Advertisement
Advertisement
Boxingscene.com

Larry Merchant's Take on Marquez's Conditioning Coach

By Chris Robinson

The buzz surrounding the November 12th Manny Pacquiao-Juan Manuel Marquez trilogy bout took an interesting turn earlier this week when BALCO founder Victor Conte released a message via Twitter stating that Marquez has been working with admitted steroid dealer Angel ‘Memo’ Heredia for this particular camp. Now known as Angel Hernandez, the strength and conditioning coach had testified before a San Francisco court in May of 2008 that he had sold illegal substances such as EPO and steroids to Olympic sprinters Marion Jones and Tim Montgomery.

The news certainly came as a curveball of sorts as Marquez has always carried himself as the consummate professional and any prior association of him with performance-enhancing drugs seemed to be a stretch. But while you never want to accuse anyone without proof, people’s speculation towards Marquez has been running rampant the past 48 hours because of his connection to Hernandez.

The topic obviously struck a chord with Larry Merchant as well, as the HBO color analyst ringed me earlier tonight to share his thoughts on the subject. Merchant was sure to keep things professional without crossing any kind of lines, but you could sense some definite curiousity coming from him towards Marquez’s new working relationship.
 
Merchant revealed that producers of HBO’s excellent 24/7 series, which has been following Pacquiao and Marquez in their respective camps during the latest episodes, seemed to already have some interest in Hernandez even before Conte’s tweet set the sport ablaze. Merchant also shared his thoughts on steroid use in boxing as a whole and why he feels that it shouldn’t be a necessity in the first place.
 
Continue reading for all of Merchant’s thoughts…
 
Initial reaction to the Hernandez drama…
“I’m a little amazed that Victor Conte surfaced. There’s a proven case of performance-enhance drugs, yet fighters have openly used him for advice or training. If a guy is running for office, I don’t think you could do this, but in boxing, maybe you can do this and get away with it and it doesn’t matter how it looks. It certainly doesn’t look right.”
 
Producers showing curiosity towards Hernandez…
“My information, and this information may not be conflicting, was that it first materialized when the guy first appeared on the first 24/7. And flares went up in various places, including our own, about ‘Who is this guy?’ and whether or not he was who he said he was. I don’t know the timeline about who revealed what first, but I heard that our people, the producers who did 24/7, were curious about who this guy was. And when a guy changes his names, tries to rebrand himself, then you wonder what Marquez is up to. But at the same time, this is the guy who was drinking his own urine the last time we saw this movie. I don’t know what he’s up to. I think the record is clear that he’s never beaten anybody above lightweight.”
 
A reasonable conclusion…
“It certainly is a reasonable conclusion to come to, that [Marquez] felt that he had to do something more than he did the last time he fought at welterweight. There are a lot of trainers out there in the world and why would he have picked this guy? The same thing could have been said of Conte and he has several big fighters who have sought out his help. Donaire is with him, Berto is with him, I’m not sure who else has aligned themself with him. And I’m not sure there has been any particular consequence from his work. These guys may just be great snake oil salesman. And fighters are often looking for some magic elixir to bring them to their best performance.”
 
Would he ever feel that a fighter like Marquez would cheat?
“You know, I don’t know. I’ve been surprised before. I never imagined that Shane Mosley could get involved with a guy like Conte. I’ve always argued that, from my position in ringside, of the guys we know who tested positive, I’ve never seen once that it noticeably helped in terms of performance. But sometimes there’s a psychological boost for somebody. I’ve seen that in all sports, not just boxing and not just performance-enhancing. There have been all kinds of, as I call them ‘magic elixirs’ and snake oils down through the ages of athletes who thought they would get some kind of an edge. Marquez has always seemed like a straight arrow but that doesn’t mean he isn’t looking for an edge. If he drinks his own urine, he’s looking for an edge. Whatever his reputation, that part of his reputation shows he will do whatever it takes.”
 
To seem right is imperative…
“It may have been stirred up by the airing of the 24/7. Again, I just don’t know the timeline of when people were alerted. I guess Marquez could argue ‘Hey, if I didn’t put the guy undercover I wasn’t trying to hide anything’. He could say that clearly. There’s an old saying that when you are dealing with the public ‘To be right is important, to seem right is imperative’.”
 
Skeptical about PEDs in boxing…
“I’ve always been curious or skeptical about the notion that you can make yourself bigger, stronger, faster or just as fast as you ever were. If you go back and look at the Mosley story, Conte and his trainer both talk about the fact that he used PEDs for the rematch with Oscar. If you go back and look at the fights, Mosley fought him better in the first fight than in the second fight. I question whether making yourself stronger helps, because I don’t think it makes you faster. My own opinion is that if Marquez is able to fight Pacquiao on even terms with his natural ability and quickness, why try to make yourself bigger? What is that going to do for you? And I think fighters have made that mistake in the past, that when they moved up in weight or in weight class, they thought they had to somehow deliberately rather than naturally, make themselves artificially strong. And the advantage is his quickness and skill. It had nothing to do with strength.”

