By Rick Reeno
Floyd Mayweather vs. Manny Pacquiao is a dead issue, for now. Nobody could have ever predicted the fight falling through because of a dispute over "random blood tests." After weeks of talks and millions of dollars at stake, it all fell apart because of random blood tests to detect performance enhancing drugs.
Mayweather wanted random blood tests throughout the training period; including random tests within a 30-day window leading up to the fight. Pacquiao would agree to the random blood tests, but not within the 30-day window. Pacquiao tried to offer a compromise by cutting the 30-day window down to 24-days, and he was willing to take a blood test immediately after the Mayweather fight was over. The compromise was not satisfactory to Mayweather. Golden Boy Promotions CEO Richard Schaefer and adviser Al Haymon had tried, unsuccessfully, to convince Mayweather to accept Pacquiao's proposal.
Both fighters are going to pursue other opponents for March. Pacquiao is going to make a move to his eight weight division by challenging undefeated WBA junior middleweight champion Yuri Foreman on either March 13 or March 20 in Las Vegas. At the moment, multiple sources indicate to BoxingScene.com that Mayweather will also return in March in Las Vegas. At the moment the current frontrunner to fight Mayweather is former junior welterweight champion Paulie Malignaggi.
Malignaggi checked in with BoxingScene.com at a very late hour on Wednesday night. As always, he was not afraid to go on the record with his views on Mayweather-Pacquiao - and their blood-gate dispute . He agrees with Mayweather's decision to walk away from Pacquiao's final proposal. As far as the culprit who caused the fight to fall apart, Malignaggi places the full blame on Pacquiao.
"I agree with Floyd Mayweather's decision. Pacquiao just left a $40 million dollar fight on the table because of a random drug test. Do you know how stupid that sounds? You can flip it in any way you want, and in as many languages as you want, but it still comes down to Pacquiao allowing a $40 million dollar fight to go down the tubes because he wouldn't take a random drug test [within 30-days of the fight] to prove he's clean. They can place the blame on whoever but the fight hinged on this kind of test," Malignaggi told BoxingScene. "If Pacquiao is allowed to juice, he beats Floyd. If Pacquiao is not allowed to juice, then Floyd beats the s**t out of him and shows him what a real welterweight is like."
Malignaggi regards Mayweather as the best fighter in the world. No surprise to any member of the press. Malignaggi has always had a very high level of respect for Mayweather's abilities in the ring. The high level of respect will not prevent a possible fight. Malignaggi wants to push himself to the limit by fighting Mayweather in March.
"Everyone knows, I've always had a lot of respect for Mayweather. I always want to test myself against the best. Floyd is the best today, and I'm ready and I'm available and I'll take any kind of drug test because I'm clean and I don't have anything to hide," Malignaggi said.
"Mayweather is the best fighter in the the world and that's who I want to test myself against, and not against a guy [Pacquiao] who leaves suspicions and opinions out there instead of clearing his name to show people that he really is the best. Floyd Mayweather is still the best in the world and I want to fight the best."
Malignaggi is a New York fighter, and because of that it was interesting to get his honest thoughts on Pacquiao's potential fight against another New Yorker in Foreman.
"Stylistically it's a tough fight for Pacquiao. Yuri is a good fighter. He's a good boxer and that should trouble Pacquiao. If people thought clearly, they would realize that Pacquoao should have no chance against a junior middleweight like this but people have their heads so far up Pacquiao's @ss that it clouds their vision," Malignaggi said.
"Stylistically he is all wrong for Pacquiao. If he goes through Foreman in the same way as these other guys, it's only going to raise more questions. They can't say Yuri is old. They can't say Yuri is a shot fighter. People need to watch the fight closely. Yuri is a good fighter, tough as nails and has a proven chin. I think if Pacquiao starts to hurt him with every punch like these other guys, it's going to raise more questions. I think people should keep observing."