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Tom Brady Spotted Boxing in Los Angeles

One of the stories this past week for the Patriots was that their star quarterback, Tom Brady, was not present in Foxboro for the start of the team’s offseason workouts. Brady previously had a strong record of being the most dedicated Patriot in offseason workouts but his new family lifes has led to changes — Brady now spends more time in Los Angeles, away from the New England-area. Despite missing team workouts in Foxboro, we have confirmation that Brady’s been staying in shape in LA. The website Faded Youth spotted 12 doing some boxing in Beverly Hills:

Thanks to the almighty PFT for the heads up on that story. While it’s encouraging that Brady is apparently staying in shape on his own (not unlike many other star players), boxing in a ring and working with your receivers are two completely different things. Obviously Brady’s priorities and responsibilities in life have changed and he has adjusted accordingly. While coaches like Mike Shanahan have demanded that players show up for Redskins workouts, Brady’s missing time with his teammates. I have no doubt that the guy is a pro who will be ready to play at a high level this season, but it’s indisputable that his focused has changed. Let’s just hope the boxing proves to be more beneficial for Tom than MMA was for Matt Leinart.

Sources:
TOM BRADY STAYS IN FIGHTING SHAPE [Faded Youth]
Tom Brady Takes up Boxing [Pro Football Talk]

Floyd Mayweather Jr. and Shane Mosley Begin USADA Olympic-Style Drug Testing

One of the criticisms of Floyd Mayweather Jr. was that he was holding up the fight with Manny Pacquiao because of outrageous demands that both fighters submit to random drug testing including blood tests. Critics say Mayweather was making these demands because he was afraid to fight Pacquiao. While I believe Mayweather took these steps because he knows how dangerous of a fighter Manny is, Floyd has displayed consistency in his new views on drug testing. Pretty Boy made Sugar Shane Mosley agree to random, Olympics-style drug testing prior to their fight, and they will begin that testing on Monday, March 22nd.

“I am excited that Shane Mosley and I are willing to take these tests to ensure a fair fight on May 1,” said Mayweather. “I just want to show the world that boxing is a clean sport and it is my hope that all fighters will take a similar stance and responsibility which reflects sportsmanship at the highest level and sets a new standard for safety in boxing.”

“I think the testing program is a great idea and I did not hesitate for a minute about agreeing to it,” said Mosley. “Let’s hope that the rest of the boxing world follows Floyd’s and my example.”

It’s a great sign that the two fighters have agreed to the random testing to come as close as possible to ensuring a level playing field, PED-wise. I really do hope that all boxing commissions in the U.S. and all sanctioning bodies around the world follow the precedent set by Mayweather and Mosley. As I’ve said all along, if Manny Pacquiao doesn’t have anything to hide then he shouldn’t have a problem with random blood testing. What might he be hiding that urine tests might not detect, you ask? Check out this list from USADA via FanHouse: Human Growth Hormone (HGH), Homologus Blood Tranfusion (HBT), Synthetic Hemoglobin (HBOC) and the passport program. That’s what Pacquiao could be hiding, amongst others. Why not submit to this program to prove he’s clean? That’s all he has to do, and with the health risks and physically demanding nature of the sport, why not level the playing field for all fighters as best as we can?

Sources:
USADA’s Travis Tygart Says ‘Test Blood’; Richard Schaefer, ‘Zero Tolerance’ [FanHouse]

Manny Pacquiao, Freddie Roach Call Out Floyd Mayweather Jr.

Saturday March 13th, 2010 was supposed to be around the same time Manny Pacquiao and Floyd Mayweather Jr. were to fight. The dream matchup never went through because Floyd wanted Pacquiao to follow pre-fight Olympics-style drug testing but Manny Pacquiao refused. Instead, Pacquiao filled the void in his schedule with Joshua Clottey and Mayweather moved onto Sugar Shane Mosley. Pacquiao whopped up on Clottey as many expected, and that naturally drew all the postfight questions regarding a potential bout with Floyd Mayweather Jr. Both Pacman and his trainer Freddie Roach seemed eager to touch gloves with Pretty Boy in their post fight interview on HBO PPV:

Pacquiao: “It’s up to him. For me, it’s no problem to fight him. I will fight him anytime. He should win against Mosley. If not, Mosley and I will fight. [Floyd's] style is not a difficult style; he needs to handle his business in his next fight.”

Roach: “It’s the fight the world wants to see. Me and Manny want to see it. Floyd, let the commission do their job — you don’t run the sport! Get in the ring and fight us.”

Sure, Mayweather may be scared of fighting Pacquiao — for good reason — Pacman’s dangerous. But as I’ve said before and as I’ll say again until Manny relents, submitting to random drug testing should not be a problem unless Pacquiao has something to hide. Sack up Manny, take the tests, and let’s hope for a Mayweather win so the world can get what it wants. Plus, how could either fighter turn down an easy $30-$40 million payday?

Picture: Hayden Panettiere and Wladimir Klitschko Sitting in a Tree

Two names I never thought I’d mention together in the same sentence: Hayden Panettiere and Wladimir Klitschko. We’ve long been fans of Hayden since the day she became legal around 26 months ago (not that we’re counting). She always seemed to be a girl who dated the Hollywood type, not athletes. But as TMZ points out thanks to a photo from Pacific Coast News, Panetierre and Klitschko were spotted together in Miami.

