Many people had many choice words for currently incarcerated Floyd Mayweather Jr. when he demanded Olympic-style drug testing for a proposed bout with Manny Pacquiao.
Mayweather was criticized by many for trying to impose new rules, while some theorized that the undefeated welterweight was trying to weasel his way out of the bout.
That’s not the case anymore as several fighters have requested Olympic-style drug testing before their bouts in recent months. Industry insiders expect to see more fighters submit to random pre-fight drug testing in the near future.
WBO junior featherweight champ Nonito Donaire (28-1, 18 KOs), who’s set to take on IBF belt holder Jeffrey Mathebula (26-3-2, 14 KOs) on Saturday night on HBO, has undergone pre-fight testing.
“I decided to do this because I wanted to show that all of the things I have done, I have done through hard work,” said Donaire. “I want to show honesty towards my fans. A lot of guys have been getting caught, but I just wanted to prove to my fans that the things I have done I have done by myself.”
Junior welterweight Lamont Peterson and welterweight Andre Berto recently tested positive for illegal substances. Mathebula didn't participate in random testing, but Donaire didn't have a problem with it.
"He is welcome to do it but I don’t force anyone to do it. If he agrees to it the whole boxing body needs to know about it," Donaire said of Mathebula. "I invite them to join, but most importantly, I want my fans to know what I am doing."
Initial talks between Mayweather and Pacquiao broke down a couple of years ago due to the Filipino Congressman’s refusal to submit to random Olympic-style drug testing. Pacquiao has since agreed to participate, but now its money that separates the two.
Top Rank boss Bob Arum said he’s on board for drug testing, but would prefer a legitimate governing body oversee the process.
Said Arum: “I think if you look at what is happening in Congress with the bill that Senators Reid (D-Nev.) and McCain (R-AZ.) have put in for a Federal Boxing Commission – I would hope that if we had a Federal Boxing Commission, that that commission would institute random drug testing for every single registered fighter in the United States so that we would have a system akin to what we have in the other major sports like football and baseball – under the auspices of a Federal Commission.”
The bill proposed by Senators Reid and McCain (The Professional Boxing Amendments Act) would establish the United States Boxing Commission (USBC). The USBC would provide Federal oversight of the sport.
An excerpt from Sen. McCain’s address in Washington D.C.:
“If enacted, the Commission would administer Federal boxing law and coordinate with other Federal regulatory agencies to ensure that this law is enforced; oversee all professional boxing matches in the United States; and work with the boxing industry and local commissions to improve the safety, integrity, and professionalism of professional boxing in the United States.”
The bill is nearly identical to the measure approved by the Senate in 2005. But in light of the Pacquiao-Tim Bradley decision, this bill may have the clout to see the light of day.