By Chris Robinson
On late Monday afternoon I had a lengthy conversation with trainer Joel Diaz, as we discussed his fighter Tim Bradley’s preparation ahead of his June 9th assignment with Manny Pacquiao while also taking a look at this past weekend’s Floyd Mayweather Jr.-Miguel Cotto scrap at the MGM Grand in Las Vegas, Nevada.
Shortly after my talk with Diaz wrapped up, some shocking news hit the net as it was reported by various sources that junior welterweight champion Lamont Peterson had tested positive for a banned substance, synthetic testosterone, ahead of his May 19th rematch with Amir Khan, according to results that came from the Voluntary Anti-Doping Association. Peterson, who upset Khan last December, now awaits the decision of the Nevada State Athletic Commission as to whether or not the fight will push forward.
Diaz knows Peterson very well, as he was in the corner of Bradley during his December 12th, 2009 bout with Peterson in Rancho Mirage, California. On that night Bradley would floor Peterson in the third round and handed him his first and only professional defeat with a clear twelve-round unanimous decision.
So surprised was Diaz to hear of Peterson’s failed test when I followed up with him, that he initially didn’t seem to fathom what he was hearing.
“Very surprised. You know what? If you were to ask me if I believe it, I would say I don’t,” stated Diaz. “Because Barry Hunter, his trainer, he’s a nice guy and he raised those guys as kids and Lamont himself is a straight up guy and he’s pretty fair. I’m surprised to hear it. If it’s true, I’m very surprised.”
Shortly after news of Peterson’s failed test emerged, I spoke with strength and conditioning coach James ‘DJ’ Montanocordoba, who was with Lamont in camp for ten days prior to the Bradley fight, as he was brought in to assist the Washington, D.C. fighter with his weight issues prior to contest. Montanocordoba was adamant that Peterson would never deliberately do anything to jeopardize his career and felt hat perhaps one of his team members was to blame.
Diaz doesn’t count such a theory out and insists that is why Bradley constantly turns away new products and supplements that are offered to him.
“I believe that could happen,” said Diaz. “We’ve had people who have called Tim and asked ‘I have a product you have to try, it’s really good. It will help you with your training and make you stronger’ but Tim, he’s rejected stuff. Timothy started a while ago; he’s been using vitamins from this company USANA Vitamins. And when Timothy started using USANA Vitamins, they provided him with all of the supplements he needs. They’ve provided him medicine for his bones, medication for his joints, everything.
“They told him ‘If you just take what we’re giving you and you don’t take nothing else and one day you test positive for something that is illegal, we will give you one-million dollars’. So Tim has never taken anything else besides the USANA stuff. As an athlete, that is something that could happen. Because there have been people out there that have sent Tim products but he doesn’t even open them,” Diaz continued.
Diaz definitely feels that there is a lot of wrongdoing in the sport and seems genuinely disappointed to see the Peterson-Khan rematch in limbo.
“Lately, since baseball players have been using it, you can see there are some fighters who are using it,” Diaz claimed of performance-enhancing drugs. “And now, that’s one thing that I hear, is that it’s going on in the M M A business. It’s really surprising that Lamont was tested positive. I really wanted to see him put an *ss-whipping on Khan again.”