Thursday, January 7, 2010

Megafight off; Pacquiao very mad

Manny Pacquiao was disenchanted and enraged when told that Floyd Mayweather Jr. decided to walk away from their March 13 super fight at the MGM Grand in Las Vegas.

“I am very disappointed that we could not make this fight for the fans and I am angered because of the false accusations from Golden Boy and the Mayweather camp that I used some type of drugs and that is why I have instructed our American lawyers to proceed with the lawsuit to clear my name,” said Pacquiao in a statement released shortly after it was announced that the fight is off.

After Pacquiao’s promoter Top Rank and Mayweather’s representatives – Oscar De La Hoya and Richard Schaefer of Golden Boy Promotions (GBP) – failed to reach an accord during mediation talks on Tuesday, the arbiter, retired federal judge Daniel Weinstein, gave the two sides until the following day to come to an agreement.

But Mayweather simply did not accept a compromise that would have mandated Pacquiao to be tested for blood 24 days before the fight and immediately after the bout.

Bob Arum was furious, declaring that Mayweather “is scared to death of Pacquiao.”

Pacquiao’s adviser Mike Koncz said “the whole blood testing issue that Mayweather wants from Manny is just a fa├žade to get Mayweather out of this fight.”

“I believe that Floyd did not want to tarnish his perfect record and used this blood testing as an excuse to get out of the fight because he knew Manny would never do it. Floyd being the coward found a way out and he did not care if he tarnished another man’s reputation,” added Koncz.

Mayweather had demanded that Pacquiao undergo Olympic-style (random) drug-testing but the Filipino fighter vehemently rejected the proposal and was later incensed that Mayweather and even GBP officials went to the extent of accusing him of having taken performance-enhancing drugs.

Pacquiao has never failed a drug test in all of his close to 20 fights on American soil.

Had both sides agreed on the terms, Pacquiao and Mayweather would have made $25 million apiece plus a hefty share in the pay-per-view, gate receipts, and closed-circuit viewing.

Now that Mayweather is out of the picture, Arum is eyeing reigning World Boxing Association super-welterweight titlist Yuri Foreman, a Belarus-born Israeli now living in Brooklyn, New York.

If Arum picks Foreman for a March 20 date at the Thomas and Mack Center in Las Vegas, Pacquiao will be gunning for his eighth world title.

While a Foreman fight is a landmark bout for Pacquiao, another fight that looks much more attractive is a third fight with Mexican Juan Manuel Marquez, a pairing that Pacquiao trainer Freddie Roach wants.

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