Mexican boxer Juan Manuel Marquez wasted no time responding to recent comments made by WBO welterweight champion Manny Pacquiao’s strength and conditioning coach Alex Ariza. During a recent interview, Ariza took jabs at Marquez and his trainer Angel Hernandez, questioning how fast the veteran boxer has put on weight leading up to the Nov. 12 fight with Pacquiao.
“You have to train long and differently than other sports,” Ariza said. “Again, I don’t know how they’re training Marquez. I don’t know why Marquez got that big so fast. What I can say though is that we’re ready for it. I know what we’re doing in our camp. I know what our guy does and can do.”
Hernandez was involved in the infamous BALCO steroid scandal, and it doesn’t take a genius to figure out what Ariza was trying to infer with his statement.
Marquez didn’t appreciate Ariza’s recent comments and he quickly fired back with a statement of his own.
“I’d be delighted to take a test,” Marquez said in his rebuttal. “I’ve never taken banned substances. My physical condition is thanks to the hard work that I’ve put in. In my 18 years as a pro boxer, I’ve never trained like this, with three daily sessions…running, weights and training very hard in the gym. I don’t care what Pacquiao’s team has to say. My mind is focused on making an intelligent fight and to secure the knockout.”
It is somehow ironic that Pacquiao’s camp is alleging steroid use, given the allegations Floyd Mayweather Jr. has made regarding the Filipino boxer. Unlike Pacquiao, Marquez didn’t waste any time addressing the allegations, even volunteering to take a drug test.
When Mayweather initially accused Pacquiao of steroid use, Manny acted as if blood tests were a foreign concept to him. The highly anticipated boxing match between Mayweather and Pacquiao could have happened back then if Manny had been willing to take the random tests. Manny eventually agreed to Mayweather’s request, but by then the theatrics had already began.
Marquez definitely deserves all the credit in the world for showing boxing fans how a real fighter responds to allegations of steroids use.