• Pacquiao in tip-top shape, undergoes random drug test

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    Manny Pacquiao hits the heavy bag during training. AFP FILE PHOTO

    Manny Pacquiao hits the heavy bag during training. AFP FILE PHOTO

    LOS ANGELES: Manny Pacquiao was given a random drug test on Saturday (Sunday in Manila), only two days after the US Anti-Doping Agency revealed the Filipino boxing icon and future foe Floyd Mayweather agreed to Olympic-style testing.

    A report on GMA News in Pacquiao’s homeland detailed that he had given blood and urine samples to a medical technician that made an unannounced visit to Pacquiao’s training area in Los Angeles.

    Pacquiao agreed to the extra doping protocol as part of the contract signed to fight unbeaten US rival Floyd Mayweather on May 2 in Las Vegas in a long-awaited bout that figures to shatter boxing revenue records.

    Both Mayweather and Pacquiao must make themselves available for random blood and urine tests and provide US anti-doping officials with travel itineraries. They will also be tested after the fight.

    Samples will be examined for human growth hormone (HGH), erythropoietin (EPO) and other substances.

    Drug testing was an issue in 2010 when talks for a Mayweather-Pacquiao showdown failed. Mayweather accused Pacquiao of using performance-enhancing drugs. Pacquiao denied the claim and sued Mayweather, a dispute the two settled out of court.

    Pacquiao in tip-top shape
    Meanwhile, Top Rank boss Bob Arum said on Monday that Pacquiao is now in top condition with a month and a half to go before his mega fight against Mayweather.

    “Manny is in good tremendous shape and I’m happy with what I saw in the training. Freddie Roach and Team Pacquiao are doing a remarkable job in Manny’s first two weeks of training,” Arum told The Manila Times via phone interview.

    But seeing the Filipino ring icon’s zeal in training, Arum said that he’s a little apprehensive Pacman might peak too soon.

    “But I don’t like to see Manny peaking early since there are still more days left before the fight night although I believe that Manny will beat him,” he added. “As what I’ve saw in his training, Manny’s condition, reflexes and power are getting better.”

    “It’s going to improve more when the fight night comes.”

    Arum, who was the promoter of Mayweather before they parted ways in 2006, said that the Pacquiao camp already has a strategy in place against the unbeaten American.

    “Coach Freddie, Pacquiao and his team have a game plan against Mayweather.”

    Pacquiao (55-7-2 win-loss-draw record with 38 knockouts) is the present World Boxing Organization welterweight champion while Mayweather (47-0 win-loss record with 26 knockouts) is the current World Boxing Council and World Boxing Association super welterweight titleholder.

    Their upcoming fight is a unification bout.

    AFP WITH REPORT FROM JOSEF T. RAMOS

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