Wednesday, December 30, 2009

Pushing Mayweather-Pacquiao back until fall an option

It may seem that the Floyd Mayweather-Manny Pacquiao fight could not get any hotter than it is today but octogenarian Bob Arum takes the long view.

If the random blood testing issue is a dealbreaker in conversations between the parties today, then the March 13 date at the MGM Grand in Las Vegas is kaput for the long awaited matchup.

Arum thinks that may not be a terrible outcome and it isn’t because he doesn’t feel his main Man-ny can hand the undefeated Mayweather his first professional ring defeat now.

In Arum’s view, the simmering broth that is Mayweather-Pacquiao can easily be reheated while both of them have interim bouts.

“Maybe Manny won’t calm down after all this character assassination done by Golden Boy,” Arum said.
“Then I guess the solution is to move on and push the big fight into the fall.”

Arum said perhaps the most wicked Pacman on drugs came from Oscar in his Ring magazine website blog in which he compared Manny’s punches to that of Shane Mosley in their Vegas rematch and to that of Fernando Vargas.
The implication being the punches of drugged up cheaters all feel alike.
Mosley has admitted using BALCO provided steroids (unwittingly, he testified in federal court) while Vargas was caught through a urine test in Nevada.

“We shall see what Manny decides late (Tuesday) night,” Arum said. “All this (random) blood testing talk has been so stupid, it’s a lot of hooey.”

HBO, MGM may have to choose Pacquiao OR Mayweather

HBO PPV and the MGM Grand Hotel & Casino wanted Mayweather versus Pacquiao on March 13.

Now the prime cable network and the corporate owner of 20 casinos might have to choose between Floyd and Manny.

Team Mayweather, in a burst of either honesty or stupidity, admitted to hometown newspaper scribe David Mayo that it has no “Plan B” other than a mega bout against Manny Pacquiao on March 13 at the MGM Grand Hotel & Casino on March 13.

That’s what Mayweather minder Laughing Lenny Ellerbe informed the reporter for the Grand Rapids, Mich., Press, the other day.
It’s Pacquiao or Bust, according to Ellerbe. Yet Mayweather’s chosen negotiator Richie Rich Schaefer told someone else that Mayweather will fight TBD on that date if the Pacman fight does not move forward.
Which is it, guys?
For his Pacquiao part, Bob Arum is still rattling the chains about having Megamanny fight on the four days before St. Patrick’s Day Saturday night against newly crowned WBA junior middleweight champion Yuri Foreman.
Apprently, at least based on my lengthy phone chat with vacationing in Cabo Wabo Arum, Tuesday morning, the Top Rank top honcho has tuned the off switch on a Paulie Malignaggi fight in place of a Mayweather match.
Arum said he hopes to sell Pacquiao-Foreman, with Manny trying to a record world title in an eighth weight class, to the MGM and to HBO.
So we may see a promotional fight between the Mayweather interests and Arum.
Bring it on, Uncle Roberto said, bring it on.
“We could switch to March 20 and the Thomas & Mack Center is available but we’d prefer to stay at the MGM.
“But, if they want Mayweather on the March 13 date, then we can see what the true colors of the MGM Grand are. I can say the same about HBO. If either the MGM or HBO bypasses Pacquiao for Mayweather, then they won’t be doing any more business with me as to Manny Pacquiao,” Arum said.
Arum also tossed in an odd, sarcastic comment when I mentioned how it’s a bit of a shame for Mayweather-Pacman on March 13 to be derailed given all the “Hot Stove League” coverage of the past two weeks.
“Here’s two down weeks, holiday weeks,” Arum said, “and boxing is the Number 1 story.”
I mentioned that MA mogul Dana White might be peeved over this.
“Maybe we can get Dana to handle all the drug testing to satisfy Mayweather,” Arum said.
I had to laugh given White’s many shots at boxing in general and Mayweather in particular.

Mayweather, Pacquiao camps see red, but lure of green means fight will happen: Boxing

Boxing is a blood sport, but the impasse holding up the megamatch between Manny Pacquiao and Floyd Mayweather Jr. borders on laughable.

While the Mayweather camp has come up with a set of demands for random blood testing before the bout, Pacquiao's side has countered with its own list of agreeable tests. The blood feud, which could scuttle the proposed March 13 bout in Las Vegas, has both sides seeing red.

Or so they said as they traded accusations last week.

But what this really is all about is nothing more than mind games. Because, with the fighters likely to earn between $25 million and $40 million for the richest fight in history, both camps are seeing green. Hey, Mayweather's nickname is, after all, "Money."

It's all about the dough, and a little testing issue is not going to interfere with putting this one on. In fact, once the match is made, you can expect to see even more gamesmanship.

If Pacquiao wants red gloves, Mayweather will insist on black. Get the picture?

You can't put a fight together without each side insisting on its right to bully the other.

Make a deal: The other fight that has to come together next year is the highly anticipated bout between WBC/WBO middleweight champ Kelly Pavlik and dangerous challenger Paul Williams.

After Pavlik's lopsided win against Miguel Espino in Youngstown on Dec. 19, his side was agreeable to finally facing Williams, an opponent Pavlik twice had to back away from because of an injured left hand.

Dan Goossen, Williams' California-based promoter, said his fighter is ready to go as well.

"Paul Williams would like nothing better than to give Kelly Pavlik another shot to get into the ring with him," said Goossen in an e-mail to The Plain Dealer. "No nasty remarks from us. No name calling. No spinning. Quite the opposite."

