MANILA, Philippines – The camp of Jeff Horn says they will request a random drug testing protocol prior to a rematch with Filipino boxing legend Manny Pacquiao, according to Horn’s trainer Glenn Rushton.
After the underdog Horn pulled off a shocking win against Pacquiao last month to clinch the WBO welterweight title at the Suncorp Stadium in Brisbane, the second fight is being targeted for a date in November which is most likely to happen in Australia.
Rushton tells the Sydney Morning Herald that he wasn’t comfortable with the drug testing protocols during the first bout. This time, Rushton explained his team wants a “level playing field” to assure that both boxers are clean.
“It is something I’d bring up because what I don’t want is for them to go ‘The only way I can win this fight is if we are trying to get an unfair advantage,'” Rushton said. “I would certainly be very mindful of that. We want the big fights, but we want a level playing field.
“I’m very happy with any drug testing. I signed Jeff up for the WBC-VADA clean boxing program, which means you can be tested at any time. As an Olympian, we’re used to this sort of drug testing. We’ve had to do this many times. He’s clean as a whistle. If we thought it was a fluke, we would be dodging it. But we’re saying let’s do it again, next time we’ll make it more convincing.”
Standard drug testing practices involve a urine sample immediately before or after a fight, while random drug testing is similar to that which takes place in the Olympics, with the athletes submitting themselves to unannounced tests at any time during training camp.
Some drug testing advocates say that the only way to ensure clean sport is to have random testing conducted year-round even when fights aren’t scheduled, as Nonito Donaire Jr underwent during his reign as junior featherweight champion earlier this decade.
Pacquiao, who will turn 39 a month after the proposed rematch time frame, faced similar conditions during his early negotiations for a fight with Floyd Mayweather Jr, which proved to be a sticking point.
Pacquiao had undergone random testing through the Voluntary Anti-Doping Association before his 2013 fight with Brandon Rios following his knockout loss to Juan Manuel Marquez in their fourth meeting, and for subsequent fights including against Timothy Bradley Jr and Chris Algieri. – Rappler.com