MANILA, MAY 22, 2012 (philstar) By Joaquin Henson - Newly crowned WBA superwelterweight champion Floyd Mayweather Jr (photo) is tightening the noose around his neck, in case he hasn’t noticed, as the man called “Money” continues to accuse Manny Pacquiao of taking performance enhancing drugs despite a live defamation case charging the flamboyant fighter of slander.

“All his talk just strengthens Manny’s case against him,” said Pacquiao’s trainer Freddie Roach in a recent interview. “If you ask me, if the fight (between Pacquiao and Mayweather) happens, fine, but if it doesn’t, no problem. Down the road, I see Manny fighting once more this year and twice next year. We’re not looking beyond (Tim) Bradley but after June 9, who’s next? A lot of new generation fighters are out there waiting – Victor Ortiz, Andre Berto, Lamont Peterson. Bob (Arum) is planning to put Brandon Rios in against (Juan Manuel) Marquez with the winner to face Manny. Rios is moving up from lightweight but I think getting him to go to welterweight at 147 may be too much to ask and who wants to see a fourth fight against Marquez? It’ll be the same thing happening all over again, a close fight with Manny winning.”

Mayweather launched a recent tirade on Pacquiao, unmindful of the case filed against him in 2009. In his verbal attack, he admitted a fear of facing Pacquiao, using the PED bogey as an excuse.

“People say ‘we don’t give a **** if he’s taking or not, we just want to see the fight,’” he said. “‘We don’t give a **** about your health and we don’t give a **** about your family.’ I care about my family. They’re going to be there when no one else is there. Health is more important than anything. When my career is over, if I’m hurt because of something that has happened in a fight, I can’t come to you and say, ‘I need money.’ (Pacquiao) was 106 pounds (when he started) and he’s just walking through (Miguel) Cotto. Look at the pictures. His head is small and then all of a sudden, his head just grew? Tell me this man’s head didn’t get bigger. You’re going to tell me this **** is all natural.”

Pacquiao has never tested positive for any illegal substance and there is no basis for Mayweather’s rants. In fact, Pacquiao has agreed to Mayweather’s demands for random blood testing just to make the fight happen even if he was reluctant at the start because of a notion that an extraction may sap his energy if done too close to a fight. When the drug row was settled, Mayweather turned to another issue – the purse split. Mayweather wants Pacquiao to agree to a flat $40 Million purse without a share in the pay-per-view income which is expected to be substantial. Pacquiao has countered with a 50-50 split then revised it to a 45-45 split with the winner to get the balance as a bonus.

The speculation is Mayweather won’t risk blemishing his 43-0 record with Pacquiao still at the peak of his career. HBO Sports president Seth Abraham, quoted by Chris Mannix in Sports Illustrated, said, “He cares more about that zero than he does about the fans’ respect.”

Curiously, it is Mayweather’s family that has a history with drugs and not Pacquiao’s. His father Floyd Sr. was sentenced to five years in prison for drug trafficking in 1994. His mother and aunt were drug users. Mayweather himself was accused of taking a performance enhancing pain-killer, xylocaine, but has denied it.

Mayweather, 35, said he’ll go on fighting until he’s 37 – that’s two years from now. Pacquiao is waiting in the wings but won’t wait forever because he has other priorities to attend to, in particular his political plans to be of more service to his countrymen. A bigger priority is his closeness to God.

“It’s great that Manny’s reading the Bible, you can’t go wrong with that,” said Roach who was raised a Catholic. “Manny gave me a rubber bracelet to wear when we work out. The bracelet says, ‘God is my Rock, God is my Savior.’ I wear it during our workouts. The Bible reading won’t make him less of a fighter. He does his job in the ring and offers it up to God.”

Roach said Pacquiao will be devastating against Bradley. “Manny will be like he was before,” he continued. “He wants to prove something especially after some people felt he didn’t do well against Marquez in his last fight.”

Pacquiao sued Mayweather, his father, uncle Roger, Mayweather Promotions and Golden Boy Promotions executives Oscar de la Hoya and Richard Schaefer in Las Vegas in 2009, for “irresponsible, reckless, false statements” that he uses PEDs.

