Lou DiBella was on WFAN in New York tonight to talk a little boxing, and touched on a number of subjects including drug testing in the sport as relates to a possible rematch between his fighter Andre Berto and Victor Ortiz, Sergio Martinez's next fight and the chance of him fighting Floyd Mayweather Jr, and some of the problems boxing faces as a business these days.
When asked about a Berto vs Ortiz rematch, DiBella again said that there would have to be Olympic-style drug testing in place, and went further into his thoughts on the subject, saying it should be required for every major fight in the sport. Currently, only Floyd Mayweather Jr's fights have the system in place.
"This is not picking on Ortiz," said DiBella. "There should be drug testing on every major fight. Every big money fight, every world title fight, should have Olympic-style testing for PEDs. If there's gonna be a Berto vs Ortiz fight, there will be Olympic-style testing for PEDs."
"This is a policy I want to see adopted. I have a load of fighters. Some of the fighters might be breaking the rules and I don't know it. This applies to me just like everybody else. Obviously we have a problem with PEDs in boxing."
DiBella switched gears and spoke of Sergio Martinez, the world middleweight champion he promotes, who faces Darren Barker on October 1 in Atlantic City, with HBO televising.
"No one wants to fight him. He's extremely powerful, has one-punch knockout power, as Paul Williams learned. He's the fastest middleweight next to Sugar Ray Leonard. And it's very possible he's the best fighter in the world," said DiBella, who added that he felt Manny Pacquiao is just too small to fight Sergio, but that he would love to see a Martinez vs Mayweather fight.
"They could do the fight at 154. Ortiz weighed 164 in the locker room. We would agree that on the night of the fight, Martinez could not weigh more than Ortiz weighed."
But the promoter cautioned against looking past Barker, the undefeated Brit and former two-time European middleweight champion.
"When you fight a guy that's never lost, and everything's at stake in your next fight, those are the kind of fights that worry you. Here's a guy with nothing to lose, and everyone's talking about what Sergio's gonna do next."
DiBella also discussed some of the business realities facing boxing today, including ticket sales for Martinez vs Barker, which reportedly have been very slow.
"I put in a lot of discounts for first responders, police, fireman, military veterans, things like that, because we're in tough times. The day of the average fight ringside ticket being $500 or something are over," said DiBella.
"I think the biggest problem is we don't have young fans. That's where we're really hurting right now. I don't think it's a matter of MMA beating us, I think it's a matter of us beating ourselves by not marketing to a younger audience."
DiBella also isn't buying into the idea that boxing is having a rebound these days. "If anything, the decline continues."
Television networks, he said, don't even have the sway they used to, because of pay-per-view's influence.
"Pay-per-view is getting our Super Bowls. The Super Bowl is on network TV. We're never gonna get our biggest fights on network TV, because we have lousy demographics for advertisers."