According to Manny Pacquiao´s promoter Bob Arum,the WBO welterweight champion´s proposed superfight with Floyd Mayweather Jr, tentatively scheduled for March the 13th, is now definitely off
.Arum said negotiations are already underway for Pacquiao to defend his WBO world welterweight title against tough Ghanaian Joshua Clottey. Other names in the frame had been Israel´s newly crowned WBA light-middleweight champion Uri Foreman, former IBF junior-welterweight champion Paulie Malignaggi and a third fight with Juan Manuel Marquez was believed to have been the preferred choice of Pacquiao´s trainer Freddie Roach.
The sticking point which appears to have been the death knell of the Pacquiao v Mayweather fight was the protocol in which drug testing would be carried out. Pacquiao had relented on his original wish of no blood testing – period, before or after the fight. He had agreed to two scheduled tests and one random test. Mayweather and his advisor Richard Schaefer of Golden Boy Promotions, who along with Bob Arum and Top Rank were to co-promote the fight, would not budge on their desire for Olympic style random blood testing right up to the fight.
The State of Nevada does not require blood testing for boxers. Pacquiao (50-3-2, 38 ko´s) has passed the standard post fight urine drug test ten times after bouts in Las Vegas.
The first blood test would have taken place during the kick off news conferences due to have taken place next week. The second was to be a random test no later than thirty days before the fight, and the third and final test in the dressing room after the fight. This procedure would have applied to both fighters. Both men stood to earn 40 million dollars from the fight.
Pacquiao, the most exciting fighter in the world today, is on the crest of a wave; he has transcended his sport, and become a global superstar. The Filipino will earn huge money against any fighter he chooses to fight because people love watching him and are prepared to pay for the privilege.
Floyd Mayweather, for all his undoubted defensive ability, is not a box-office attraction. He needs a big name opponent to ignite interest in his fights. His biggest bouts in terms of box-office have been against Oscar De La Hoya and Ricky Hatton. Both times, his opponents were the crowd pullers, not Mayweather. His last fight, a points win over WBO/WBA lightweight champion Juan Manuel Marquez, was a pay-per-view dud.
An example of Manny Pacquiao´s box-office clout are the reports that Pacquiao v Clottey will be staged at the Dallas Cowboys Stadium in Arlington, Texas, which has a capacity of 100,000, but will be scaled down to 50,000 for the fight. Would any promoter in his right mind consider using that stadium if the promotion at hand was Mayweather v Clottey? Would that fight fill even a 10,000 capacity arena?
Class act that he is, Mayweather (40-0, 25 ko´s) was quoted last week as saying its not his fault that the fight had fallen through, and claimed to be “thoroughly disgusted” at being blamed.
Mayweather said, “Throughout this whole process I have remained patient but, at this point, I am thoroughly disgusted that Pacquiao and his representatives are trying to blame me for the fight not happening when clearly the blame is on them.”
Mayweather went on; “First and foremost, not only do I want to fight Manny Pacquiao, I want to whip his punk ass.”
This hollow and typically lowbrow statement was delivered just hours after Mayweather and Richard Schaefer had effectively killed the richest fight in boxing history.
Has Pacquiao been using illegal performance enhancing drugs? It seems unlikely. Boxers who use drugs, whether performance enhancing or recreational, tend to get caught. In recent years Franz Botha, James Toney, Shannon Briggs and Fernando Vargas have all tested positive for steroids. Mike Tyson tested positive for marijuana.
All accusations aside, Manny Pacquiao had been fighting at an unnaturally light weight for years. Take a look at his face and body in his 2008 rematch against Juan Manuel Marquez. One word comes to mind: emaciated. Pacquiao had been starving himself for a boxing eternity to make unhealthy fighting weights. He hung around at featherweight, junior-lightweight and lightweight for as long as he did because that was where the big fights were for him; three against Erik Morales, two against Marco Antonio Barrera and two against Juan Manuel Marquez.
Is it not logical to therefore assume that Pacquiao and his body are simply benefiting from the removal of the shackles of starvation?
Pacquiao should have begun his ascent toward the welterweight division years earlier. Because he has done it in a short space of time, jumping from lightweight to fight Oscar De La Hoya at welterweight, and been spectacularly successful, he has aroused the suspicion, not to mention jealousy, of camp Mayweather.
Since leaving the junior-lightweights, Pacquiao is 4-0, all inside the distance, and has never looked better. In comparison, since 2005 Mayweather is 5-0 with one knockout, against Ricky Hatton. Never a big hitter, Mayweather has looked positively feather-fisted in most of his recent fights, whereas Pacquiao seems to have added to his punching power since moving up to welter. It isn’t an impossibility that deep down inside, Mayweather has never really wanted to fight Pacquiao, and when all is said and done, his undefeated record and reputation were more important to him than forty million dollars and the possibility of an emphatic defeat
Pacquiao has subsequently filed a lawsuit against Floyd Mayweather Jr, his father Floyd Sr, and the head of GBP himself, Oscar De La Hoya on the grounds of defamation of character. As it stands today, the only way we will get see Pacquiao v Mayweather will be in a court of law.