- Dan Rafael, Boxing
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The poster boy for stringent drug testing in boxing and speaking out against performance-enhancing drugs is pound-for-pound king Floyd Mayweather Jr.
It was his demands for random blood and urine testing for himself and opponents in recent years that led many other top fighters to negotiate specific drug-testing protocols with opponents in their fight agreements.
So it was a bitter disappointment when one of the most prominent fighters under the Mayweather Promotions banner -- unbeaten lightweight Mickey Bey Jr. -- flunked a postfight drug test after his most recent bout.
In February, Bey scored an impressive third-round knockout of Robert Rodriguez in a nationally televised fight in Las Vegas. However, Bey tested positive for elevated levels of testosterone and was suspended and fined by the Nevada State Athletic Commission.
But Bey, a 30-year-old from Cleveland now living in Las Vegas, got off with a slap on the wrist.
The fight result was changed to a no-decision and he was suspended for only three months and fined $1,000 of his $8,000 purse. His testosterone level was not just high, it was off the charts.
According to the Nevada commission, Bey's drug screen showed his testosterone to epitestosterone ratio (T/E) being greater than 30-to-1. Nevada allows a ratio of 6-1. Bey's ratio was the second-highest ever in Nevada history, according to commission executive director Keith Kizer.
Bey has maintained his innocence, but that is hard to believe. Frankly, he should count himself lucky. By getting only a three-month suspension, the punishment had no real teeth because he is not missing a fight or the accompanying purse that goes with it.
So Bey (18-0-1, 9 KOs) will be back -- and rewarded, in a sense, because he is headlining another national TV card -- when he faces John Molina (25-3, 20 KOs) on Friday night (Showtime, 10 ET/PT) at the Hard Rock Hotel & Casino in Las Vegas.
Also on the card, Las Vegas-based light heavyweight prospect Badou Jack (14-0, 10 KOs), a 2008 Olympian for Gambia, takes on Farah Ennis (21-1, 12 KOs) of Philadelphia in what should be Jack's toughest fight to date.
Bey declined to discuss his positive drug case, offering only, "I'm very respectful of the Nevada State Athletic Commission's due diligence and their decision and I'm really looking forward to putting on a great performance."
Bey wants to put the failed drug test behind him and is taking a big step up in competition against Molina, an experienced fighter and a hard puncher in desperate need of a victory, having lost two of his past three fights.
"I'm definitely in with a good opponent," said Bey, who is trained by Floyd Mayweather Sr. "A top, solid fighter who has a lot of good wins. We know he's going to bring it, which will only bring out the best in me.
"This is a major fight because there are huge plans ahead for me after this. There is no way I am taking Molina, or anybody, lightly."
Molina, 30, of Covina, Calif., challenged for a lightweight world title last September, but he was smashed in 44 seconds by Antonio DeMarco in an embarrassing performance. Molina rebounded with a solid fourth-round knockout of Dannie Williams in January but then lost a decision to Andrey Klimov on June 7.
With his career in trouble, he knows how important beating Bey is.
"Perception-wise, this is a very important fight for me, and it's certainly in my best interests to get a victory," Molina said. "I know what's ahead of me with a win. A win puts me right back in the thick of things. Mickey Bey is a helluva fighter and a helluva boxer. Our styles will make for an explosive fight.
"I think for them to put in a guy against me who has had just one fight in a year and a half shows a lot of guts on their part. I applaud them for that, but I'm not sure they are getting who they think they're getting. They see a guy who's lost a couple of times, but there is more to me than that."
The poster boy for stringent drug testing in boxing and speaking out against performance-enhancing drugs is pound-for-pound king Floyd Mayweather Jr. It was his demands for random blood and urine testing for himself and opponents in recent years that led many other top fighters to negotiate specific drug-testing protocols with opponents in their fight agreements.