Here is something that few other writers will cop to– We all have our biases.
It’s unavoidable that our own personal histories and backgrounds will come to shape how we view the world. The honest among us, though, are able to see those biases, step aside a bit, and take a look at the world from other angles (unless those biases are “sponsored,” but that’s a topic for another day). It’s completely possible that a biased, opinionated know-it-all can produce a wonderful bit of fair and honest reporting– it just doesn’t happen all that often in boxing.
And that brings me to the topic of this week’s Rant– The sheer, unmitigated hypocrisy of Manny Pacquiao demanding random blood and urine testing for his upcoming bout with Brandon Rios and the media’s unwillingness to call “bullshit” on it.
If there’s one thing we know about Manny Pacquiao, it’s that he’s very superstitious and believes that drawing blood too close to fight night, even a teenie, tiny bit, will sap him of his super mojo powers. We know that because we were told that, over and over, by media errand boys eager to print unchallenged statements from Team Pacquiao and Bob Arum.
Now, we’re coming to learn that this is not the case– at least not when it comes to his own bottom line and personal safety.
Three years after Team Pacquiao hemmed and hawed and eventually walked away from a bout with Floyd Mayweather over the very same issue of random PEDs testing, they have embraced it. And the media, which at times seems perpetually unable to remember things that happened more then six months prior, has yet to point out the hypocrisy.
If you remember three years ago, when the issue completely stalled Pacquiao-Mayweather fight negotiations, Mayweather was portrayed as the unreasonable, cowardly cad. Pacquiao had never failed a commission PEDs test and had no reason to bend to Mayweather’s request. Surely, it was cowardice which provoked Mayweather to make such a demand. Forget that Mayweather had quickly agreed to all terms, including a Pacquiao weight penalty clause and a fair purse split. Forget that Mayweather willingly went to arbitration to settle the dispute and even offered to compromise on a cut-off date for testing. The truth had to be that– as Arum said and as the media began to parrot– Mayweather was just deathly afraid of risking a loss.
For Pacquiao, PEDs enlightenment came shortly after Juan Manuel Marquez knocked him out cold last December. For much of the media, PEDs enlightenment came shortly after someone other than Mayweather championed the cause.
Marquez’s controversial strength and conditioning coach, Angel “Memo” Heredia, would cast a dark shadow over Marquez’s KO victory and open the door for plenty of rumor and innuendo. And finding out that the confessed former PEDs distributor would be working with Pacquiao’s next opponent had to be unsettling for anyone with a vested interest in seeing Pacquiao win.
But Juan Manuel Marquez passed the Nevada commission tests after his KO win and Brandon Rios has never tested positive for anything. Pacquiao’s demands are based solely off rumor and the strength of one dominant performance. Kind of similar to Mayweather, right?
Of course, all of this is hypocrisy at its finest. Just don’t expect anyone to really bring this up. And don’t expect anyone out there to actually ‘fess up to bias.
You can email Paul at email@example.com or watch as beard-stroking bloggers struggle mightily with their efforts to pretend-ignore him . Paul is a full member of the Burger King Kids’ Club, a born iconoclast, and an ordained minister in the Universal Life Church.
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