MANNY Pacquiao’s fight against a self-proclaimed king of boxing may have fallen through, but the Filipino is in for another fight against an ever bigger leader.
Against ESPN itself, the “worldwide leader in sports.”
Pacquiao, who is set to fight Joshua Clottey on March 13 after his fight with Floyd Mayweather Jr. failed to materialize, blasted ESPN and one of its commentators for hitting below the belt.
The latest brouhaha came out after reports hit the Internet that Teddy Atlas, one of the commentators of ESPN’s Friday Night’s Boxing has added more fuel to the steroids saga.
Atlas reportedly said during one telecast that he had a source who told him that Team Pacquiao sent an e-mail to Team Mayweather asking two things:
1.) the penalty if Pacquiao tests positive and 2.) if they could keep the positive test a secret.
That “e-mail” exchange was also reported by Tim Smith of New York Daily News.
As expected, the comments hit a nerve, and Bob Arum has demanded that Atlas apologize.
Atlas, in an interview with boxingtalk.com, said he’d only apologize after Smith, who reported it in his paper, apologizes.
The comments were reportedly issued late in December, when the negotiations for the Mayweather vs. Pacquiao fight were at a fever pitch.
It was raised again just last week, when the deal fell through.
Manny too, isn’t pleased and wrote in his column that nobody in his team wrote such an e-mail.
“I am certain that nobody in my camp wrote the e-mail and I suspect this was made up by someone who has a naughy mind. Who?
I have no idea,” Pacquiao wrote in Filipino in his column.
Pacquiao also blasted Atlas and Smith for falling for such an “e-mail,” if it did exist.
“Didn’t they ever think that anybody can just make up an e-mail address and use this to pretend to be someone else? To attack another person?” Pacquiao wrote.
“Irresponsible journalism by irresponsible people cannot be tolerated.”
Pacquiao also hit the fact that he has been judged “guilty until proven innocent.”
“Isn’t it the other way around?” he said and added that he’s challenging Smith, Atlas, and even ESPN, to show proof.
“Now I am challenging Smith, Atlas, and ESPN, to show their evidence..If they have respect for themselves, or if they have professional etiquette. If not, I will forever call them liars,” Pacquiao said.
The allegations of steroids use was first raised by Mayweather Sr. prior to Pacquiao’s match with Miguel Cotto.
Pacquiao has since filed a defamation suit against both Mayweathers and Golden Boy Promotions.