By Shaun Brown
Promoter Eddie Hearn contacted BoxingScene.com Wednesday afternoon, after some revealing comments from Paulie Malignaggi on BBC Radio 5 Live on Tuesday regarding random drug testing in the August 16 welterweight title fight between unbeaten champion Shawn Porter and undefeated challenger Kell Brook.
The bout is due to take place at the StubHub Center in Carson, California.
Malignaggi, a former two-weight world champion who lost to Porter in April, told Radio 5’s Ian Payne and Steve Bunce that no random drug testing will take place prior to the fight. The claim is based on a conversation he had l with Ken Porter—the champion’s father and trainer—last weekend in San Francisco at a local boxing show. According to the elder Porter, there will be no random drug testing taking place for this fight, despite Brook and Hearn’s insistence that it has been contractually agreed upon.
“Kenny Porter was telling me that they were okay with doing random drug testing for the Kell Brook fight but Eddie Hearn was just talking and talking and talking but there was no random drug testing,” Malignaggi claimed during the interview on BBC Radio 5 Live. “I don’t know what’s been told on what side but I feel like I should put this out there in case Kell does think there is random drug testing going on because according to Kenny Porter there is no random drug testing going on.”
On Jun 23, Hearn told BoxingScene.com, “We are more than happy with the terms which include random drug testing which I feel is very important in the sport today”. This came after Ken Porter had alleged that they had not received a signed contract for the fight.
After receiving tweets about Malignaggi’s comments, Hearn had this to say in response: “Both parties signed up for random drug testing to be performed by USADA under that organisation’s protocol – it was a condition of the deal. I have seen and heard plenty of opinion in relation to this, it’s not just for this fight, it’s essential in the sport. This is a dangerous sport and those that are cheating need to be eradicated forever, a level playing field is essential.
“Kell is in a wonderful place. He flies out next week and I have no doubt in my mind that he will be victorious. This is a wonderful fight between two of the top welterweights in the world, fight fans are in for a real treat.”
Shaun Brown is the UK Editor at Boxing Scene and a contributor to Boxing Monthly. He can be contacted at [email protected] with any news, views or stories you may have.