By Mitch Abramson
Floyd Mayweather Jr., already facing a defamation lawsuit for accusing Manny Pacquiao of using performance enhancing drugs, made similar suggestions during a recent conference call, painting the picture of a fighter whose startling rise in weight while carrying his power should prompt questions of whether it was through artificial means.
“It’s okay for [Pacquiao] to go from 105 to 154 and he gets knockouts, and they say, ‘You know what? It’s all natural,’” Mayweather began. “But if I went from 147 to heavyweight and was knocking out heavyweights, would that be all natural? That’s what you’ve got to ask yourself at the end of the day.”
In filing the lawsuit against Mayweather and members of his camp in 2009, Pacquiao maintains that Mayweather slandered his name by suggesting that Pacquiao got to where he is through unnatural means. On Wednesday, Mayweather addressed a sliver of the lawsuit.
“Like I said before, I never accused anybody of doing anything,” he says. “If anything, it’s obvious that you must be hiding something. If I say I’m the best and you say you’re the best, we’re fighting for the best belts, we’re fighting for the best titles in the world, and we’re fighting in the best country in the world.”
The issue of drug testing has been a contentious one for Mayweather and Pacquiao and has apparently held up the two from making a blockbuster fight that could be the richest ever in boxing.
Mitch Abramson covers boxing for the New York Daily News and BoxingScene.com.