An Open Letter To Manny Pacquiao : Take The Random Blood Tests
It’s ya boy Robert Littal. I know you remember me because back when you fought Oscar De La Hoya I was one of two major media scribes that predicted your victory. I was there in Las Vegas when we everyone thought you killed Ricky Hatton in the ring. I’ve been following your career since the first Marquez fight and always thought you were one of the best fighters in the world. You know I am big in the Philippines – they love me over there because I saw potential in you before anyone else did.
I think you are a good dude, Manny; I see how you take care of your crew and how much you care about your home country. You are always smiling, a gentleman, and respectful of your opponents. Considering how corrupt boxing is, you are a breath of fresh air. You fight in an entertaining style that would have allowed you to thrive in any boxing era. I have nothing but respect for you.
So I hope you read this knowing that I only speak on what I think will be best for your legacy. I understand you don’t have to do anything. Floyd Mayweather, Jr. doesn’t get to dictate what drug tests are taken. That is what boxing commissions are for. You can simply say “no” to Mayweather’s demands and you would be well within your right. No one can force you to do anything. No state commission demands random blood tests, so in reality you don’t have to take them if you aren’t comfortable with them. You have never tested positive for anything and there is no factual evidence that your skill comes from anything but hard work. I understand it must make you really upset to have your talents questioned with no proof at all, so I get why you feel that you shouldn’t have your moves dictated to you.
Unfortunately in our society perception is reality, and many people perceive your rise through the ranks to be so great that it has to be artifically enhanced. I don’t believe that because the last four opponents you have beaten had flaws that were bound to be exploited (De La Hoya – Past prime and overtrained, Ricky Hatton – Never was that good, Cotto – Never recovered from Margarito beating, Clottey – Just happy to cash the check). Not taking anything away from your victories because you dominated each one, but in the minds of more than a few you needed help for those victories.
You have an opportunity here, Manny. Floyd Mayweather, Jr. is a once-in-a-generation fighter with no discernible flaws. You are already considered one of the greatest fighters of all time, but to be the one who beats Floyd Mayweather would put your legend into another stratosphere.
The last thing you want people to say when people talk about Manny Pacquiao is this:
“Pacquiao was one of the greatest of all time, but a cloud of suspicion hangs over his career because of his insistence on not agreeing to random blood tests and not fighting Floyd Mayweather, Jr.”
To be honest, the excuses about you being scared of needles, that you think it will weaken you, that since Mayweather is bigger than you it will have less effect, and general superstition make it appear you are hiding something. That your “strength coach” Alex Ariza says you have no clue what you are taking makes me worry.
I was in Las Vegas for Mayweather vs. Mosley and saw both of them up close. Believe me, besides general annoyance the blood tests had absolutely no effect on the fight.
Trust me when I tell you that it is in your best interest and the best interest of boxing for you to agree to any type of drug testing Mayweather asks for.
I know it bothers you to let Mayweather dictate terms but that is what he wants; he wants to bother you, he wants to get in your head and you are allowing that.
You know what would freak Mayweather out? If you publicly came out and said you would agree to any drug test in the world because it won’t matter when you beat his ass.
Doesn’t this headline sound better:
“Manny Pacquiao silences his critics inside and outside the ring by being the first to knockout and defeat Floyd Mayweather, Jr.”
You think Mayweather is attempting to dictate what you do by asking for random drug tests, but he is already has you playing his game. By not fighting in March you have allowed Mayweather to strengthen his position and increase his supporters.
How do you think it will be perceived if instead of facing Mayweather, you face Antonio Margarito? Let me show you how that headline will look:
“Manny won’t take test, but will take the money to fight a fighter suspended for putting bricks in his gloves.”
How do you think the general public will take to that?
Listen to me, Manny – you aren’t going to win a battle of words with Floyd Mayweather, Jr. Agree to the tests and then you can shut up Mayweather, his family, and anyone else who questions you – permanently.
You know you can holla at me if you need me, Manny, but I hope you are listening because every boxing fan in the world is counting on you.
Bonafide Sports Expert Robert Littal