Pacquiao-Mayweather fight can’t get past blood testing
As a combined guarantee of at least $50 million vanishes from what was expected to be the most lucrative bout in boxing history, Floyd Mayweather Jr. and Manny Pacquiao voiced their differences Thursday, a day after the fight was declared to be off by Pacquiao’s promoter.
Mayweather released a statement pointing to Pacquiao as the one holding up the planned March 13 mega-fight and declaring, “I am ready to fight and sign the contract. Manny needs to stop making excuses, step up and fight.”
Mayweather (40-0) said that during this week’s mediation the breaking point was over a 10-day window regarding when to stop random blood tests for performance-enhancing drugs.
He said he has compromised on his original request and agreed to allow blood tests to stop 14 days before the fight. Pacquiao’s camp said Wednesday the Filipino star agreed to submit to blood tests within 24 days before the welterweight title bout, instead of cutting off tests 30 days before the fight as he first proposed.
Pacquiao’s camp said that Mayweather’s representatives were willing to accept the 24-day cutoff at the negotiating table, but that Mayweather blocked the agreement. Mediator Daniel Weinstein confirmed in an announcement released Thursday by Mayweather’s promoters that no deal was reached because “the parties could not agree on a testing protocol acceptable to all.”
“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 said in his statement. "[N]ot only do I want to fight Manny Pacquiao. I want to whip [him]. . . . The truth is he just doesn’t want to take the [blood] tests.”
Meanwhile, after the failed mediation Pacquiao played billiards and basketball in the Philippines, his U.S. business advisor Michael Koncz said. “He’s disappointed, though. He wanted to entertain his fans,” Koncz said.
Bob Arum, Pacquiao’s promoter, continued to declare the fight off Thursday, and said Pacquiao is considering other opponents for a March bout. “It’s not going to be resurrected,” Arum said.
Koncz said Pacquiao remains “angered” by comments by Mayweather and his representatives as they pushed for a more stringent drug-testing procedure than the random urine tests required by the Nevada State Athletic Commission. Pacquiao has sued Mayweather, alleging defamation. “They tarnished [Pacquiao’s] reputation,” Koncz said.
Koncz said Pacquiao is reluctant to give blood days before a fight because he has experienced “dizziness and other symptoms” when he did so before his last defeat, to Erik Morales. “It’s a psychological thing,” Koncz said.
“We believe whatever would be in your system 24 days before the fight would still be there after the fight, when we’ll give blood again,” Koncz said. “Floyd likes to be in charge and manipulate. . . . When we agreed to take this fight so quick, it caught him off guard, so he started figuring a way to get out of the fight.”
Koncz said Pacquiao planned to start reviewing other opponents. One whom Arum pitched, junior-middleweight champ Yuri Foreman, apparently is out of the picture because Pacquiao’s team doesn’t like the idea of his fighting someone 5 1/2 inches taller. “It’s a real honor the greatest pound-for-pound fighter in the world doesn’t want to fight me,” Foreman said.
Another possible opponent is world junior-welterweight champion Timothy Bradley of Palm Springs.
Mayweather advisor Leonard Ellerbe said late Thursday that “we’re still hopeful we can make a deal. We’re not talking about anyone but Manny Pacquiao.”
Times staff writer Kevin Baxter contributed to this report.