The proposed Manny Pacquiao vs. Floyd Mayweather, Jr. fight has put boxing back into the 24-hour news cycle. I can’t think of a more anticipated fight since Mike Tyson fought Evander Holyfield. Unlike Tyson-Holyfield, a few drops of blood may be the difference between the Super Fight of the Century becoming a reality or a distant dream.
I was ecstatic when it was reported that Manny Pacquiao and Floyd Mayweather agreed to fight in March. It was the fight that I and everyone had hoped to see for the last several years. Now it looks like the fight is on the verge of falling apart. Pacquiao has refused Mayweather’s request to have blood drawn for a drug test 30 days before the fight. Pacquiao’s camp is now threatening to sue Mayweather for the implication that the Pac Man is using some kind of enhancement drug. There is even talk that John McCain may wind up getting involved to negotiate a compromise. This once promising Super Fight has turned into a big joke.
The whole story has turned into a complete joke. Rather than take the test and show Mayweather that he is the real deal inside of the ring, Pacquiao has threatened to take legal action. I also think that there is serious cause to question Manny Pacquiao and why he is so adamant against taking a drug test. He has offered countless urine samples but refuses to have blood drawn before the fight. However, there is a video posted on You Tube from HBO’s 24/7 show showing Pacquiao having blood taken the week before the Ricky Hatton fight. Not only was Pacquiao smiling, but he went right back to work the next day, and put on the performance of a lifetime against Ricky Hatton. Knowing that this video would likely surface, I have no idea why Pacquiao claims to suddenly be afraid of needles and getting blood drawn so closely to fight night.
Manny Pacquiao getting blood drawn before the Hatton fight
Pacquiao’s promoter Bob Arum has accused the Mayweather camp of using this demand to get out of the fight. Quite honestly, I don’t think there is anything wrong at all about this demand from Mayweather’s camp. Mayweather is undefeated and if he truly feels there is something dishonest about Pacquiao, why not make the demand? Mayweather has no problem submitting to these same tests. The outrage by the Pacquiao camps makes no sense to me whatsoever. I can’t imagine an impartial party knowing nothing about these two, defending the guy who refuses to submit blood for a drug test when he has willingly done so in the past either.
Boxing has a huge opportunity here to do something big. The UFC has been blowing away boxing for the last several years. Boxing could deliver a huge punch to the UFC and MMA with this fight and subsequent rematches. The bar would be set so high by Mayweather vs. Pacquiao numbers, that it could take years for the UFC to even come close to matching or beating those numbers. Anytime Dana White or an MMA writer speaks about the death of boxing, boxing writers and fans could throw these numbers right back in their faces. It would also come at a time where Dana White has been unable to put together his sport’s biggest Super Fight. Boxing has the potential to follow up on this momentum and start a full-fledged war for the combat sports fan base against the UFC. That isn’t likely to happen.
At least this won’t put a black mark on pro boxing. The sport already has so many black marks that there isn’t any room left to scar.
Update: Just to clear up some confusion, Pacquiao does not want to submit to random, Olympic-style drug tests. As stated above, Pacquiao claims to be very concerned about giving blood 30-days or less before the fight. Pacquiao has agreed to urine tests. Pacquiao has also refused to comply with any mediation led by John McCain. I hope this clears up any confusion.
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