[ Reader's note: Continue on to the following slideshow for the latest images from the boxing world... A look inside 24/7 Pacquiao-Marquez, episode 2 / A look inside the Wild Card]

Chris Robinson is based out of Las Vegas, Nevada. He can be reached at [email protected]

User Comments and Feedback (Register For Free To Comment) Comment by Dunkeroo23 on 11-05-2011

Um last time I checked, Marquez is willing to take any tests, and Pacquaio is not. So why is the cloud of suspicion on Marquez

Comment by JibbaJabber on 11-05-2011

the hell with larry merchant racist *****.. suck a dick clown.. who car what he has to say he knows nothing about boxing.. just **** talking on the microphone:wt:

Comment by x3_bazooka_x3 on 11-04-2011

[QUOTE=Arshad221;11372741]wasn't freddie roach james toney trainer when he got busted for steriods? oh[/QUOTE] So, wasnt the people supporting james this morning on the anti steroid bandwagon? thats my point.... same with those who sport Roy Jones avatars same who have…

Comment by Arshad221 on 11-04-2011

[QUOTE=x3_bazooka_x3;11372730]The only thing that Makes Pacquiao a suspect is the Mayweathers, the man involved in the corner of Marquez is a known steroid dealer big ****ing difference. You cant sit there and point the finger at Pac and argue steroids…

Comment by x3_bazooka_x3 on 11-04-2011

The only thing that Makes Pacquiao a suspect is the Mayweathers, the man involved in the corner of Marquez is a known steroid dealer big ****ing difference. You cant sit there and point the finger at Pac and argue steroids…

Post a Comment - View More User Comments (29)
Top Headlines Julio Cesar Chavez's Brother Shot and Killed During Robbery Misael Rodriguez, Lindolfo Delgado To Return on Televisa Card Beibut Shumenov Officially Retires Due To Severe Eye Injury Montgomery Brothers Ink With Witness Sports Management NSAC Changes Rigondeaux-Flores Result From KO to a No-Contest Tyson Fury: McGregor Drills Mayweather - It'll Be Good For Boxing Badou Jack Wants Adonis Stevenson After Nathan Cleverly Shot Fury: 'I'm a Fat Bastard;' Says He Must Lose 100-Plus Pounds Canelo On Chavez: He Didn't Try to Win; You Have to Have Balls! Mikey Garcia Wants Linares, Lomachenko or Pacquiao in The Fall Daily Bread Mailbag: Ward-Kovalev II Ending, Canelo-VADA, More Andre Dirrell vs. Jose Uzcategui Rematch Ordered By The IBF Arum Feels Horn Will Become Major Star After Pacquiao Fight De La Hoya: Canelo vs. Golovkin is a Trilogy Type of Fight Canelo: Big Difference Between Me and The Guys Golovkin KO'd Manny Pacquiao - Nothing To Prove, Not Much To Lose Horn's Trainer: Secret 10-Point Plan in Place To Beat Pacquiao Pacquiao: McGregor Not Compatible With Boxing - He Won't Win Lomachenko's Manager Responds Back To Team Rigondeaux Shane Mosley Jr. Motivated To Impress on Pacquiao-Horn Card Joseph Parker vs. Hughie Fury Now in Manchester, September 23 Fortune: Plain and Simple - Horn Has No Shot To Beat Pacquiao! Team Rigondeaux on Lomachenko: We're Calling Your 130 Bluff! Photos: Tomasz Adamek Returns, Defeats Solomon Haumono Duran: If McGregor is Serious, He'll Break Mayweather's Legs Rigondeaux Wants Lomachenko at 126, Worried He'll Go To 135 Omar Chavez Wants To Get His Hands on Antonio Margarito Roach: I Have Not Seen This Manny Pacquiao in Seven Years! Pacquiao: I've Never Been This Motivated, Fired Up For a Fight! Loeffler: Canelo-GGG, Mayweather-McGregor Both Will Do Well Lomachenko's Manager Dares Rigondeaux: Come Up To 130! Broner Trainer: Garcia Is 'No Marcos Maidana, No Shawn Porter' Light Heavy Holds, Burnett Enters at 118: BScene Ratings Update Buatsi Confident Joshua Will Guide Him Proper To a World Title Carlos Negron Drops Derric Rossy Twice, Stops Him in Four Anthony Fowler Eager To Improve Despite Second Win Manny Pacquiao: Horn is No Easy Fight, He's a Tough Opponent Hopkins Rips Mayweather: Shows a Lack of Respect For Boxing! Golovkin-Canelo and the Allure of Exclusivity Javier Fortuna Crushes Mario Beltre in Two Rounds
Advertisement

Latest Active Forum Threads
Advertisement
Advertisement