The proposed Floyd Mayweather-Manny Pacquiao fight is off because Mayweather’s camp refused to relent on drug tests via blood rather than urine sampling, promoter Bob Arum said Tuesday night in an exclusive interview with The Press.
Arum said Pacquiao agreed to blood testing before the pre-fight press conference -- typically conducted months before a major fight -- and after the proposed March 13 bout, as well as random urine sampling at any time.
But when Mayweather’s camp insisted on random, Olympic-style blood samples, Pacquiao abandoned plans for the richest fight in history, Arum said.
“We’re going in a different direction,” Arum said. “What I believe is that Floyd never really wanted the fight and this is just harassment of Pacquiao.
“We appeased Mayweather by agreeing to a urine analysis at any time, and blood testing before the press conference and after the fight. Mayweather pressed for blood testing even up to the weigh-in. He knew that Manny gets freaked out when his blood gets taken, and feels that it weakens him. This is just harassment and, to me, just signaled that he didn’t want the fight.”
Arum worked on the negotiations until two weeks ago.
At that point, the CEO of Top Rank Inc. withdrew, and handed over negotiations to the company president and his stepson, Todd duBoef, after the Mayweather camp refused to consider fighting in Dallas.
Two days later, Dec. 12, Mayweather’s adviser, Leonard Ellerbe, disclosed the demand for random, Olympic-style drug testing conducted by the U.S. Anti-Doping Agency.
“This doesn’t bother me because Bob Arum was the smart one,” Arum said. “He pulled away from this negotiation how many weeks ago? Three weeks ago? I knew what was up. I’m not a fool. Then when Schaefer said he wasn’t going to Texas, and so forth, I knew the fight wasn’t going to happen. But I could be wrong and that’s why Todd made a college try.”
Arum said the Mayweather camp’s insistence on blood testing, rather than urine testing, merely was a way to get out of the fight.
“Floyd, to me, is a coward and he’s always been a coward,” Arum said. “Not a physical coward, but a coward because he’s afraid to face somebody who could beat him. And believe me, Manny Pacquiao could beat him. So he’ll go his way, we’ll go our way, and that’ll be fine.
“Manny Pacquiao doesn’t know anything about drugs. This is just typical nastiness by wise guys like (adviser Leonard) Ellerbe and Mayweather. They’re just wise guys. I don’t think Schaefer’s to blame. I think he got sucked in by it.”
Arum said when he learned of the demand for random blood tests, he immediately rejected it.
“Nevada has stringent drug testing, right before the fight and after the fight,” he said. “This is all a bunch of hooey and nonsense. The kind of testing we agreed to was designed, 100 percent, to detect everything.
“Remember, 40 years of fights in Las Vegas and nothing like this has ever come up. If you want more stringent testing, sure, as long as it doesn’t inconvenience and psychologically affect Pacquiao, sure, who cares? They could analyze urine from today until tomorrow, it wouldn’t affect anything. It’s the blood testing close to the fight, while he’s in training, that’s unnecessary. And everybody who knows anything about drug testing will tell you it’s unnecessary.”
Arum said HBO Sports president Ross Greenburg tried to intervene on the testing issue Tuesday, to no avail.
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He said he would pursue other possible opponents for Pacquiao, including Yuri Foreman, Paulie Malignaggi, or a third fight with Juan Manuel Marquez.
Malignaggi would be an interesting choice, if only because he has made clear his own suspicions about Pacquiao using performance-enhancing drugs.
Arum said he knows sports fans would be disappointed at the potential disintegration of what could have been the richest fight in history, and the most anticipated fight in decades.
“Sure they’ll be disappointed,” he said. “But they’ve got to understand what’s up. We’re not going to keep appeasing this guy, for no damn reason, especially over something that would affect, psychologically, my fighter. We’re not going to be pushed around by this guy. We’re not going to do it.”
Mayweather is such a b*tch.