusing folks of being on PEDs with absolutely zero evidence is risky business. That being said: there is a reason so many people are suspicious.
What do you think: does Sonnen have a valid point?
(Kudos MMA Mania)