By Ronnie Nathanielsz
Top Rank promoter Bob Arum, livid over the unconscionable demands of Floyd Mayweather Jr for pound-for-pound king Manny Pacquiao to undergo random blood tests as well as urine tests conducted by the US Anti Doping Agency before their planned March 13 fight told us late Wednesday morning, "is off as of now."
Arum made it clear that Pacquiao who has a phobia for needles and extracting too much blood which weakens him said he would gladly agree to have a blood test before the initial press conference and after the fight, plus urinalysis anytime he wants. What more? asked Arum.
Arum said "doctors will tell you that blood-testing is not even sure anymore and urinalysis is the state-of-the-art testing for drugs. But they don’t want the fight which is what I suspected from the beginning or they want to torture Pacquiao to throw him off his game.”
The astute promoter said he told them “absolutely not. That’s where we stand and we are prepared to walk away. I’m not going to bully this kid and Freddie (Roach) is adamant about that point.”
Arum said “they can go to hell as far as I’m concerned including (Richard) Schaefer although I don’t think its his idea. I think its Floyd’s idea and we are going to go on and do something else. This is an absolute outrage.”
He said the Nevada State Athletic Commission under its highly respected executive director Keith Kizer is "beside themselves" over the Mayweather demands and said “their drug testing is the best in the world and its an insult to them.”
Arum questioned the motives and asked “who is this ignorant, illiterate kid demanding this. Who is he? This has never ever happened in professional boxing.”
Pacquiao, in a statement issued by his adviser Michael Koncz said he had always wanted athletes to serve as role models in every sport and to keep sports free from drugs and that he was willing to undergo tests as he has always done in the past and come clean. Koncz said “we wanted to do the fight because that’s what the people wanted but obviously Mayweather is scared and looked for a way out..”
In an email to BoxingScene.com, insidesports.ph, Standard Today and Viva Sports, Golden Boy Promotions CEO Richard Schaefer said “Olympic style drug testing is not one blood test 30 days before the fight and one after the fight. It is random drug testing which would include somnewhere between 3-5 blood tests and 8-12 u,rine tests taken during the period January 1 to March 15. Blood tests by the way are taken in a non-intrusive manner and are less than one tablespoon.”
Arum mentioned several issues that arose during the negotiations day after day. He pointed out that Mayweather “had no intention of coming in at 147” which is the welterweight limit and then said he didn’t want to fight for the WBO title and we said okay, if you come an ounce over 147 you are going to pay us $10 million. Then this all started.”
Pacquiao’s conditioning expert Alex Ariza responded to the Mayweather camps demand that the blood testing go all the way up to the weigh in saying it was “ludicrous” pointing out that “there is nothing that they are going to find 24 hours before the fight that they cannot find five minutes after the fight. We are not refusing to give blood, we are not willing to give it that close to the fight.”
Ariza said he is convinced that Mayweather is “just posturing and the reality of the situation is Mayweather is looking for a reason to get out of this fight because Manny is going to give him the beating of a lifetime. He will sustain a beating that he never ever endured in his whole career in boxing. What he feels in his own small mind is that his legacy will go down being beaten by Manny Pacquiao.”