Advertisement
Advertisement
Boxingscene.com

Pacquiao-Thurman: No VADA Testing In Place for July 20 PPV Event

By Jake Donovan

The upcoming welterweight title fight between unbeaten Keith Thurman and legendary former eight-division titlist Manny Pacquiao is worth the price of admission on its own.

Add to that, a three-fight supporting undercard for the Fox Sports Pay-Per-View event and a major title fight headlining a preceding Premier Boxing Champions (PBC) on Fox prime time telecast, and fans are left with everything you can ask for out of the July 20 event at MGM Grand in Las Vegas, Nevada.

Except for sufficient random drug testing.

BoxingScene.com has learned that participants for the biggest boxing event of 2019 to date will be subject to testing standards limited to that provided by Nevada State Athletic Commission. Original plans to secure the services of Voluntary Anti-Doping Agency (VADA) were called off for reasons that haven’t yet been made clear—and too late in the game to rectify with just four weeks to go before fight night.

VADA representatives declined further comment beyond confirming that they are not involved in any aspect of the July 20 card.

Pacquiao found himself at the forefront of a heated years-long debate regarding drug testing as the issue was first raised by Floyd Mayweather Jr. when the demand grew for a superfight between the sport’s leading welterweights—and boxers in general.

The two would circle each other for more than five years before finally squaring off in May 2015, resulting in the most lucrative event in boxing history. Their fight came with random testing provided by United States Anti-Doping Agency (USADA), whose services Mayweather used for each of his fights beginning with his May 2010 win over Shane Mosley throughout the rest of his career.

Of course, Pacquiao has proven to be a clean athlete, having been regularly tested through random testing dating back to his Nov. 2013 points win over Brandon Rios. VADA testing was in place for that bout in Macao, China, which actually popped Rios for the banned substance dimenthylamylamine (DMAA).

The Las Vegas-headquartered agency also provided its services for Pacquiao’s most recent ring appearance, a 12-round win over Adrien Broner this past January, also at MGM Grand. The subject came to surface, however, when Broner alleged that he had yet to be tested by late December, less than a month out from the January 19 Showtime PPV event.

VADA has been utilized for every major event in recent years, serving at the forefront of—and in perhaps as the biggest story of the year—Anthony Joshua's planned title defense versus Jarrell Miller. The bout was due to mark the U.S. debut for England's Joshua, which still occurred—just without Miller, who tested positive for multiple banned substances during VADA-conducted pre-fight testing.

pacquiao-thurman (4)

Joshua would go on to face Andy Ruiz, whom would score one of the year's biggest upsets in a 7th round stoppage on June 1 to become a unified heavyweight titlist. 

Ruiz-Joshua was among the biggest events to be presented by rookie sports streaming platform DAZN-USA, promoting the show as if it were a PPV card. Such treatment was afforded the most watched DAZN-USA telecast to date, when Saul 'Canelo' Alvarez scored a 12-round decision over Daniel Jacobs four weeks prior in Las Vegas. Their May 4 bout carried VADA testing, as Alvarez has been enrolled directly in the program on a year-round basis—a stipulation that came with his own failed drug tests in early 2018, thus postponing his originally scheduled rematch with Gennadiy Golovkin by four months. 

VADA testing was utilized for both Alvarez-Golovkin I and II, as well as for Top Rank on ESPN's PPV debut this past April, topped by unbeaten WBO welterweight titlist Terence Crawford's 6th round stoppage of Amir Khan.

The agency's services were also provided for Fox Sports’ first foray into the PPV market in March, when IBF welterweight titlist Errol Spence pitched a 12-round shutout over Mikey Garcia in their battle of unbeaten pound-for-pound entrants. It was also in place for last December’s Showtime PPV show in Los Angeles, where unbeaten heavyweights Deontay Wilder and Tyson Fury fought to a 12-round draw.

Wilder has remained among the sport’s most vocal supporters of stringent drug testing, even at the expense of watching three fights fall by the wayside as a result. The trio of Alexander Povetkin, Andrzej Wawrzyk and Luis Ortiz all tested positive for banned substances ahead of their scheduled bouts with the undefeated titlist.

Ortiz was the only one to land a fight with Wilder, his previously scheduled affair postponed by four months despite the event marking his second failed drug test, having served a one year suspension following a failed drug test in 2014. His positive test for this particular occasion came down to a clerical error on his part, failing to disclose medication he was taking to treat high blood pressure. 

Wilder is far from alone among PBC athletes who regularly contract the services of VADA for their events.

Recently unified super welterweight titlist Julian ‘J-Rock’ Williams has not only been a longtime supporter of the program but has doubled down on his stance on the subject, recently insisting that any future opponents must agree to a testing period no shorter than 90- days out from fight night.

Spence, Garcia, Shawn Porter, Yordenis Ugas and Caleb Plant are among the many others under the PBC banner who are in full support of the program. Ugas—whose narrow points loss to Porter this past March came complete with VADA testing— and Plant will both appear on the July 20 undercard, with Plant making the first defense of his super middleweight title versus Mike Lee atop the preceding PBC on Fox telecast.

Ugas will face unbeaten former welterweight titlist Omar Figueroa on the PPV undercard in a World Boxing Council (WBC)-sanctioned title eliminator. The WBC is involved in another PPV preliminary bout, with unbeaten bantamweight Luis Nery facing Juan Carlos Payano in a battle of former titlists.

