Adam Booth: ‘No doubt’ coaches encourage doping in boxing

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Legendary British boxing trainer Adam Booth has told William Hill‘s podcast, Up Front with Simon Jordan, that he is certain several coaches and managers in boxing encourage doping at the elite level, describing the extent of it as “prolific”.

Featuring on William Hill’s Up Front with Simon Jordan, a podcast hosted by the former Crystal Palace owner who speaks to sports stars and celebrities and challenges their opinions whilst scrutinising their careers, Booth discussed the current state of doping within top-level boxing: “Coaches who want their fighters to dope to give them a better chance at winning and making money will put their moral standards aside and do whatever it takes to win. There is no doubt that there are coaches, fighters and managers out there that encourage doping and cheating in order to gain success and financial rewards. In my opinion, it is prolific.

“I once had a discussion in a changing room after a fight with someone from a significant doping testing agency who was very knowledgeable. I asked him how often they test fighters believing that they have doped but knowing that they won’t catch them. The answer was ‘if we don’t get 12 weeks of testing, the chances of catching them are significantly reduced’. He said that the best way for a fighter to avoid that was by delaying signing the contract for a fight. That buys them time until signing five or six weeks before the fight, then the doping agencies only get appointed once you sign the contract.

“What we have to remember is that boxing is a sport in which people die. If somebody dies or suffers a lifelong injury, and the other fighter is found guilty of doping for that fight, that should become a criminal offence.”

Boxing will only be fair with no doping control 

The 54-year-old then spoke to Jordan about his views on anti-doping measures in boxing and suggested that scrapping all of them was the only way to make the sport fair in its current climate.

“At this very moment in time, the only way to make boxing completely fair is to let everyone do whatever they want and have no doping control,” Booth said. “That’s how bad it is at the moment. I’m not saying that that’s what I want, but it is the only way that you can present a completely level playing field in this day and age.

“I think doping is rife in boxing and there are so many ways that they can avoid detection now. Even when they do get caught, they can find science to prove themselves innocent. If you mention a half credible reason for failing a doping test, along with some well-funded lawyers, you’re probably going to get away with it.”

Joshua has a better chance than Usyk against Fury

Booth also gave his thoughts on potential matchups between heavyweight fighters Anthony Joshua, Oleksandr Usyk and Tyson Fury, suggesting that Joshua would have a better chance of inflicting Fury’s first ever loss than Usyk.

“I absolutely think Anthony Joshua could still win a world heavyweight title,” said Booth. “However, in order to do that, he would likely have to be Oleksandr Usyk or Tyson Fury. I don’t think he beats Usyk because I don’t think Usyk will hang around long enough for his skills to fade to the point where Joshua could beat him. I think Fury beats Usyk because he knows how to hustle a win and he can win ugly.

“Usyk was close to his physical limit in his second fight against Joshua. Although he looked composed it took everything out of him to stay one step ahead of Joshua; Fury won’t let him get away with that.

“Then you match Fury and Joshua. I think Joshua has a better chance at beating Fury than Usyk does,” he added. “You would still probably have to favour Fury and I would favour him because he has freakish reach and he can keep Joshua behind the jab. But any heavyweight that hits as hard as Joshua does has always got a chance. If Deontay Wilder can put Fury down, Joshua hits as hard as Wilder, so you have to give him a chance.”

Watch the full episode here: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=T0L7-QBwhDQ.

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