Manny Pacquiao’s business manager said Thursday that Floyd Mayweather Jr. has declined to enter into an agreement between the fighters that would result in a $5 million penalty should either submit a dirty drug test.
“I’m a little puzzled and a little dismayed that they wouldn’t agree to something this simple,” Pacquiao advisor Michael Koncz said.
Mayweather’s advisor, Leonard Ellerbe, quickly fired back that with the U.S. Anti-Doping Agency (USADA) already under contract to test each fighter, drug testing conditions have been “rigorously negotiated for weeks on behalf of Manny by [his promoter] Top Rank and Mayweather Promotions, which is well documented in the media.
“If … Koncz and Manny didn’t communicate with their promoter during the negotiation, it’s a lame … attempt to generate some publicity.”
Koncz said Pacquiao’s attorney, David Moroso, received a letter from a Mayweather attorney, Jeremiah Reynolds, informing the Pacquiao camp that Mayweather would not enter into the $5 million agreement.
Last week, USADA announced the fighters have agreed to submit to random, unannounced blood and urine tests that will search for performance-enhancing substances such as testosterone, Human Growth Hormone and energy-boosting EPO.
Unbeaten Mayweather and record eight-division champion Pacquiao are currently in training for a May 2 welterweight world title unification bout at MGM Grand in Las Vegas that will be televised on pay-per-view by both Showtime and HBO.
Pacquiao first suggested the side deal as further insurance that neither would spoil a bout that has been anticipated for more than five years and is expected to shatter pay-per-view records.
Under the Pacquiao plan, if either fighter tested positive for a banned substance, he would have to pay the clean fighter $5 million.
Years ago, Pacquiao was accused by Mayweather in a video of using “power pellets” to make such a prominent and successful jump up in weight classes. Pacquiao sued Mayweather.
Mayweather opted to use USADA beginning in 2010 and has long touted his focus on helping make boxing a clean sport.
“I have no idea what they’re thinking about,” Koncz said. “If they truly wanted to clean up the sport, I think it sets a good example to the world that there’s nothing to hide. I want to put my money where my mouth is. Over the years, they’ve made accusations against us. They never requested the penalty. Manny was adamant about it.
“We’re not making any accusations, but it’s a reasonable request.”
Ellerbe disagreed, noting that USADA operates under the World Anti-Doping Agency code, which calls for a four-year competition ban for any athlete who tests positive for PEDs.
The deal with USADA calls for expedited processing and actions by the Nevada State Athletic Commission to halt the fight if a positive test occurs.
“We have no plan on limiting the liability and damages if Manny tested positive,” Ellerbe said. “They must be worried if they’re bringing this up. Essentially, what they’re trying to do is put a $5 million price tag if Manny tested positive. It’s awfully suspicious to me.
“If you’re supposed to be the manager, you need to read the language in the contract before you let your fighter sign. That’s why, in my opinion, Michael Koncz is the biggest idiot in all of boxing. He obviously didn’t read the agreement before he had his client sign the agreement.
"It will cost Manny a lot more than some $5 million if he comes up positive.”