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  • Juan Manuel Marquez and PEDs: Fight trainer insists JMM is innocent until proven guilty

Juan Manuel Marquez and PEDs: Fight trainer insists JMM is innocent until proven guilty

Joseph Herron Updated
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Since decisively beating former WBO Junior Welterweight title holder Mike Alvarado on Saturday, May 17th, future Hall of Famer and four division world champion Juan Manuel Marquez and strength and conditioning expert Angel “Memo” Heredia have become a controversial topic among die hard boxing fans and skeptics. But former Junior Welterweight contender and elite level trainer Ronnie Shields warns every fight fan to judge slowly when examining the given scenario.

(Main pic courtesy of HBO Boxing)

“Even though he’s 40 years old, JMM looked like a kid out there,” observes the Houston, Texas based boxing coach.

“Throwing explosive and accurate combinations…and for twelve rounds. It was an incredible and almost unbelievable performance.”

“And I’ve been hearing all of the criticism since the fight. But until Marquez fails a  drug test, you can’t believe any of that. It’s like accusing someone of stealing without finding anything on them.”

Renowned nutritionist and fitness expert Victor Conte is one of many detractors who believe that Juan Manuel Marquez’s dominant performance over Alvarado was not the result of a “natural” fighter, and questions why more stringent testing wasn‘t implemented for such a lucrative and high profiled bout, considering Heredia’s history with performance enhancing drugs (PEDs).

Although notorious for his involvement in the highly publicized BALCO laboratory, a San Francisco Bay area business that supplied anabolic steroids to professional athletes, Conte has become an avid supporter of mandatory and more intensive performance enhancing drug testing to remove any doubt and cynicism surrounding himself or the fighters with which he’s affiliated.

The vocal proponent of more stringent testing wonders why Marquez, strength and conditioning coach Angel Heredia and promoter Bob Arum didn’t request or implement Olympic style drug testing for this major event.

Ronnie Shields doesn’t see this as an indictment of the all time great Mexican warrior.

“Marquez is a future Hall of Fame fighter for a reason,” insists the boxing expert. “He hasn’t just recently become a great fighter. He garnered his reputation long before he ever started working with Angel Heredia, and has made a living off of being competitive or beating the best fighters of his generation.”

juan manuel marquez-pacquiao

“I think the criticism is a product of Marquez knocking-out Manny Pacquiao in 2012,” claims Ronnie Shields.

“Fans and critics still have a hard time digesting what happened in their fourth fight together and are trying to rationalize something that they felt was completely irrational. He simply caught Manny with a perfectly timed shot. That’s what Marquez has done throughout his entire career.”'

“If you look at the knockdown in which JMM floored Alvarado last Saturday night, Marquez merely caught Mike off-balance while he was switching his stance from orthodox to southpaw." 

"JMM saw the opening and capitalized on it. The knock-down was a product of his ring intelligence, not super human strength.”

Because of what Marquez has meant to the sport of boxing, Coach Shields believes that detractors should have more respect for the future Hall of Fame fighter.

“Unless there is irrefutable proof about Marquez being an ‘unnatural’ fighter, a warrior like Juan Manuel Marquez deserves the benefit of the doubt. It’s ultimately bad for boxing to accuse one of the most recognizable names in the sport without any kind of hard evidence.”


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