The drug testing impasse which once derailed the proposed fight between Floyd Mayweather and Manny Pacquiao and threatened to do so again might have been solved.
The testing cut off demanded by team Mayweather and Golden Boy during the last set of negotiations has now been agreed to by Pacquiao and Top Rank. The big question now is what the response will be from Floyd and his team.
Speaking to the Manilla Bulletin yesterday, Pacquiao said: “As long as they’re not getting a large amount of blood, I am willing to give out blood as close to two weeks before the fight”
A couple of weeks back, the Filipino fighter’s official website reported that he had agreed to the 14 day cut off date. Shortly after the story broke, Pacman advisor Michael Koncz denied that this had been the case and the story quickly disappeared. Now obviously this is a strange thing to have happened on his official site, where you would have thought the writers are in close contact with the fighter and his team. Is it possible that the concession was planned ahead of time and that his site merely published the story earlier than they were supposed to?
It isn’t clear yet what Floyd Mayweather’s response to this will be, but for the sake of making the fight happening, even his most ardent supporters tend to agree that he should accept the 14 day cut off. If it was good enough last time, then there isn’t any reason he shouldn’t accept it now, that is unless his plans have changed and a Pacquiao fight is no longer a priority.
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After fighting Shane Mosley he said that there would now be no cut off date now, and that it would be fully random testing or nothing. Additionally the numbers he pulled in against Mosley no doubt strengthened his position for the subsequent negotiations. It may be the case that Floyd doesn’t feel he even needs to fight Pacquiao any more, given what he can make by himself against other opponents. A move to middleweight to take on Sergio Martinez for example would not only likely sell well, but would allow him to capture a title at his 6th weight class.
However, if Mayweather does still want the fight with Pacquiao to happen, then realistically 14 days is long enough to rule out the use of nearly all performance enhancing drugs. The 24 days that team Pacquiao wanted before would have theoretically allowed the use of some drugs, which would then have passed out of the system by the time the fight happened.
Two weeks though is not long enough for most drugs to pass out of the system, meaning if the fight now goes ahead, Pacquiao can prove himself to be clean and restore the damage done to his reputation from all the accusations that have been thrown his way over the last few months.
A lot of the time in boxing, perception is everything and this latest move will certainly shift some perceptions in favor of Pacquiao. If Mayweather now refuses or insists on fully random testing, then the public opinion that previously supported his testing stance may well shift in favor of Pacquiao.
Amongst the local fans I spoke to about this story though, there was still some skepticism about the fight happening. One problem might have been solved, but potentially there are still issues between the two camps.
Brett Allan, Pittsburgh: “Even if the testing is out of the way, the venue and money are still in the way. No way Mayweather will accept 50-50 now that he’s outsold Pacquiao and proved he’s more popular”
James Green, Greensburg: “If Mayweather thinks he has made Pacquiao play by his rules and there is a lot of money on the table, I think he will be happy to let the fight now go ahead. Two more fights for both and then retirement with a hundred million in the bank each”
Buck Jackson Pittsburgh: “This still doesn’t mean the fight will happen, Mayweather said he won’t accept any kind of cut off and why should he? He’s the draw and the biggest name and he’s the one who will be selling the pay per views”
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