It was three years ago this month that trainer Freddie Roach and his fighter, Manny Pacquiao, expressed outrage and disbelief upon being first informed about a video during which Floyd Mayweather Sr. appeared to show concern that the Filipino boxer might be using steroids.
As a result of Mayweather’s sentiment, as well as subsequent comments attributed to his son, Floyd Mayweather Jr., and his uncle and trainer, Roger Mayweather, Pacquiao filed a lawsuit against the trio in December of 2009 seeking compensatory and punitive damages for defamation of character
The suit named, in part, Mayweather, his father and his uncle, and alleged that they continued to imply publicly that Pacquiao’s success over eight weight classes resulted from his having used performance-enhancing drugs.
But on Tuesday, the attorneys for Paquiao and the Mayweathers reached an out-of-court settlement resolving Pacquiao’s lawsuit in Las Vegas.
As part of the resolution, the Mayweathers issued a statement in which they denied they ever “intended to claim that Manny Pacquiao has used or is using any performance enhancing drugs.”
“Floyd Mayweather Jr., Floyd Mayweather Sr., Roger Mayweather and Mayweather Promotions wish to make it clear that they never intended to claim that Manny Pacquiao has used or is using any performance enhancing drugs,” read the prepared statement, issued from the San Francisco-based office of retired judge and mediator Daniel H. Weinstein.
“Nor are they aware of any evidence that Manny Pacquiao has used performance enhancing drugs. Manny Pacquiao is a great champion, and no one should construe any of our prior remarks as claiming that Manny Pacquiao has used performance enhancing drugs.”
Citing “a strict confidentiality” gag order that is a condition of the agreement between the two camps, Pacquiao’s advisor, Michael Koncz, referred questions to the fighter’s lawyers, David Marroso and Dan Petrocelli, of the Los Angeles-based O’Melveny and Myers law firm, who could be reached for an immediate comment.
Contacted by RingTV.com at his Wild Card Boxing Club on Wednesday, Roach kept his comment brief.
“They didn’t say anything about me, so I don’t really care,” said Roach. “It’s something I don’t want to get in the middle of. That’s between them.”
The Mayweather-Pacquiao settlement could pave the way for the highly coveted Mayweather-Pacquiao clash, since past negotiations between the boxers failed over the notion of drug testing.
In the meantime, Roach is training Pacquiao to face Mexican rival Juan Manuel Marquez a fourth time on Dec. 8 in Las Vegas. Pacquiao won a disputed majority decision in November, having also battled to a draw and a split decision victory over Marquez.
Pacquiao chose Marquez over a return bout with Tim Bradley, whose controversial split decision in June dethroned Pacquiao as the WBO’s welterweight titleholder and ended his 15-bout winning streak that included eight stoppages.
Pacquiao has asserted that he is willing to take the lower half of a 45-55 split to make a bout with Floyd Mayweather Jr. should he get beyond Marquez.
ROACH ON AMIR KHAN: ‘YOU CAN’T TEACH A GOOD CHIN IN BOXING’
Roach confirmed the end of a relationship after 10 fights with ex-IBF and WBA junior welterweight titleholder Amir Khan (26-3, 18 KOs), who may have aligned himself with trainer Virgil Hunter in the wake of July’s fourth-round knockout loss to Danny Garcia, according to reports.
“I did the best that I could with him, but you can’t teach a good chin in boxing,” said Roach, who had earlier denied that Khan had specifically expressed the desire to end their association, contrary to reports. “We tried to work on his defense a little bit, but he likes to exchange, and if you like to exchange, then you’re going to get hit.”
Roach said he did not believe that the absence of strength and conditioning guru Alex Ariza for only the second time in Khan’s past 10 fights was among the reasons for the loss to Garcia, whose triumph added Khan’s WBA belt as well as the division’s RING championship to the WBC crown he already owned.
In the Garcia fight, referee Kenny Bayless asked Khan if he still could continue before waving an end to the bout at 2 minutes 28 seconds following the third knockdown — the second of the fourth round.
Bayless told RingTV.com that among the reasons for the stoppage was the fact that “in my opinion, Amir’s leg’s were shot, and his balance was off.”
Replaced by Ruben Tabares, Ariza had said during an interview with RingTV.com in July of last year that strengthening of the legs is important in supporting the neck.
Khan began working with Roach and Ariza following his 54-second knockout loss to Breidis Prescott as a lightweight in Sept. of 2008. From there, Khan won eight straight fights, four of them by knockout, and earned two title belts.
But the loss to Garcia was the second in a row for Khan, whose winning streak under Roach ended with December’s controversial split-decision loss to Lamont Peterson.
“If they can calm him down and get him not to exchange so much and get him to box a little bit more, being a great athlete, he’ll do much better,” said Roach. “But I don’t know if anyone can cange that though. Still, I wish him the best, and we’ll see what happens.”
OLYMPIAN MARCUS BROWNE SIGNS WITH AL HAYMON
Staten Island light heavyweight Marcus Browne, a 2012 U.S. Olympian, has signed with manager Al Haymon, who is regarded by many as the most powerful advisor in boxing, it was announced on Wednesday.
Browne was the first Atlas Cops and Kids Boxing Program product to compete in the Olympic Games, coming from a program founded by ESPN boxing analyst Teddy Atlas in memory of his late father’s non-profit Dr. Theodore A. Atlas Foundation.
A two-time National Police Athletic League champion and 2012 USA Boxing National gold medalist, Browne is trained by Gary Stark at the Park Hill Boxing Club.
Haymon has also signed Browne’s 2012 U.S. Boxing teammates, Terrell Gausha, Dominic Breazeale, Rau’shee Warren and Errol Spence Jr.
Haymon’s stable of fighters that also includes Mayweather, Garcia, Austin Trout, Peter Quillin, Andre Berto, Devon Alexander, Chris Arreola, Seth Mitchell, Adrien Broner, Gary Russell Jr., Erislandy Lara, Rico Ramos, Leo Santa Cruz and Josesito Lopez.
THE RESURRECTION OF CLEOTIS ‘MOOKIE’ PENDARVIS
Junior welterweight Cleotis “Mookie” Pendarvis (16-3-1, 5 KO’s), of Los Angeles, has won five straight bouts under the guidance of manager Warren Wilkerson, who is targeting the 26-year-old for a return to the ring “at the end of November, or the first week of December.”
Wilkerson took over in June of 2010, shortly after Pendarvis had lost a split decision to Terrance Cauthen. Since then, Pendarvis has competed in four bouts as a welterweight, and one as a junior welterweight.
A slick-boxing southpaw who models himself after ex-titleholder Pernell Whitaker, Pendarvis hopes to break into the top tier of his division by next year.
“I think most of his career, he has been getting by on his talent. He’s gifted in the art of boxing, but was not committed to being in shape and learning more than what he already knew He had gotten to a certain level based only on talent, and he stayed right there,” said Wilkerson.
“But I’ve surrounded him with a trainer and people who are committed to him. My interest is in the direction of moving up the ranks of the IBF. I would like to fight a top 10 contender in the IBF, which would bring us close to an eliminator bout.”
Photos by Ethan Miller-Getty Images, Ed Diller-Top Rank, and Naoki Fukuda
Lem Satterfield can be reached at email@example.com ut