The epic fight that could have taken boxing back to its massive popularity of years ago is not going to happen, Manny Pacquiao’s promoter, Bob Arum, said Wednesday night.
Arum has erupted with the angered announcement that “the fight’s off” before in the contentious negotiation to stage a welterweight super-fight March 13 in Las Vegas between Pacquiao and the unbeaten Floyd Mayweather Jr.
This time, however, Arum said he was told the same thing by retired federal judge Daniel Weinstein, who presided over a mediation to resolve points of dispute over the bout’s drug-testing protocol Tuesday in Santa Monica.
“The mediator called me and told me the fight was off,” Arum said. “The fight’s off, Mayweather never wanted it. Manny wanted the fight. He was agreeable to terms.”
Efforts to reach several members of the Mayweather camp were not immediately successful.
-- Lance Pugmire
Two females up for top honor
Rachel Alexandra and Zenyatta never met on the racetrack. Instead, the females who dominated thoroughbred racing will duke it out for horse of the year at the ballot box.
They were the only horses receiving votes for horse of the year, while there are three finalists in each of the other 16 Eclipse Award categories announced Wednesday.
The winners will be honored Jan. 18 in Beverly Hills.
Either Rachel Alexandra and Zenyatta will become the first female to win the year-end honor since Azeri in 2002.
Peer assured to play in Dubai
The United Arab Emirates assured the Women’s Tennis Assn. it will allow Israeli’s Shahar Peer to play at next month’s Dubai tournament after barring her last year.
Peer had been denied a visa apparently because of anti-Israel sentiments in the Gulf state following a three-week war between Israel and Islamic militants in Gaza. The UAE does not have diplomatic relations with Israel.
The Dubai Tennis Championships start Feb. 15.
The tournament was fined $300,000 last year and told to meet certain requirements -- one of them written confirmation about Peer.
Andy Roddick, the 2008 men’s champion in Dubai, skipped last year’s event because of the dispute, saying he “didn’t agree with what went on over there.”
Top-ranked Roger Federer and No. 2 Rafael Nadal each won in straight sets to reach the quarterfinals at the Qatar Open. Federer beat Evgeny Korolev of Russia, 6-2, 6-4, and Nadal defeated Potito Starace of Italy, 6-2, 6-2.
Clippers’ Smith faces theft charge
A lawyer for Clippers broadcaster Mike Smith said Smith denies a charge of criminal theft filed by the Orange County district attorney’s office related to a failed real-estate development project.
Smith, 44, allegedly duped a retired schoolteacher to use the teacher’s paid-off house as collateral for a $735,000 loan for the failed project, prosecutors said in a release Wednesday.
Dyke Huish, Smith’s lawyer, said, “Mike is absolutely not guilty of any criminal activity, period, and we fully expect to show this in court.” He acknowledged that “Mike owes the money” and that “he’s going to pay it back.”
-- Jim Peltz
Former NFL receiver Terry Glenn has been charged with auto theft in what his attorney says is a mix-up over a car rental. The 35-year-old Glenn was booked into the Irving, Texas, jail Tuesday evening and released about six hours later.
His attorney, Luis Vera of San Antonio, called the arrest a “crock of garbage” and that it was a rental car that he was returning when he was arrested.
Former Detroit Lions receiver Charles Rogers has been sentenced to 93 days in jail for contempt of court after his arrest at a suburban Detroit restaurant on a warrant for disobeying a sobriety court order. He had pleaded guilty in September to impaired driving.
Former NHL defenseman Chris Chelios was arrested last month and charged with drunk driving and speeding in suburban Chicago.
Westmont (Ill.) police say the Chelios, 47 was driving alone in his truck when he was pulled over shortly after 4 a.m. on Dec. 28 for speeding and improper lane use.
FIFA to stay out of MLS dispute
FIFA will not intervene in a labor dispute involving Major League Soccer that could be headed for a work stoppage next month.
A day after soccer’s international union accused MLS of violating the regulations of the sport’s governing body, FIFA said it did not view the league as violating its rules.
""FIFA understands that this domestic issue is being resolved in accordance with U.S. labor laws and does not involve the U.S. Soccer Federation,” Zurich-based FIFA said in a statement.
FIFPro, the international soccer union based in the Netherlands, said Tuesday that MLS management is threatening to lock out players after the league’s five-year labor contract expires Jan. 31.
Florida All-American tight end Aaron Hernandez will forgo his senior season and enter the NFL draft.
Snowboarder Kevin Pearce, who is in intensive care at a hospital in Salt Lake City, was upgraded from critical to serious condition, and his doctor called it a “very big step” in his recovery process.
-- Lisa Dillman
Baseball Hall of Famers Brooks Robinson, Robin Roberts and Bob Feller will be among those honored at the Professional Baseball Scouts Foundation’s annual “In the Spirit of the Game” dinner and auction at the Hyatt Regency Century Plaza Hotel on Jan. 16. Manager Tony La Russa, the family of longtime Dodgers coach Manny Mota and TV/film producer Laura Ziskin will also be honored. The event raises money to help baseball scouts who have experienced financial hardship. Details: (310) 996-1188.