Ryan Burton of BoxingScene.com had a chance to interview junior welterweight contender Paulie Malignaggi. Mostly they discussed Malignaggi's December 12 rematch with Juan Diaz in Chicago, but most notable, perhaps, were Malignaggi's thoughts on Manny Pacquiao.
BoxingScene.com: What did you think of Pacquiao's win over Cotto?
Paulie Malignaggi: I think there is something up with Manny Pacquiao. I am not going to get into it. I think people will understand what I am saying. Full blown welterweights don't take those type of punches from Miguel Cotto the way he took them with total disregard for his power nor do they hurt him with every punch they hit him with. These are full blown welterweights I am talking about. This guy is coming up in weight and doing all these things. There is something up with this guy but that's as far as I am going to go into it. Floyd Mayweather (Senior) has gotten into it a little bit. There have been other fighters who have mentioned it. I am not going to get into no controversy. I am going to leave it at that. There is something that seriously makes me feel weird about Manny Pacquiao. I am going to leave it at that.
As Malignaggi says, he's not the only one that feels this way. He's not the first to say it. And he avoids making any huge statements or accusations.
Truthfully, given the era of sports we live in, it's natural to suspect the rise of a dominant force, and Pacquiao has become as dominant a force as we've seen in boxing in a long time. Not that there haven't been dominant guys; Roy Jones dominated, Floyd Mayweather dominated, but they didn't do it the way Manny has. The last time there was a fighter really manhandling foes with this much fanfare, it was probably Mike Tyson.
Discussion of the topic is OK, but please avoid slanderous statements if you're going to talk about it. There's no proof of anything, Pacquiao is tested after every fight, and to date there's never been a problem. I honestly don't suspect Pacquiao of any wrongdoing. Freddie Roach says Pacquiao "doesn't even know what a steroid is," and really, I don't think Floyd Mayweather Sr. really knows what one is, either. So many people seem to think steroids and other performance-enhancing drugs are like Popeye's spinach, but it doesn't work that way.
Make sure to read the rest of Ryan Burton's interview, as Paulie puts a pretty scorching verbal lashing on Juan Diaz.