Mark E. Ortega

Bits & Pieces: May Day was in attendance at the recent Floyd Mayweather media day workout, which took place at his gym, the Mayweather Boxing Club, in North Las Vegas. Here is an assortment of comments and notes gathered during that event.

Floyd: “I was the pioneer” of drug testing was in attendance at the recent Floyd Mayweather media day workout, which took place at his gym, the Mayweather Boxing Club, in North Las Vegas. Here is an assortment of comments and notes gathered during that event.

Mayweather’s time was scarce Wednesday as over 50 media members packed his gym in order to talk to him a few weeks out from his Showtime Pay Per View fight with Robert Guerrero.

Given the way that more stringent drug testing has been adopted in the past few years, Mayweather was an interesting character to discuss the subject with.

It was Mayweather’s decision to demand Manny Pacquiao undergo random drug testing in order for any contract for the two to fight to be consummated, drawing him the ire of fight fans everywhere when the fight didn’t come off.

Now, years later, doesn’t Mayweather deserve some of the credit for the way things have improved?

“He deserves all of the credit,” said Mayweather’s adviser Leonard Ellerbe stated.

“He doesn’t do things to get credit, he does them from his heart,” continued Ellerbe. “All he can do is continue to elevate the sport. He does what is right in his mind. Everybody has an opinion that matters, but Floyd happens to be the biggest name in the sport, so it carries more weight.”

“He’s the one who started it,” said Ellerbe. “Everyone thought he was crazy, and now others have jumped on the bandwagon.”

When asked if he thinks he deserves some of the credit for the recent shift, Mayweather told, “I was the pioneer, to start it.”

It has been proven the blood testing demand wasn’t a ploy to avoid a Pacquiao fight. Every fight since that negotiation has included random drug testing of a higher caliber than what the state of Nevada calls for.

While Mayweather was criticized, fighters like Nonito Donaire, Timothy Bradley, Amir Khan, and others are commended for their adopting random drug testing for recent fights.


Roy Jones Jr. Discusses Spadafora, Hopkins

In attendance early on was Roy Jones Jr., who on top of the sport’s former pound-for-pound king and an HBO commentator, is now a promoter.

Jones’ biggest name fighter is Paul Spadafora, a once-promising former lightweight titlist who is still trying to achieve greatness after a few setbacks in his personal life. His last fight was aired only on the internet on GoFightLive.

Spadafora showed he still had some solid skills in decisioning Robert Frankel. The 140-pound division is a deep one and Spadafora is ranked in all the major sanctioning bodies.

“He’s hard to hit and it’d be very interesting because most of the guys in that division are punchers and he’s a boxer,” said Jones regarding Spadafora’s chances if he were to get an opportunity.

Jones has a strong relationship with HBO, though he said he hasn’t gotten very far in discussing Spadafora fighting on the network.

“He’s got a good chance,” reiterated Jones. “I dunno who is gonna give him an opportunity, but whoever it is better be ready for a fight.”

Also a topic that was quickly discussed was formal rival Bernard Hopkins. In a previous column for RingTV, this writer argued that Hopkins had nothing left to prove at 175 pounds and could fare well in a heavyweight fight with Alexander Povetkin.

Being the last man to accomplish that feat successfully, when he decisioned John Ruiz in 2003, Jones was always someone whose opinion on the matter would be interesting.

“He’s smart, so of course he’d have a chance,” said Jones in regards to whether he thinks Hopkins could win.

When asked if he had any secret as far as pulling off the move, Jones just had one thing to say. “Just hard work and the grace of God.”


Pascal: “I’m not a four-round fighter”

Speaking of moves to heavyweight, another name in attendance Wednesday was light heavyweight Jean Pascal, who will fight Lucian Bute in what will be a Montreal megafight on May 25.

In addition to discussing the fight, Pascal made an interesting proclamation at the end of answering questions.

“I’m gonna finish my career as a heavyweight,” said Pascal very definitively. When asked if he would skip cruiserweight, Pascal said he “might stop at cruiserweight to win a title.”

Don’t let those dreams fool you, Pascal is very focused on his fight with Bute. Pascal now has strength and conditioning guru Angel Heredia on his team. Heredia is also synonymous with the PED war currently going on in boxing, as his past as a PED peddler has been cause for concern whenever his name comes up.

“You need to give a man a second chance,” said Pascal in defense of his new team member. “We all make mistakes, he made a mistake, and he’s much better.”

When asked if Heredia will help keep him from fading in fights, Pascal got a bit heated.

“You must stop saying I’m a four-round fighter because other than the first Hopkins fight, I did not fade,” said Pascal.

“The Froch fight was a total war and we were both swinging until the bell. For the first Hopkins fight, I wasn’t properly trained.”

He did however say Heredia is working on a couple of different things with him.

“It’s all about recuperation in this training camp,” said Pascal of their training style.

Though he won’t be fighting him as originally planned, Pascal had some thoughts to spare on former opponent Chad Dawson, who fights Adonis Stevenson on June 8, also in Montreal.

“I don’t know why he took the fight,” said Pascal. “(Stevenson)’s a southpaw power puncher. If Dawson beats him, people will say, ‘Who cares?’ If he loses, then it is over for him.”

“Chad is busy with Stevenson on June 8, but of course, if he passes his test and wants an asswhooping, he can get it,” finished Pascal.


Maxim providing ‘May Day’ coverage

One interesting media outlet in attendance on Wednesday was men’s magazine Maxim, who had bombshell Aja Dang in attendance at both Mayweather and Guerrero’s media days, shooting footage.

Aja got in the ring with Robert Guerrero as well as asked Floyd Mayweather a series of questions. The video will be available on the Xbox Live app that Maxim has, according to Aja. The Guerrero footage will be available the week before the fight and the Mayweather footage the week of the fight. You can follow Aja at @ajadang.



 Photo / Naoki Fukuda

Mark E. Ortega is the boxing columnist for the Martinez News-Gazette and is a member of the Boxing Writers Assoc. of America and the RING Ratings Advisory Panel. He can be reached via e-mail at markeortega@gmail.comas well as followed on Twitter @MarkEOrtega.

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