A knockout, according to the venerable American novelist Norman Mailer, is a disease. However, not all knockouts are the same.
There are down-the-floor knockouts, standing but shaky knockouts, outright count-outs, technical knockouts, and many more.
Then, there’s the most fearsome of all: the lights-out knockout.
This disease, said Mr. Mailer, results from a coma when the knee nerves lose contact with the brain.
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This last one was exactly the kind of cold-blooded fall suffered by Manny Pacquiao in Las Vegas early last month.
It was not the first time Pacquiao had suffered this shameful stoppage.
Just the same, the whole boxing world is still in awe.
Countless Pacquiao home fans remain in denial.
There’s, in short, general disbelief.
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But, then, what difference does one chilling KO make?
Noted the famous boxing eye Alex Groberman:
“The goofy befuddled look that everyone saw on Pacquiao’s face on Dec. 8 is the only one that can be associated with him and his camp at this point. They’re all dazed and confused. That is the only way to explain all the mixed messages, poorly thought out ideas, and conflicting theories that have emerged from his promoters, advisors, trainers and family over the past two weeks.”
Team Pacquiao got confused and scattered.
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But one committed lawyer, a resident of San Francisco, California, has refused to just sit in awe and wonder.
Crusader Ted Laguatan voices out his suspicion and sentiment:
“Users of Performance Enhancing Drugs (PEDs) display certain observable signs: a new physique with ripped bulked up muscles, markedly increased power and strength, speed and remarkable stamina.”
This, he swears, were very visible and evident in the case of Juan Manuel Marquez.
He continues: “In 2005, a case involving the sale of PEDs to elite athletes by a small laboratory in Burlingame, California, made the headlines. Known as Bay Area Laboratory Cooperative or Balco, its chair and founder Victor Conte pleaded guilty to conspiring to distribute steroids and other PEDs.”
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Just before Marquez’s spectacular stoppage last Dec.8, Laguatan says convicted Balco chair and PEDs supplier Victor Conte recognized Angel Hernandez.
Conte next came out with a bombshell public revelation that Hernandez was an assumed name and that the man was formerly known as Angel “Memo” Heredia—a “user and supplier of PEDs to elite athletes.”
Heredia was a main man in Marquez’s highly successful fourth encounter with Pacquiao.
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For a backgrounder, the nosy lawyer says one report indicated Heredia had created about 20 different PEDs which he claimed are undetectable.
“A 2009 German documentary downloaded in YouTube shows Angel injecting himself with a PED and telling the viewers how easy it is to get these drugs in Mexico,” Laguatan explains.
He next turned to the case of the fallen cycling star Lance Armstrong:
“It took the United States Anti-doping Agency (Usada) and the World Anti-Doping Agency (Wada) to seriously investigate drug use by cyclists that helped lead to Armstrong shocking confession of his use of PEDs to win an unprecedented seven Tour de France titles.”
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Laguatan says the Usada should also be involved in urging uniform strict testing of PEDs in boxing.
“It can use its influence to change the doping landscape for the good of all,” he says.
He asks everybody concerned to please join the call to have uniform strict drug testing protocol for the sport of boxing.
“It will end cheating, save lives and prevent brain damage and other serious injuries to boxers. Urge them to investigate the Pacquiao-Marquez fight and to push for a uniform strict drug testing procedure for boxing events.”
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The number of Usada in the US is 800-233-0393. It could be reached from outside the US by calling 001-719-785-2020. Their e-mail is: [email protected]
Ted Laguatan is a San Francisco Bay Area-based human rights lawyer. The California state bar also honors him as one of the top immigration lawyers in the US. He is one of only 29 lawyers officially certified continuously as an Expert-Specialist in this field for almost 25 years now. E-mail [email protected]