The fight that everyone around the world wants to see is Manny Pacquiao against Floyd Mayweather Jr. They are both in the prime of their careers and they are considered to be the two best pound-for-pound fighters in the world. The fight was agreed to and it was tentatively scheduled for March 13th. I think it would be the biggest fight in the history of the sport. It looked like fight fans were finally going to get to see exactly what they wanted. But nothing is ever easy in boxing and now there are issues and it looks like the mega-fight may be in serious jeopardy. The fight was knocked off track Tuesday over a significant disagreement on drug testing.
Floyd Mayweather Jr’s father has repeatedly accused Pacquiao of taking illegal substances. Pacquiao has continued to deny it and has never failed a drug test. However, Mayweather continues to demand Olympic-style testing for both fighters that would require Pacquiao and Mayweather to submit multiple blood tests. Pacquiao doesn’t think it’s in his best interest in preparation for a big fight that he submits a blood test that close to the time of the fight. In fact he believes the only reason he lost the last fight that he lost was because of that reason. Not to mention, even though many people consider Pacquiao to be the pound-for-pound best fighter on the planet, he has already met all the crazy demands by Mayweather and doesn’t think its fair that he has to keep doing all these other things that are being requested. This is the fight that everyone wants to see and I think the two promoters need to do absolutely everything possible within reason to get this mega-fight done.
Manny Pacquiao’s promoter Bob Arum joined Tony Bruno on Into the Nightto talk about his reaction to Mayweather’s demands, whether or not the Pacquiao vs. Mayweather fight is in jeopardy, and when the deadline is to get this ironed out. Arum and his crotchety, politically incorrect answers are always pure gold!
On his counter proposal to what the Mayweather camp is demanding:
“Well first of all, let me just preface this to say that in Nevada where the fight will be held, we have the best athletic commission in the world. They have done drug testing for 40 years. Now the Mayweather people have demanded that the USDA, which is the group that administers tests to amateur athletes going to the Olympics do the drug testing in this situation. If Mayweather insists on drug testing, we would go along with it provided that it was done by a reputable organization that is in the business of testing professional athletes. We have suggested that this organization in Kansas City which is hired by the NFL to test all its players provide the drug testing for Floyd Mayweather and Manny Pacquiao in the same stringent manner that they do for Brett Favre, Eli Manning, Peyton Manning, Brandon Jacobs or any other football players. If that’s what Mayweather’s side is insisting on we would go along provided that it was done by an organization which is conversant with testing professional athletes.”
Where did this demand come from:
“That’s what I want to know. This didn’t emerge until about the time that Richard Schaefer refused to go to Dallas to meet with Jerry Jones. This was never discussed before and suddenly it’s in the contract that there has to be this drug testing, it has to be done by the USDA, which they have talked to and now we finally get the opportunity to talk to them. Freddie Roach, Manny’s trainer, and they say ‘well it will only be 12 random urine tests and five random blood tests in an eight week period.’ Where does that come from? This is ridiculous. Take the testing that they do for American athletes getting ready for the Olympics. They test the Olympic bound boxers, the swimmer’s the track stars and I will bet you that in the last Olympics, they didn’t administer five blood tests for all of the athletes combined. Now urine tests, yes. A lot of urine tests. I talked to an Olympic swimmer today who claims that he has been tested at least 1000 times by this USDA. Every single test was a urine analysis not one blood test. Look, I know what’s up here. I know what they are trying to do. They’re trying to spook Manny Pacquiao by threatening him with all these blood tests that he’s certainly not used to and Manny’s position is I will pee for them 24/7, any day, any time they want. If you talk to doctors who are in drug testing, they will tell you that the best way to drug test is urine analysis, that testing the blood shows nothing. These are the biggest experts so the only reason they are going to the USDA is because they sold them a bill of goods to test Manny Pacquiao for blood that shows absolutely nothing that urine analysis wouldn’t show.”
On whether or not the fight is in jeopardy of being cancelled:
“Manny Pacquiao is an icon to the people of the Philippines. He is not going to be pushed around and bullied by Floyd Mayweather or Richard Schaefer of Golden Boy. He wants to do what’s right and what’s called for. He wants to, as he always has, fight under the rules, regulations and scrutiny of the Nevada Athletic Commission. If in this case, they want to do anything further, we would be okay with it provided that it was a professional, respected, testing organization which tested professional athletes such as the football players in the NFL or the basketball players in the NBA.”
On when the deadline is to get this ironed out:
“Yeah, it has to be decided on by tomorrow or else forget about it. We’re going to fight somebody else and go on our way. I have been in this business over 45 years and a request like this has never ever been made. Never ever been made. I am not going to let these people bully this young man from the Philippines as a price of him having the privilege to fight them particularly when Manny Pacquiao is the champion and the leading fighter in the world.”
Listen to Bob Arum with Tony Bruno here (Interview starts at 18:00)