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Mayweather, USADA dispute IV doping pre-Pacquiao bout

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LAS VEGAS — Floyd Mayweather Jr. insists he did nothing wrong in taking an IV solution to rehydrate after the weigh-in for his fight against Manny Pacquiao.

Doping officials on Thursday also backed Mayweather, saying he disclosed the infusion to them before taking it and that it contained no prohibited substances.

A report Wednesday by SB Nation said representatives of the U.S. Anti-Doping Agency saw that Mayweather had taken the IV when they went to collect urine samples from him after the weigh-in. The report said the Mayweather did not receive a formal exemption from the USADA for the IV until three weeks after the fight.

But the USADA said it was aware of the IV prior to it being taken and that the Nevada Athletic Commission and Pacquiao’s representatives were notified. In a statement, the agency referred to what it called “numerous unfounded and false accusations” in the article, saying they were either a “genuine misunderstanding of the facts or an intentional desire to mislead.”

“It is simply absurd to suggest that we would ever compromise our integrity for any sport or athlete,” the statement said.

The substances in the IV – a saline solution and vitamins – are not banned by the USADA. But the World Anti-Doping Agency does not allow the high volume that Mayweather took because it can mask other substances.

“Although Mr. Mayweather’s application was not approved until after his fight with Mr. Pacquiao and all tests results were reported, Mr. Mayweather did disclose the infusion to USADA in advance of the IV being administered to him,” USADA’s statement read.

It added that once the therapeutic use exemption was granted, the Nevada commission and Pacquiao were immediately notified even though the practice is not prohibited.

Mayweather, who is fighting Andre Berto on Saturday, said he has always been a strong supporter of athletes being clean. His insistence on having the USADA do random testing was one reason his fight with Pacquiao took place five years after it was originally proposed.

“I did not commit any violations of the Nevada or USADA drug testing guidelines,” Mayweather said in a statement. “I follow and have always followed the rules of Nevada and USADA, the gold standard of drug testing.”

Boxer LaMotta, immortalized in ‘Raging Bull,’ dies at 95

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MIAMI (AP) Jake LaMotta, the former middleweight champion whose life was depicted in the film “Raging Bull,” has died at the age of 95.

His fiancee, Denise Baker, says LaMotta died Tuesday at a Miami-area hospital from complications of pneumonia.

The Bronx Bull, as he was known in his fighting days, compiled an 83-19-4 record with 30 knockouts.

LaMotta fought Sugar Ray Robinson six times, handing Robinson his first defeat. He lost the middleweight title to him in what became known as the St. Valentine’s Day Massacre.

In his previous fight, LaMotta saved the championship in movie-script fashion against Laurent Dauthuille. Trailing badly, LaMotta knocked out the challenger with 13 seconds left.

LaMotta threw a fight against Billy Fox, which he admitted in testimony before a U.S. Senate committee. He said he was promised a shot at a title.

On June 16, 1949, he became middleweight champion when Marcel Cerdan couldn’t continue after the 10th round.

The 1980 film “Raging Bull” was based on LaMotta’s memoir. Actor Robert DeNiro won an Academy Award for it.

Canelo and Golovkin fight to controversial draw

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LAS VEGAS (AP) — Gennady Golovkin retained his middleweight titles Saturday night, fighting to a draw with Canelo Alvarez in a brutal battle that ended with both fighters with their hands aloft in victory.

The middleweight showdown lived up to its hype as the two fighters traded huge punches and went after each other for 12 rounds. Neither fighter was down and neither appeared seriously hurt but both landed some huge punches to the head that had the crowd screaming in excitement.

Golovkin was the aggressor throughout and landed punches that had put other fighters to the canvas. But he couldn’t put Alvarez down, and the Mexican star more than stood his own in exchanges with Triple G, from Kazakhstan. The two were still brawling as the final seconds ticked down and the fight went to the scorecards.

One judge had Alvarez winning 118-110, a second had it 115-113 in Golovkin’s favor while the third had it 114-114. The Associated Press scored it 114-114.

Golovkin, who has never lost in 38 fights, retained his middleweight titles with the draw. But Alvarez showed that he could not only take Golovkin’s punches but land telling punches of his own.

A frenzied crowd of 22,358 at the T-Mobile Arena roared throughout the fight as the two middleweights put on the kind of show that boxing purists had anticipated. They brawled, used sharp jabs and counter-punched at times, with neither one willing to give the other much ground.

“Congratulations all my friends from Mexico,” Golovkin said. “I want a true fight. I want a big drama show.”

There was plenty of drama late in the fight as Alvarez seemed to rally and rocked Golovkin with uppercuts and big right hands. But just as soon as he landed he often took one back from the slugger so feared that most other fighter avoided him.

“I won seven-eight rounds easily,” Alvarez said.

It was a battle from the opening bell as Golovkin tried to walk Alvarez down but often found himself getting hit from sharp counter punches.

“Today, people give me draw. I focus on boxing,” Golovkin said. “Look my belts, I’m still champion. I’ve not lost.”

Golovkin predicted before the fight that the late rounds would resemble a street fight, and in a way they did. Both fighters were willing to trade, and both had no problems landing hard shots to the head.

Golovkin had chased Alvarez for nearly two years, trying to get the signature fight that would pay him millions and make him a pay-per-view draw on his own. Alvarez finally agreed after Golovkin looked vulnerable earlier this year against Daniel Jacobs in a decision win that stopped his knockout streak at 23 fights.