Another controversial decision for

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Gnarled knuckles. Mangled fingers.

Lame handshakes. Sore and swollenwrists. They are the signatures ofbattle commonly found on the hands ofboxers and Floyd Mayweather knows thepain all too well. Mayweather, a fastand explosive boxer dances andpounces at the boxing ring betterthan most top caliber fighters in thering. As the owner of the Junior. Welterweight title, Mayweather hasmost pundits calling him, pound forpound, 2005’s best boxer.

Born on February 24, 1977, in Grand. Rapids, Michigan, Floyd Jr. hasboxing in his blood. His father,Floyd Sr., fought Sugar Ray Leonardin the late ’70s, while his uncle. Roger was a Junior Lightweight and. Super Lightweight champion. It was nosurprise then, that Floyd Jr. showedan aptitude for boxing from a veryyoung age.

When he had received enough trainingfrom his dad and uncle, Floyd enteredthe world of amateur boxing as anadolescent. Fighting at 126 pounds,Mayweather put together an amazing84-6 record as an amateur, winning. Golden Gloves championships in 1993,1994, and 1996. Mayweather made the. Olympic team in 1996 and at the. Atlanta Olympics, he beat boxers from. Kazakhstan, Armenia and Cuba beforefalling to a Bulgarian in a highlycontroversial semi-final bout.

Mayweather had to settle for thebronze medal.

Last December 9, Mayweather Jr.

defeated Great Britain’s Ricky Hattonin the 10th round of their World. Boxing Council welterweight titlefight in Las Vegas.

During pre-bout interviews,Mayweather has repeatedly denied thathis hands might cause him a problem.

Hatton himself is concerned that. Mayweather may use his hands as anexcuse if he loses his title.

However, his camp agreed that thepriority was to prevent the Americanfrom any illegal advantage using thecontroversial pain relief medication.

The Hattons maintained their focus onthis issue at another prebout meetingwhen they wanted to ensure that. Mayweather would not be able toprotect his hands with an unfair useof tape and lidocaine.

However, the Mayweathers are unhappythat lidocaine has been specificallyidentified as a drug that cannot beused. Lidocaine is a local anesthetic(numbing medication). It producespain relief by blocking the signalsat the nerve endings in the skin.

Lidocaine topical systems are usedfor pain relief and for managingdiscomfort associated with herpeszoster virus infection of the skin(shingles).

Mayweather’s hand problems have beenlong documented but they resurfacedin an edition of a televisiondocumentary that showed the boxerhaving a wax paraffin treatment andquietly acknowledging the issue.

However, with all the controversy andtrash talks that surrounded theirtitle bout, Mayweather still managedto beat his opponent.

Fight veterans such as Mayweather and. Hatton, have struggled over the yearsto keep their hands healthy, aproblem that is shared by manyboxers. Some of those fighters areresorting to expensive pain reliefdrugs and, if necessary, undergo anintricate surgical procedure torestore the strength of their hands.

While the boxers try to explore alloptions to remove pain from theirbread-winning hands and knuckles,boxing officials are still in hotdebate about whether existing rulesshould be changed regarding the useof anesthetics in a sport that hasbeen hounded by drug and steroidscandals for many years.

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