If there’s one thing AFRO sports writers Perry Green and Stephen D. Riley enjoy more than reporting on sports, it’s arguing about them. These two sports addicts debate over just about every sports headline that comes across their desk, so AFRO.com decided to let its viewers in on the fun.
Check out Perry and Stephen debate whether or not superstar boxer Floyd Mayweather is wrong for demanding Olympic-style drug testing before he fights fellow boxing icon Manny Pacquiao, and don’t forget to add your own opinion in on the big fuss.
Debate Topic: Is Floyd Mayweather out of line for demanding Olympic-style drug testing before he fights Manny Pacquiao?
SDR: Mayweather’s effort to “clean up the sport of boxing” is a nice gesture but thankfully, it’s not needed. Not when you have a full board of directors and chairmen who are actually assigned to “clean up the sport of boxing” through various rules and procedures.
Mayweather should rest assured that he doesn’t have to stress about moonlighting as a drug counselor while operating as a highly-acclaimed boxer. Strange how a man who’s fought in over 40 fights in his career didn’t become Captain Crusader against drugs in boxing until the road he was traveling led him face to face with Pacquiao.
PG: The professional standards of today’s athletes are a lot different than the past, and they should be examined and dealt with as so. To say that Floyd is wrong for demanding better drug testing in today’s world is like saying NFL commissioner Roger Goodell is wrong for suspending football players for violations that they once were never punished for in the past. Sure, Mayweather is no boxing commissioner, but he’s actually far more important to the boxing industry than any commissioner of the past or present. He’s the big ticket; the money train. He’s a guaranteed Pay-Per-View hit and has been for the past half decade. Hundreds of millions of dollars are made off of his reputation in the ring, so as a business man, he must protect his entity. And what better way to protect your business as a professional fighter than making sure no foul play occurs on your watch.
SDR: The only thing Mayweather is protecting is his face. People wouldn’t have such a problem with Mayweather’s new lease on drug testing had he came into the association preaching his thoughts on It from the start, but he didn’t. His soap opera dramatization didn’t start until recently and Pacquiao should be offended. Mayweather isn’t the only big ticket item in boxing. Pacquiao’s name rings wide in the homes of boxing fans everywhere but you don’t see him hand picking boxers he wants to fight and which ones he wants to administer drug tests to. Not only should Pacquiao avoid a compromise on the blood testing but he should avoid an Olympic-style drug test all together. What kind of precedent is being set when a boxer can just run around and pretty much accuse other fighters of taking drugs with no proof and no reason?
PG: We’ve seen how Shane Mosley used steroids undetected, and no one knew until he admitted under pressure to the usage five years later. No one knows if Pacquiao is juicing or not, but he’s at the peak of his career at the same age Mosley used performance enhancing drugs. Both boxers saw their greatest success near age 31, and that may be no coincidence. They both had substandard drug testing heading into their fights. Mayweather knows this, which explains why he wants Olympic-style drug testing to make sure he isn’t doing business with cheaters.
SDR: Mosley’s bout with steroids happened in 2003 and he even admitted to it then, although the papers weren’t released to the public until November 2008. But regardless, Mosley’s situation is his situation, not anybody else’s. And even after Mosley’s drug bout became public, Mayweather still fought Ricky Hatton in December 2008, not one word about a drug test. Mayweather then fought Juan Manuel Marquez September 2009, any mention of a drug test? Nope! And why not? Probably because Mayweather knew he could just breeze through both fighters– and he did.
But now when an opponent arrives who he knows he just can’t breeze through, he now wants Olympic-style drug testing imposed? Come on! The only reason he required Mosley to subject to a test is because he had already backed himself into a corner with the Pacquiao fallout and from now until the time he retires again, Mayweather will be forced to require all of his opponents to take Olympic-style drug tests or risk his reputation being obliterated.
PG: I don’t think Mayweather has a problem with demanding Olympic-style testing for perhaps the short remainder of his career. But I wouldn’t say he all of a sudden demanded the tests because he feels Pac is more of a threat than his most recent opponents. I think he can spot a juicer when he sees one, just like any typical hardcore sports fan. I didn’t need drug tests to realize Mark McGwire was juicing after knocking in 70 homeruns. It was common sense! I didn’t need drug testing to realize Shawne Merriman was cheating when he had 17-plus sacks in only 12 games of play; it was pretty obvious. Same common sense applies to Pac-man, and until he gives us a negative blood test, I’m convinced that he might be cheating.
SDR: In the NFL there’s a saying that no man is bigger than the shield. Shouldn’t the same be applied to boxing? Is Mayweather bigger than the sport just because he’s one of the headline names? It’s amazing to me how a boxer can just set his own measuring sticks and map his own escape routes without someone stepping up and ruling against it. Mayweather believes he’s the greatest boxer ever; better than Muhammad Ali, better than Sugar Ray Robinson. OK Floyd, if that’s how you feel then cut with the gimmicks and get in the ring.
PG: It’s a difference when you’re playing a team sport and an individual sport. NFL players don’t have the power to negotiate regulations heading into competition, but the owner of their team does. Well, the owner of Team-Mayweather is Floyd himself. And if the league he competes in needs cleaning up, it’s up to him to make sure the cleaning gets done. Else he would be putting his team—and himself, in jeopardy.