Hayden Panettiere and Wladimir Klitschko

I don’t even know what to make of this photo. Are the two dating? Did they vacation together? Do they have the same agent? How in the world is the IBF, IBO, and WBF heavyweight champion who’s so little known by U.S. sports fans known by Hayden Panettiere? What is going on here?

Manny Pacquiao Plans to Sue one Steroids Accuser but Fight Another

In one of the greatest paradoxes I’ve seen in sports, Manny Pacquiao and his camp are making making themselves look even worse for their recent decisions. The madness began a few days ago when the agreement between Floyd Mayweather Jr. and Manny Pacquiao to fight on March 13th began to fall through. Pacquiao began backing out of the fight because he didn’t want to submit to olympic-style drug testing. Manny’s promoter, Bob Arum, then went on a verbal assault trying to come up with every possible angle to spin the reason for why Pacquiao is backing out. Pacman is even going on the offensive now, saying he’s going to sue for defamation over the allegations. In the meantime (and this is my favorite part of the story), Arum says he’s in the process of arranging a fight with Paulie Malignaggi for the same March 13th date. This is the same Paulie Malignaggi who ALSO accused Pacquiao of using PEDs:

The level we have of testing in boxing is not really that deep. I mean, we have urine tests on the day of the fight and we don’t have much else…there’s things that don’t come up in drug tests. There’s ways to beat drug tests.

Manny Pacquiao is the first guy in history, and he might be the special thing that everybody says he is, he might be, the first guy in history to go up in weight and knock out more people as he goes up in weight than he did when he was smaller. He might be that special person. Me, I think that looks a little fishy. I think that’s a little bit fishy.

So let me get this straight, it’s fine to accuse Manny Pacquiao of using steroids or performance-enhancers so long as you don’t demand he submits to strict drug testing? Good, just wanted to make sure I had that straight. This should put an end to the debates about Pacquiao and Arum’s motive. Manny complaining that having his blood drawn will sap him of his power is like one of those people who claim they can levitate so long as nobody is watching. Uh huh. The onus is on Pacquiao here and he should submit to Olympic-style testing if he has nothing to hide. End of story.

If Manny Pacquiao Weren’t Guilty, He Wouldn’t Have Anything to Hide

Maybe things happened too quickly creating a “too good to be true” scenario in boxing. After all, organizing a fight and getting two high-profile individuals to agree to contract terms is one of the most complex processes in sports. Despite all that, Manny Pacquiao and Floyd Mayweather Jr. supposedly had agreed to fight mid March in Las Vegas until a matter of drug testing came in the way.

Floyd’s father accused Pacquiao of using steroids and/or supplements in an interview a few months ago and it looks like he was right on. Mayweather’s camp wants both fighters to submit to Olympic-style WADA drug testing prior to the fight, which is more stringent than drug testing outlined by the Nevada Gaming Commission. Pacquiao only wants to submit to drug testing prior to the media kickoff tour of the fight and after the fight. It does not take a genius to figure out that the lapse between tests is plenty of time to do a cycle of drugs.

The excuses coming from Pacquiao’s side are pathetic. Trainer Freddie Roach says the request proves Mayweather is scared. Promoter Bob Arum says Floyd is just harassing Pacquiao because he knows Manny feels weakened by giving blood. There’s no doubt that Floyd recognizes the talent of Pacquiao and that he’s in danger of losing. Even with that being the case, there’s nothing wrong with requesting stringent drug testing for the fight. The retort by Arum is pathetic and offbase. It’s clear he’s just trying to spin the issue but he doesn’t have much ammunition in this argument. The undeniable bottom line is that Pacquiao would not have anything to hide if he weren’t doing anything wrong. What’s so hard about Manny agreeing to random drug tests during his training? There shouldn’t be anything wrong with it as far as I can tell. Maybe there’s a lot more to Pacquiao’s story that helps explain his late career surge.

Floyd Mayweather Jr. Wins/Loses Millions Gambling on NFL Games

Floyd Mayweather Jr. used to be nicknamed “Pretty Boy,” but I think that alias has changed to “Money” Mayweather, for good reason. The guy has bragged about being a billionaire athlete, making $20 million in his wrestling debut, and he’s made it rain with hundred dollar bills in Las Vegas. When he announced his retirement, Floyd was confident his financial future was secure. About a year later, Floyd announced he was returning to the ring where he beat Juan Manuel Marquez, and how he’s setting up a fight with Manny Pacquiao. Why the return? Possibly because he lost money due to the recession and possibly to remind critics who the best fighter in the world is. Regardless of the reason, money doesn’t seem to be an issue for Floyd as he outlined on Joe Buck’s HBO show:

Mayweather admitted to losing “big” this past weekend while betting on NFL games. he went into detail about how he lost the money, and he also revealed a little bit about winnings he has made in the past.

“Two weeks ago I won like a million (dollars),” said Mayweather to Buck, “that was across a week of games, Monday night, Sunday, and Thursday. I didn’t lose a million (this week), but I lost a couple hundred thousand.”

After that stunning admission, Mayweather went on to tell Buck and his audience which teams cost him money this past week. His main losses this past week came on the Patriots, Saints, and then on Sunday night, the Vikings.

Dude, how could he go with the Saints against the Redskins knowing New Orleans was coming off an emotional high from the Monday Night Football massacre of New England? Betting on games every day is not a good habit — believe me, I’ve been there. The good news for him is that football season should be over by the time he starts training for his fight with Pacquiao so he won’t have too many distractions. At least we can thank him for almost single-handedly keeping Vegas sportsbooks in business. Nice job, Floyd.