Marquez says he’s clean

Juan Manuel Marquez (left) says his drugs test will come back negative. At right is Manny Pacquiao.

LAS VEGAS – Saying “I am a clean fighter,” boxer Juan Manuel Marquez has predicted his drug tests from the Nevada State Athletic Commission will come back negative.

“I feel very happy with my training, I feel great about the tests,” Marquez told the Los Angeles Times. “I won’t have a problem.”

Marquez, who knocked out future boxing hall-of-famer Manny Pacquiao in the sixth round Saturday night in Las Vegas in their fourth bout, also said he would seek Olympic-style random drug testing prior to his next fight.

There was no title at stake Saturday, but Marquez took care of business with a thunderous right hand that left Pacquiao face-first on the canvas, with his remarkable career in question.

Pacquiao weighed in at the class limit of 147 pounds, but it was Marquez who looked like the stronger welterweight entering the ring, having bulked up with the help of a strength conditioner, though he weighed in at 143 pounds.

In their earlier fights, Pacquiao had been the bigger puncher, knocking Marquez down a total of four times, but on Saturday it was Marquez who had the biggest punch.

Speculation continued about Marquez’s ripped physical form after his controversial strength and conditioning coach, Angel “Memo” Heredia, also known as Angel Hernandez, called Marquez a “hulk” at a news conference last week. The Nevada State Athletic Commission did not perform random drug tests on Marquez or Pacquiao during their training camps, according to the Times, but pre-fight and post-fight urine samples were collected from each fighter. The results should be revealed by December 17, Keith Kizer, the commission’s executive director, said.

Marquez said he was annoyed by speculation that his body didn’t develop naturally “after working hard for four months in Mexico. If I continue fighting, I’d like to do Olympic-style anti-doping tests with my opponent.”

Unable to win a decision in their first three fights, Marquez scored big with a huge right hand that put Pacquiao down for the second time in the fight at 2:59 of the sixth round.

Ringside punching stats underscored the ferocity of the bout, showing Pacquiao landing 94 of 256 punches to 52 of 246 for Marquez. But it was the one big right hand from Marquez that counted more than anything.

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