In what could be just talk or could be really big news, Timothy Bradley tells BoxingScene Radio that unless VADA or USADA are involved in anti-doping testing for his October 12 HBO pay-per-view main event against Juan Manuel Marquez, he won't go through with the fight, claiming that it would be a breach of contract.
Promoter Bob Arum wants the Nevada State Athletic Commission to oversee all drug testing, and even said he'd pay out of pocket to make sure they have stricter than normal testing going on. But that's not good enough for Bradley (30-0, 12 KO), who doesn't plan to let the issue drop.
"My contract says VADA USADA is going to be involved. There's nowhere that says a third party is going to be involved. I spoke to (NSAC executive director) Keith Kizer earlier this week, with Marquez and everybody on the phone, and I let him know what my concerns were. ... It is nothing against the Nevada State Commission. It is one of the best commissions in the world. They have been around for years but I just want VADA and USADA involved as well.
"At this point if they are not going to be involved there is not going to be a fight at all. Just put it that way. If this guy doesn't get drug tested at all by VADA or USADA then the fight's not going to happen."
There has been suspicion about Marquez (55-6-1, 40 KO) since he hired strength and conditioning coach Memo Heredia, who helped him dramatically bulk up over a three-fight period starting in 2011, to the point that he looked totally ripped and pretty big at 147 pounds last December when he scored a one-punch knockout of Manny Pacquiao.
That doesn't mean that Marquez is cheating, but nothing really means anyone is cheating. James Toney has failed drug tests for PEDs when he wasn't exactly lean and shredded. The fact is that Bradley is requesting serious drug testing, and there's really nothing wrong with that. If Marquez doesn't want to do that, then more eyebrows are going to be raised. I mean, that's just reality. I'm not telling anyone how to think here, and I have no reason to firmly believe that Marquez is using PEDs or whatever, but there is already a lot of talk on this issue, and Marquez refusing VADA and USADA drug testing would just raise the skepticism about his increased mass in his late 30s, while being assisted by a guy who used to work for BALCO.
I also really hope that if this fight gets called off over this, people don't call Bradley a coward or anything. He's asking for something pretty reasonable given that this is an elite-level fight and there's plenty of money to pay for this testing. The testing he wants is really the testing that should be standard. That it's not is part of what is most likely a bigger issue than most people realize or are willing to admit.