Hatton now also claims Pacquiao may be taking drugs

ABS-CBN News

Posted at Jun 11 2010 02:45 AM | Updated as of Jun 12 2010 05:39 AM

MANILA, Philippines – A year after his stunning 2nd round loss to Manny Pacquiao, British boxer Ricky Hatton has voiced suspicion that the Filipino champion may be using performance enhancing drugs (PEDs).

Hatton, who has stayed away from boxing since getting knocked out by Pacquiao, said he should have made the same blood testing demand as Floyd Mayweather Jr., whose fight against Pacquiao fell through last year.

“I could have had those rules, but I wasn’t bothered,” Hatton said in a report posted on UAE news website The National. “Maybe in hindsight, I should have done.”

Hatton admitted he may have underestimated Pacquiao and this could have caused his loss.

“I must admit, I fancied my chances against Manny,” he said.

He said that he was astonished at Pacquiao’s punching power, which demolished bigger men like Oscar de la Hoya and Miguel Cotto.

In the report, Hatton erred in saying that Pacquiao was knocked down by a smaller Juan Manuel Marquez.

The Filipino faced Marquez twice, scoring a draw in their first fight in 2004. Pacquiao won via a split decision in the second bout in 2008. Although Pacquiao had a hard time beating the Mexican champion, he did not get knocked down in both matches.

“A few years ago, he was getting knocked down by little men like Marquez, then all of a sudden, he is knocking out Oscar de la Hoya, myself and Cotto, who are powerhouses in comparison,” said the Briton.

“It is a little bit strange. He could be on what Floyd is accusing him of [performance-enhancing substances], or it could be that he is just a great fighter who has improved. We will never know,” he added.

NSAC favors Pacquiao on blood testing issue

Meanwhile, the Nevada State Nevada State Athletic Commission (NSAC) appears to have sided with Pacquiao over the blood testing issue, saying that such tests should not be done close to the fight.

The NSAC cited a medical analysis which says drawing blood close to a fight may cause “hematomas, infections or other injuries.”

Fanhouse boxing editor Lem Satterfield on Thursday reported the results of a NSAC hearing regarding testing for steroids or other illegal substances.

The results favor Pacquiao instead of Mayweather's demand for random blood-testing Olympic style, which would require blood being drawn “all the way to the fight.”

Dr. David Watson, the former chief ringside physician, said the negative effects of blood-testing can take place if it is conducted “within three weeks of a fight.”

Pacquiao has already agreed to Mayweather’s demand that he undergo blood tests 14 days before fight night.

The blood testing issue was the main reason for the collapse of the negotiations for a Pacquiao-Mayweather fight in May 2009. --With a report from The Philippine Star