By Mark Vester
WBO welterweight champion Manny Pacquiao has budged. The Filipino champion is now willing to agree to Floyd Mayweather Jr.'s previous cut-off date for a random Olympic-style drug testing protocol. Earlier this year, the two sides failed to reach an agreement for a March mega-fight. The issue of random drug testing was the root cause for the failed negotiations.
The two fighters were unable to agree on the cut-off date for the blood tests. Mayweather wanted a 14-day cut-off on the tests, while Pacquiao wanted the random drug testing protocol to end 24-days before the fight. Now Pacquiao is willing to meet Mayweather's number.
"I am willing to help the sport for the future of the sport. I do not want to see anyone cheat or cheat this sport. For that reason I am willing to consider taking blood as close as 14 days prior to the fight, as long as, my opponent does the same, and it is not a lot of blood, just enough to test," Pacquiao said in a statement on his official website, mpboxing.com .
"I do not want anyone having an unfair advantage where someone may get hurt. I am willing to do my part to help this sport out."
Pacquiao has not yet watched Mayweather's domination of Shane Mosley, but plans to watch the fight very soon. He also agreed to take a blood test immediately after the fight was over. Nothing is set in stone. The next time the two fighters meet at the negotiating table, Mayweather might issue a demand for a smaller cut-off date or he might even make a demand for the testing to continue until the fight.
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