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Old 11-16-2010, 01:51 AM #1
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Exclamation Talk of Floyd Mayweather-Manny Pacquiao fight will heat up again

Manny Pacquiao's camp wanted Antonio Margarito tested. For Hydroxycut.


Between now and the end of the year, the clamor for a Floyd Mayweather-Pacquiao fight next May will renew overwhelmingly. Every telephone exchange will be monitored both for merit and to ascertain whether the two sides ever actually talk, when they're not hiding behind a self-imposed gag order (in the alleged failed negotiations of 2010, as opposed to the absolutely failed negotiations of 2009 that spilled into 2010, they assuredly didn't talk).

The fight hasn't reached fruition for the reason of your choosing: That Mayweather is scared of Pacquiao, or that Pacquiao is scared of his own blood, or that maybe -- just maybe -- the Grand Rapids native Mayweather understands the value in delaying a fight promotion better than just about anyone, because here we are, almost a year after Mayweather-Pacquiao seemed like a done deal for last March, still talking about the fight and wondering whether it will happen.

Clearly, if the honorable Filipino congressman Pacquiao doesn't agree to random pre-fight Olympic blood and urine testing, which was the falling-out point in the negotiations of last December and January, the fight still won't happen. Period. And when he makes his decision, the people who analyze and assess such developments will tell you any number of reasons why the fight did or didn't happen. Some of them actually will know what they're talking about.

Meantime, the developments of last weekend were quite interesting.

Pacquiao dominated Margarito in suburban Dallas. That part was no surprise. Neither was the beating Margarito took nor the courage he exhibited while getting his face broken to the point of surgery.

Margarito is a big, strong, somewhat lumbering welterweight upon whom promoter Top Rank cast its typical magnificent sales job and convinced a lot of people he is something much more. As for whether Top Rank, in matching a good earner against the dominant active fighter in the world, would do so with any realistic expectation that the latter might lose to the former, well, it wouldn't -- and that's the sleight-of-hand art of matchmaking and promotion at its finest.

No, the surprise came before the fight.

A Pacquiao camp member spotted a popular, over-the-counter, weight-reducing supplement in Margarito's dressing room and immediately raised the question whether the Mexican fighter used a diuretic to make weight.

The Pacquiao side called upon the Texas boxing commission to administer a special pre-fight test. Never mind that no one saw Margarito take a diuretic, or that Hydroxycut claims it has been free of Ephedra since a federal ban years ago.

No proof, just suspicion, similar to the unsubstantiated suspicion that led to Mayweather's demand that Pacquiao -- and, later, all future opponents -- would undergo expanded drug testing, or not share a prize ring with the biggest money-maker in boxing.

It was somewhat laughable, too, that Pacquiao would expect the Texas commission to enact impromptu and uncalled-for safety measures when that same body allowed the fight to proceed despite Margarito's ongoing California suspension for attempting to use loaded hand wraps before a 2009 fight against Shane Mosley -- the plaster-like wraps were caught beforehand, removed, and Margarito got knocked out -- when the industry standard is for all jurisdictions to honor each other's suspensions.

In the old days, they used to take prohibited fights onto ships, into international waters.

Now, they go to Texas.

There is no problem in Pacquiao freeing his mind that Margarito might have used a banned substance -- one more likely to hurt Margarito than him, given how diuretics reduce the brain's natural cushion -- just as there is no problem in Mayweather freeing his mind that any opponent might have used a substance that would be banned in Olympic sports, even if that exceeds boxing's typical standards.

And since when is exceeding boxing standards a bad thing?

For the next few weeks, another window to make the fight, for early May, exists. It has simmered to a boil. I've always believed Pacquiao would agree to Mayweather's terms in the end and ignore the possibility that he might get pinpricked a little too much.

That's what it comes down to now.

Congressman Pacquiao, what say you?
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