Juan Manuel Marquez and his strength and conditioning coach Memo Hernandez vehemently denied using any steroids or other performance-enhancing drugs to build his body up for Saturday's fight with Manny Pacquiao, and responded to Pacquiao trainer Freddie Roach's recent accusations on Tuesday.
From Sports Illustrated:
"You can say anything you want, but [if] you don’t have any proof, it means nothing. I told them I am willing to take any [test] they want. Let’s go together, we’ll do it together. ... Before the last camp, there were accusations about [Pacquiao], people saying things, and we didn’t care. We never brought it up. For this fight, all of a sudden they are attacking me. I say we do [a blood test] now."
Marquez (54-6-1, 39 KO) is fighting for the first time at a full 147-pound weight limit against Pacquiao (54-4-2, 38 KO), the fourth meeting between the two. Last year, they met at a catchweight between 140 and 147, with Marquez looking notably fresher in the ring and just in appearance than he did in 2009, when he fought Floyd Mayweather at a catchweight Mayweather blew off, also technically a welterweight bout.
The thing is, though, that if this was going to come up and mean anything, it had to be during the negotiations for this fight, not two weeks out. Roach's allegations came at a point where additional blood and urine testing wasn't going to be done, and Marquez saying he'll take a test now means little, because nobody's going to test him now. The fight is four days away.
Bob Arum, who is promoting the fight, says that nobody asked for additional testing, and none of this came up until last week.
Hernandez, who testified for the government in the BALCO case, says that there's nothing illegal in his coaching methods, simply that, "We do our jobs." And for whatever that is or isn't worth, that's all we're going to know, unless somebody actually manages to fail a Nevada state commission test after Saturday.