Juan Manuel Marquez was subjected to skepticism in December when the newly buffed-up multichampion boxer knocked Manny Pacquiao out stone cold, the first time Pacquaio hit the canvas in the pair’s five fights.
Now, Marquez, in advance of his Oct. 12 world welterweight title fight at Thomas and Mack Center in Las Vegas against Palm Springs’ Timothy Bradley, is due to be subjected to an unspecified number of random drug tests.
There remains, however, some questions about who will preside over the testing.
“I want to prove I’m a clean fighter,” said Marquez (55-6-1, 40 knockouts), who’ll turn 40 on Aug. 23. “Bradley asks for it. I say no problem.”
It also might be a problem for Marquez to ask for another supplemental condition to be inserted into already signed contracts.
Marquez said he wants Bradley (30-0, 12 KOs) to agree not to weigh more than 10 pounds over his Oct. 11 weigh-in weight on fight night.
“What Bradley wants to do” (i.e., testing) “is not a rule for the fight and,” a fight-night weight stipulation “is not a rule for the fight,” Marquez said. “If I do it, he should do it. Bradley is too big.”
Bradley became visibly agitated at the suggestion that Marquez would resist testing if Bradley doesn’t abide by a weight condition.
“He’s going to get tested,” Bradley said. “If Marquez doesn’t get tested, then no fight. If I’m doing,” testing by the U.S. Anti-Doping Agency and the Voluntary Anti-Doping Assn., “then he needs to do both, too.”
Bradley’s wife, Monica, who presides over the details of her husband’s contracts, said the current contracts state USADA and VADA will be involved in testing.
But fight promoter Bob Arum said he wants to tweak that language to make the Nevada State Athletic Commission responsible for overseeing testing, with full blood and the more detailed Carbon Isotope Ratio (CIR) screening for testosterone used, if necessary.
“Whatever the expense, we’ll pay it,” Arum said of the Nevada involvement. “They’re the regulatory body. If VADA or USADA get a positive, so? But if the regulatory agency does, then they decide what to do with it.”
Arum said he was confident he could ease whatever concern Bradley might have with the change in testing plans, and added he did not intend to insert the weight stipulation.
“Bradley no way will come in 10 pounds heavier,” Arum said. “He’s a natural 140-pounder.”
Nevada State Athletic Commission Executive Officer Keith Kizer said Arum made the testing request on Monday, and Kizer said Arum’s company must now make a formal request of the commission to proceed.
Before he beat Pacquiao, Marquez was never tested while training in Mexico under the direction of conditioning coach and former BALCO figure Angel “Memo” Heredia. Marquez gave pre- and post-fight urine samples instead on fight week.
Marquez said he would work with Heredia again for this fight as he seeks a fifth weight class world title, unprecedented for a Mexican fighter.
“I work very hard in Mexico,” Marquez said. “It’ll be like the same training camp I had for Pacquiao, except speed is more important for this fight. Speed is most important.”