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List of Articles by Socrates Celestial



Marquez linked to Steroids?

By Socrates Celestial
PhilBoxing.com
12 Nov 2011



The number five pound-for-pound best for 243 weeks on the list, (according to ‘The Ring Magazine’) Juan Manuel Marquez wants to take the WBO welterweight belt away from the number one pound-for-pound king for 414 weeks, Manny Pacquiao. No other boxer on this list has maintained such longevity, besides these two. On Saturday, November 12, 2011 Marquez will have his last opportunity to do so. Pacquiao looks to silence the bitter challenger and convince him that there has only ever been one winner and that not a single judge was wrong for officially scoring that opinion. The stage is set and the warriors are on the brink of battle. There is, however, some controversy that surrounds this rematch trilogy.

In their previous engagements, Pacquiao was the only fighter to deliver any knockdowns between the two boxers. In total he scored three knockdowns in the first meeting and one in the second fight. Marquez has had such dominant control that Pacquiao seemed, at times, as though he were seconds away from collapsing due to the accuracy and power from the counter punches. In some fights, other judges could have easily scored these as 10-8 rounds, though Marquez was never graced with that type of scoring. The scoring itself brings forth some odd anomalies.

Every fight has three judges to award fighters points for every round fought. That means there are three scorecards for every fight. Pacquiao and Marquez have fought twice, producing a total of six scorecards. Each scorecard has produced a full twelve rounds. Pacquiao and Marquez now share a collection of 24 rounds between them in total. Based on the official results and six judge’s scorecards, the average score for Marquez is 113 points over 24 rounds. Pacquiao’s average points over six scorecards is also 113.17, which is remarkably an even split. By the points alone it can be easily seen how close these two boxers are matched in battle. The professional rivalry these two gladiators have developed exists only in the ring and reveals a feverish fury as if both combatants are waging a war. Should this fight go to the judge’s scorecards there is a chance for another draw. The chance may mathematically exist, but it is an unlikely outcome.

The one irony that many other sceptics fail to see is that while the eight time champion Manny Pacquiao has been under scrutiny about anabolic steroid use (mainly from boxer Floyd Mayweather’s camp) resulting from his weight gain and destructive power, Marquez has not fallen under the same damaging suspicion. They share identical records and have competed initially at 125 pounds, then again at 129 pounds and now at 144 pounds. Marquez is a highly skilled competitor possessing immense prowess and proves to be the biggest threat to Pacquiao’s reign. They are perfect adversaries. Even through each of their own vast idiosyncrasies, the common theme is a well- honed fighter with almost identical records and scoring ability.

So the question remains, why hasn’t Marquez been put under the same microscope that Pacquiao has? Pacquiao has increased his weight incline steadily since 1997, gaining an average of five pounds every three to four opponents. For a top level athlete, 14 years to gain 40 pounds of muscle is no feat at all. That is why we hail these champions. Because of their resilience and outstanding discipline. We applaud their constant demand on the human body to athletically achieve things of grandiose measure. It is inspiring.

Marquez on the other side of the spectrum has skyrocketed in weight and has competed in a heavier weight class only in his last six bouts alone. His new strength and conditioning coach, Angel Hernandez, has also been linked to illegal performance enhancing practices. Steroid use is more indicative of quick change in muscular physique and rapid weight gain. It is uneducated skeptics that fail to realize that anabolic assistance can only offer muscle increase. Dramatic increases in lean muscle tissue require a higher requirement of oxygen intake and would be counterproductive since muscle consumes oxygen in order to maintain a high level of functionality over long periods of time. This means endurance would be ultimately sacrificed and it is not consistent in the level of stamina found in Pacquiao’s athletic output. Marquez possess the same type of athleticism, so there is no conclusive evidence that either one of these boxers could be guilty of such accusation.
Steroids cannot build skill. It cannot improve nimble hand-eye co-ordination and it cannot make a battered fighter patiently receive an onslaught while timing the right opportunity to change the course of the fight. It is a ridiculous claim to think that either one of these near-perfect specimens have perverted their sport and would blemish their honor in order to achieve short term gain.

No athletic state commission has ever come forward with a complaint or claim that either one of these pugilists is guilty of any use of an illegal substance or practices. It has, in fact, done regular testing which is common-place at this level of the sport. It is absurd that a team or a fighter’s suspicion should suggest overruling a systematic commission to employ blood testing habits not recognized by any athletic organization in North America. That method would be to withdraw blood moments before a fight. Withdrawing blood leaves the body in a weakened state. This debilitated state is far from ideal for high level competition in any sport.

Testing after a fight would still reveal any truancy that would infringe any of the many recognized rules of engagement. Any illegal chemical activity can result in a lifetime ban and expulsion from the sport. Either one of these boxers neither deserves the degradation nor the scrutiny for pushing themselves naturally to the higher echelon of their athletic capability. These boxers should be celebrated and the cynics cast aside their doubts. In the end, it is not unrealistic that two dedicated fighters demonstrate the array of possibilities from a life of devotion to their craft.


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