The post-fight drug tests for four-division titlewinner Juan Manuel Marquez and eight-division champion Manny Pacquiao returned negative for anabolic steroids, masking agents and marijuana following Marquez’s sixth-round knockout of Pacquiao at the MGM Grand in Las Vegas on Dec. 8, according to Keith Kizer, executive director of the Nevada State Athletic Commission.
“They were tested for everything — steroids, diuretics, masking agents, drugs of abuse, and they came back negative for everything,” said Kizer of Marquez and Pacquiao, each of whom provided urine samples after their fight.
“We’ve tested 44 fighters between the cards on Thursday, Friday and Saturday from last week, and we’ve gotten most of those test results back, and they’ve all been negative so far. So Pacquiao and Marquez were negative.”
The counter-punching Marquez (55-6-1, 40 knockouts) dropped Pacquiao (54-5-2, 38 KOs) with a third-round counter-right hand to the temple, rose from a knockdown in the fifth when his glove touched the canvas, and finished the Filipino star with a straight right that left him motionless and flat on his face before 16,348 stunned fans.
Marquez lost November’s disputed majority decision to Pacquiao, having previously battled to a draw and a split-decision loss to Pacquiao, who turns 34 on Dec. 17.
Pacquiao floored Marquez three times in the first round of their initial meeting as featherweights in May of 2004, and dropped him once more in the third round of their second as junior lightweights in March of 2008.
A graduate of Texas A&M’s exercise science program, Hernandez’s past involvement in performance-enhancing activities has aroused suspicion concerning Marquez’s physique, even as Hernandez never was convicted of any crimes.
“Those tests came back negative because we did not use any performance enhancing drugs, and I think that it’s time for those who are making the judgements to stick to the facts. There will be lawsuits pursued against [various individuals,] because it’s unfair to judge an athlete like Juan Manuel Marquez whose proceedings have been honest in this sport for more than 20 years. Juan Manuel Marquez is a tremendous fighter and human being,” said Hernandez.
“These results are from hard work, hard training and this is dedication with science involved. This is just perfect training. So this is a wake up call for those who have judged the testing system. In the future, we’re still going to be involved in Olympic style drug testing with Marquez and with all of my fighters in regard to the next year. All of my boxers will be involved. I just hope that the other boxers will get involved as well. We believe in a clean sport, and Juan Manuel Marquez is going to be the one to lead the group. All of my Mexican boxers will follow.”
Top Rank CEO Bob Arum was more concise.
“Why wouldn’t they come back negative,” said Arum. “I would never have assumed anything other than that. Coming back negative is no story. Coming back positive would be a story.”
Note: Kizer said that Arizona super middleweight Andrew Hernandez tested positive for “abnormally high amounts of testosterone” following his second-round stoppage victory over Rudy Puga of Salinas, Calif., Nov. 10.
Hernandez entered the bout with a record of 4-0-1 with no knockouts, while Puga was 3-0 with three knockouts coming in. Kizer said that Hernandez will be on the commission’s agenda “next Thursday for a temporary suspension.”
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Lem Satterfield can be reached at email@example.com