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Wednesday, January 27, 2010

Manny Pacquiao – Joshua Clottey: A Great Showdown and Steroid Speculation

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By Geno McGahee

Steroids & Boxing

The Manny Pacquiao allegations still linger over boxing and the public is divided somewhere around the middle. It will not affect the upcoming pay per view showdown with Joshua Clottey. The show will go on and it will be very successful. Clottey is a great opponent…far better than Paulie Malignaggi or Yuri Foreman, two other considered challengers.

Clottey has a much better chance to upset the “Pacman” then Ricky Hatton or Miguel Cotto did. His tight defense and consistency is something that Pacquiao will have to figure out. What Team Pacquiao is counting on, I’m sure, is the susceptibility of Clottey to straight punches. That straight left hand coming down the pike would do some serious damage to Clottey, or so they hope. Cotto was able to drop Clottey with a jab. Manny punches very hard and is very quick and his straight left is more powerful than any jab. Clottey will have to be extra defensive and use a very disciplined style, which he seems to do naturally anyway.

The steroid allegation has made many other boxers’ misdeeds resurface, proving that this is not an isolated incident and there should possibly be stricter guidelines.

Jameel McCline, the 4-Time Heavyweight Title Challenger, received more than 12,000 worth of steroids (Stanozolol, nandrolone, testosterone, and tamoxifen) in 2005 and 2006. He never tested positive for any substance, which means that he knew how to play the game and avoid positive testing while using.

James Toney, former Middleweight, Super Middleweight, and Cruiserweight Champion won the WBA Heavyweight Title in 2005 with a decision over then champion, John Ruiz, but would test positive for stanozolol and the decision would be turned into a no contest. Toney insisted that he was given the steroid by a doctor and didn’t knowingly cheat. He would test positive again in 2007 for boldenone and stanozolol.

Shane Mosley, multiple division champion, admitted using steroids prior to 2003, although he stated that he did so without knowledge. Many in the Mosley camp during this time beg to differ. Mosley stated to a grand jury in 2003 that he injected himself with EPO prior to his second bout with Oscar De La Hoya.

Former WBO Heavyweight Champion, Tommy Morrison, admitted using steroids to get an edge on his competition.

Recently, another former WBO Heavyweight Champion, Shannon Briggs tested positive for an illegal substance, although he claims that is was his asthma medication. No further details have emerged.

In 2002, former IBF Light Middleweight Champion, Fernando Vargas, tested positive for stanozolol after a bout with Oscar De La Hoya.

In a competitive sport where millions of dollars can be made, there will be steroid abuse and there will be controversies with loaded gloves and crooked judges. It is unfortunate that boxing has this dark cloud and especially as it hangs over the most popular and best fighter in the game, Manny Pacquiao. At this time, we have to believe Manny to be innocent until proven guilty but some would argue that he has not acted like an innocent man. Time should tell us the truth. For now, we can look ahead to the Pacquiao-Clottey showdown and hope for a great fight.

Allan Green in the Super Six

The Showtime super middleweight tournament lost a fighter in Jermain Taylor. He was scheduled to take on Andre Ward for the WBA Super Middleweight Title and for more points in the tournament, but bowed out after a knockout loss to Arthur Abraham in his first appearance. Allan Green has been eager to get into the tournament and felt that he belonged more so than many of the accepted competitors. He has only lost once in 2007 to Edison Miranda, and when you figure in his medical condition, you can forgive it. He has been flawless since.

Now slated is Allan Green, 29-1, 20 KO’s, as he challenges for the WBA Crown against Andre Ward, 21-0, 13 KO’s, on April 17th. Ward was lightly regarded prior to his title winning performance against tournament favorite, Mikkel Kessler. Now he is a big favorite to not only defeat Green but to go all the way.

Make no mistake, Ward looked great in his fight with Kessler. He used cagy tactics and timing to befuddle and subdue the strong champion en route to a technical decision. Ward fights like a veteran and knows many tricks and although he stands in front of his opponent, he proves hard to hit. Green will have to solve that and is quick enough to find him.

Jermain Taylor is a great fighter but he most likely would not have been mentally in the fight with Ward and would have lost a wide decision. Green is not only mentally in this fight, it’s an opportunity he’s been awaiting his entire career. He has a huge punch and great timing. If his timing is great enough to catch Ward, we will have a new champion and even more excitement in this tournament. This is a great turn for the event.


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