Nery returned to the sport last fall following a troubled past that includes his having produced a positive drug test following his Aug. 2017 bantamweight title winning effort over Shinsuke Yamanaka in Japan. He also showed up well over the bantamweight limit in their March 2018 rematch, also in Japan where he was issued a lifetime ban.

The unbeaten boxer from Mexico was also issued an indefinite suspension by the WBC which was eventually downgraded to six months and allowing for his ring return last October. Nery is enrolled in the WBC Clean Boxing Program, which has often been confused with its participants also actively participating in year-round random drug testing.

Such enrollment merely puts participants in a deep pool of several hundred fighters, with an infinitesimal number of athletes actually selected per month for such testing. The odds pale miserably in comparison to those who directly enlisted the services VADA.

As it relates to the July 20 event, it seems the chances are zero of any of its participants being subjected to anything more than standard commission testing.

Jake Donovan is a senior writer for BoxingScene.com. Twitter: @JakeNDaBox

User Comments and Feedback (Register For Free To Comment) Comment by travestyny on 06-26-2019

[QUOTE=Pennstate110;19859812]Yea you got schooled dude...sit out out for the rest of the game kid lol you've had too much[/QUOTE] Oh really? That's funny because literally the only thing that happened is the dude refused too admit that he was wrong,…

Comment by Pennstate110 on 06-26-2019

[QUOTE=travestyny;19858852]And what was NSAC going to issue a TUE for, genius? You still haven't put this together? You are not getting off the hook. WERE YOU WRONG OR NOT? Did NSAC have an IV rule in place? Yes or no?…

Comment by Dosumpthin on 06-26-2019

VADA [I][B]STYLE[/B][/I] TESTING? lol. Good one.

Comment by travestyny on 06-26-2019

[QUOTE=thesmokingman;19858899]I was wondering what his mental problem was. He's like a land war in Asia... :rofl:[/QUOTE] If I'm like a war, it's because I'm a one man army kicking the shlt out of your squirming, idiotic ass :lol1: Aint that…

Comment by thesmokingman on 06-26-2019

[QUOTE=Spoon23;19858887]Dude, that guy your arguing is a re-tarded wannabee working for a drug agency, what he is, is more likely to be in a drug Cartel :lol1: That Travestyny has lost countless times to me, but what he will not…

Post a Comment - View More User Comments (223)
Top Headlines Pacquiao Drops, Bloodies, Decisions Thurman For WBA Title Manny Pacquiao-Keith Thurman - LIVE BoxingScene Scorecard Yordenis Ugas Drops, Decisions Omar Figueroa in Eliminator Omar Figueroa-Yordenis Ugas - LIVE BoxingScene Scorecard Sergey Lipinets Blasts Out Jayar Inson in Two Rounds Luis Nery Lands Vicious Body Shot To Knock Payano Out in Ninth Manny Pacquiao: I Don't Think Keith Thurman Will Trade With Me Caleb Plant Drops Mike Lee Three Times, Stops Him in Third Caleb Plant vs. Mike Lee - LIVE BoxingScene Scorecard Efe Ajagba Forced To Go Distance, Decisions Demirezen Buboy: I Told Pacquiao, 'If You Are Angry at Thurman - KO Him!' Thurman: Pacquiao Knows Broner Fight Was B.S., Not Entertaining Dillian Whyte Gets Off The Floor To Decision Oscar Rivas Dillian Whyte vs. Oscar Rivas - LIVE BoxingScene Scorecard Maxim Vlasov Gets Revenge, Decisions Isaac Chilemba Pacquiao vs. Thurman - LIVE Results From Las Vegas Errol Spence vs. Shawn Porter Made Official For September 28 David Price Saves Career, Breaks Down & Stops Dave Allen Keith Thurman-Manny Pacquiao: Stats and Stakes David Allen vs. David Price - LIVE BoxingScene Scorecard Chisora Knocks Szpilka Out Cold in Second Round Chisora vs. Szpilka - LIVE BoxingScene Scorecard Keith Thurman In 'Far Better' Shape For Pacquiao Than Lopez Thurman Admires Pacquiao, But He'll Retire Long Before He's 40 Dillian Whyte vs. Oscar Rivas - LIVE Results From London Pacquiao vs. Thurman: Preview and Analysis Caleb Plant: I Trained Harder For Mike Lee Than Uzcategui Angel Garcia: Thurman Ain't The Same Since He Fought Danny Lomachenko-Campbell Title Fight Official, 8/31 in London Caleb Plant: Mike Lee Has No Idea What He's Getting Himself Into Porter: Thurman Will Try To Get Manny Out Of There Real Quick Ellerbe: Pacquiao-Thurman Will End In KO; Could Be Hagler-Hearns Daily Bread Mailbag: Pernell Whitaker, Pacquiao-Thurman, More Photos: Teofimo Lopez Tested Tough To Beat Masayoshi Nakatani Dadashev Undergoes Two Hour Surgery, Part of Skull Removed Video: Leonard Ellerbe Reacts To Pacquiao-Thurman Weigh-In Video: Winky Wright Breaks Down Pacquiao vs. Thurman Video: Danny Garcia Discusses Pacquiao vs. Thurman Video: Angel Garcia on Danny's Options, Mikey Garcia, More Video: Erik Morales on Pacquiao-Thurman, Canelo Franchise Belt
Advertisement
Latest Active Forum Threads
Advertisement
Advertisement