Juan Manuel Marquez beat Manny Pacquiao fair and square last year. Regardless of how you feel about his brand new sculpted physique heading into that bout, despite the fact that he developed it after beginning to work with a known PED peddler, his post-fight drug test results came back clean. That’s the only thing that matters. If the tests are clean, for the sake of boxing history – so was his victory.
With that out of the way, here are the facts: Marquez, at 39 years old, showed up to his fourth match against Pacquiao looking more ripped than he ever had before; he got ripped after extensively working with Angel "Memo" Heredia; Heredia, a.k.a. Angel Hernandez, is a known steroids pusher; Freddie Roach, prior to Pacquiao-Marquez, suggested that Marquez was on something before backpedaling. Draw whatever conclusions from those indisputable facts you want, but nothing anyone says or does can make them any less indisputable.
Last December, Pacquiao put on a noticeably more impressive performance than he had in his prior three fights. In the sixth round of a bout he was winning on every judge’s scorecard, he walked into a perfectly-timed counterpunch from Marquez. Mind you, Marquez is one of the best counterpunchers in the sport today, and someone who has hit Pacquiao with the same shot tens of times. Never once did it previously knock the Filipino star out. This time it did.
Now, as a result of what happened last December, Pacquiao will go into his next fight against Brandon Rios a little smarter. In an interview with Boxing Scene, Michael Koncz acknowledged that his team “requested the USADA testing” for this match. Why did they do this? Well, while nobody offered any specifics, it’s probably safe to assume that it had something to do with Rios’ links to Heredia.
Will USADA testing change the outcome of this fight? Who knows. Will it even prevent either of these guys from doping if they really want to? Probably not. But the mere fact that Pacquiao is requesting it says a lot. It’s probably as close as he’ll ever come to accusing Marquez of not being all natural in what was presumably their final fight.