“I maintain and assure everyone that I have not used any form or kind of steroids and that my way to the top is a result of hard work and a lot of blood spilled from my past battles in the ring,” said Pacquiao. “These people think it is a joke and a right to accuse someone wrongly of using steroids or other performance enhancing drugs. I have tried to just brush it off but I think they have gone overboard.”

Roach: Manny will win easily By Francis T.J. Ochoa Philippine Daily Inquirer 1:09 am | Saturday, May 19th, 2012

TIMOTHY Bradley says he’s a whole lot better than Juan Manuel
Marquez and that Manny Pacquiao could be in for a surprsing night when they clash in Las Vegas on June 9.

Freddie Roach isn’t biting.

“I think that Manny will beat Tim Bradley pretty easily,” Roach told RingTV.com recently. The Hall of Fame trainer likened Bradley to Ricky Hatton, who Pacquiao crushed in a spectacular second-round KO in 2009.

“Bradley got mad when I said that he’s no better than Ricky Hatton, but he’s never impressed me,” said Roach.

Bradley, though, feels that he has what it takes to defeat the pound-for-pound icon.

“Sometimes I think that Freddie Roach is really naive about his fighter,” Bradley told RingTv.com. “Freddie has confidence in his fighter, and that’s great, but I don’t think that they realize what they’re getting into, to be honest with you.”

Pacquiao (54-3-2, 38 knockouts) will battle Bradley (28-0, 12 KOs) at the MGM Grand looking to end a string of victories without a knockout.

Pacquiao defeated nemesis Marquez (53-6-1, 39 KOs) by majority decision, a controversial result that added fuel to the Pacquiao-Marquez rivalry instead of setting with finality the issue between both fighters.

Pacquiao and Roach have acknowledged that Marquez indeed poses a problem for Manny—and Bradley is picking up from that cue.

“They may think that Marquez just has Manny’s number, but whatever Marquez can do, I can do 10 times better. He’s great at counter-punching, and I’m devastating at counter-punching,” said Bradley.

“My counter-punching is unbelievable.”

“I’m really not worried,” said Roach. “It doesn’t matter what Bradley does. Whether he’s coming forward or moving backward, he can’t beat Manny Pacquiao.

“I’m not going to predict a knockout round. He’s a tough, durable guy. He gets in very good shape, but I don’t think that it’s going to go the distance. We’ll get him before it’s over.”


Bradley tags Pacquiao ‘old man’ By Roy Luarca Philippine Daily Inquirer 12:14 am | Tuesday, February 28th, 2012 share27 27

MANILA, Philippines — At 33, Manny Pacquiao is already an “old man,” according to his June 9 adversary Timothy Bradley.

“It’s new blood against old blood,” Bradley told The Wall Street Journal’s Jason Gay Sunday. “I’m in my prime, man.”

At 28, Bradley is arguably at the top of his game.

The World Boxing Organization light welterweight (140 lb) champion is unbeaten

in 29 fights, proving his mettle against aging warrior Joel Casamayor and erstwhile unbeaten Devon Alexander, Luis Carlos Abregu and Lamont Peterson.

While his power is suspect with only 12 knockouts to show in 28 wins, Bradley promised to stop Pacquiao, the WBO welterweight king, in earlier interviews.

Bradley believes his vegetarian diet during training for the showdown at MGM Grand in Las Vegas will be a key factor in upending Pacquiao (54-3-2, 38 KOs) and stunning the bookies who have listed him a 1-3 underdog.

A $340 bet on Pacquiao will earn only $100 while a $100 bet on Bradley will pay $280.

Though he’s an acknowledged “meat and potatoes guy”—he easily balloons to 160 to 165 lb—Bradley transforms himself before starting training camp, fasting for five days first to rid his body of impurities before switching to the vegetarian diet.

Meanwhile, opening-day ticket sales of Pacquiao-Bradley reportedly went well Friday, with only 3,000 tickets still up for grabs.

Chief News Editor: Sol Jose Vanzi

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