Sunday, January 17, 2010

Pacquiao free from drugs, off to US Sunday


Filipino ring icon Manny Pacquiao tested negative of illegal drugs according to the Nevada Sports Athletic Commission and will proceed with his flight to Los Angeles Sunday.

That Pacquiao has tested negative for performance-enhancing drugs, including steroids, was relayed to ABS-CBN News by Keith Kizer of the NSAC on Saturday.

American Floyd Mayweather Jr., who was supposed to be Pacquiao’s opponent on March 13 at the MGM Grand in Las Vegas, also tested negative for drugs.

After talks for the Pacquiao-Mayweather duel fell through due to Mayweather’s insistence for random drug testing, Pacquiao and promoter Bob Arum of Top Rank picked Ghanaian Joshua Clottey to be his next foe on the same date, but to be held at the Cowboys Stadium in Arlington, Texas, instead.

After Pacquiao’s arrival in the United States, the pound-for-pound king will be flown by private jet provided by Arum to Dallas Texas for the kickoff press conference of the Pacquiao-Clottey bout on Tuesday. It will be followed by another press conference at the Madison Square Garden on Wednesday, after which he will be whisked back to the airport and return to Los Angeles.

Pacquiao will open training camp at Freddie Roach’s Wild Card Gym in Hollywood on Thursday, giving him just seven weeks to shape up for the Clottey bout set at 147 pounds.

Accompanying Pacquiao in his trip today are lawyer Jing Gacal, trainer Nonoy Neri and adviser Mike Koncz. Buboy Fernandez, another Pacquiao trainer, is already in Los Angeles, waiting for the arrival of the only boxer to win seven world titles in as many weight divisions.

The 31-year-old Pacquiao trained for eight weeks when he wrested Miguel Cotto’s World Boxing Organization welterweight crown via a 12th round stoppage and when he snared Ricky Hatton’s International Boxing Organization light welterweight title via a second-round knockout.

Meanwhile, the IBO decided to strip Pacquiao of the 140-title on Friday, noting that the Filipino is already campaigning in the 147-lb division.

After spending two months in Ghana, the 33-year-old Clottey is back in the United States and is already doing light training in the Bronx in New York, where he is now based.


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