Well, let the lovefest begin. Then again, what good is a fight without nasty remarks and name calling?

Amateur show: Cleveland's West Side Boxing Club has a card set for the Brook Park Armory, 6225 Engle Road, Brook Park, on Jan. 16 at 7:30 p.m. Tickets in advance are $15 general admission, $20 ringside table and $25 VIP front row ó $5 more at the door. Contact coach Bill Godhard at 440-785-4900.

Pro show: Former radio personality Antonio Castro and partners are getting into the promotional business. Their Warner Promotions will put on its first club show at Grays Armory, 1234 Bolivar Road, Cleveland, on Jan. 29 at 7 p.m.

The tentative lineup has Cleveland fighters Dante Moore, Julius Leegrand and Wilkins Santiago on the card. Ringside tables, VIP ($75) and general admission ($28) tickets are available. Call 440-258-8117.

Still undefeated: Cleveland lightweight Mickey Bey Jr. improved to 15-0 with his eighth knockout, a first-round stoppage of Donnell Logan (11-19-2, 6 KOs) in Knoxville, Tenn., on Dec. 19.

History: On Dec. 30, 1970, Sonny Liston was found dead in Las Vegas at age 38.

Famers: The International Boxing Hall of Fame in Canastota, N.Y., has added another induction class, with featherweight Danny ìLittle Redî Lopez, manager Shelly Finkel, commissioner Larry Hazzard, Associated Press reporter Ed Schuyler and matchmaker Bruce Trampler among the notable.

However, it was good to see that Cleveland-raised fighter Lloyd Marshall finally made the Hall's ranks. After going 202-17 as an amateur, including Cleveland Golden Gloves titles in 1934 and 1935, he went 64-24-4 (32 KOs) as a professional.

In 17 bouts against 12 champions or former champs, he won nine of them. He had wins against Ezzard Charles, Jake LaMotta, Freddie Mills and Cleveland's Joey Maxim. Marshall died in California at age 83 in 1997.

Tuesday, December 29, 2009


GL: Obviously you're aware of the all of the hoopla surrounding the Mayweather-Pacquiao fight. Not the fight itself, rather the testing the fighters will udergo. After initially making some concessions, Arum has made it clear that he is leaving this to the Vegas Commission. As the Commissioner, can you tell us how Nevada will handle this matter? "As of right now, this is nothing different than any other fight we've had in Nevada. We'll do fight night drug testing via urine. We may, if we so choose, do in training urine tests as well. Neither side has asked us to do anything differently than that, so that's where it stands with the Nevada Athletic Commission."

GL: Does Mayweather requesting additional testing not mandated by the NSAC lead you to believe that he feels your methods of testing are prehistoric?

KK: "No. Not at all. I've talked to Leonard Ellerbe about it. That's definitely not their stance nor is it the stance they will be taking."

GL: Do you think they have any position to claim that Manny Pacquiao is on something based on what you've seen in his fights from ringside?

KK: "Nothing I've seen. No. Both of these gentleman have been successful moving up in weight and they've passed every drug test we've given them, so I'm pretty cofident they're playing by the rules, however that doesn't mean we're not going to be testing them fight night regardless of who they fight."

GL: If the fight happens, the commissions drug testing procedures would be the standard operatig procedure that has been used in countless fights before it, correct?

KK: "That's what we're using now. As with anything, any licensee can petition us to do something different. Years ago the Contender petitioned us for a smaller ring. The Commission at that time turned them down. We've had the UFC petition us to do their TV show and that petition was accepted. We've had other petitions over the years, some granted, some not. Any licensee, a fighter, promoter or both, can request that we do something additional. What the Commission would decide there would depend on the facts, the circumstances, the evidence and the five votes."

GL: Who other than yourself would vote?

KK: "I don't get a vote. I'm the director, there's five Commissioners, they would vote and majority rules."

GL: As of now have any petitions been filed?

KK: "No."

GL: Have the Mayweather people indicated that they will be filing one?

KK: "No. I've talke to Leonard Ellerbe a couple of times over the last couple of weeks and they were very positive conversations. He's always been a professional with us and nothing has changed in that regard. Whether or not he or Mr. Schaefer or anybody else on the Mayweather side of the fight would file something, you have to ask them."

GL: You weren't in charge when the De La Hoya-Mosley rematch took place, but we all know what happened with Shane following that fight. Have the standards of the commission been upgraded since then?

KK: "Well I don't think that's the correct terminology. My understanding on the clear and the cream back then, not being an expert myself, but talking to experts was, that was invented by Balco to evade the drug testing that was being done on the time. Now they have a test for the clear and the cream, and the use of it has gone way down with the experts because now you can get caught. Now you have Marion Jones getting away with that at the Olympics, but we were able to catch Fernando Vargas and Ben Johnson. I think the standards have always been the highest level of testing. However, there are people out there who have temporarily found ways to evade the drug testing. That's what these experts get paid for, to close that gap and that time between the development of a new drug and a efficient test for it.

I know HGH, they're still trying to find an efficient blood and urine test for it. There will always be that cat and mouse game. Our goal is not to catch people, but to deter them from using anything in the first place. You have to think the first deterrant is common decency. You're not just hitting a baseball further, you're hitting another human in the head harder than you should be able to. That in itself, should be enough to keep people from cheating like this. I think the congressional hearings have gone a long way in labeling these guys as losers and cheaters, whereas five years ago people would say why didn't that guy find a better way to cheat. Now they treat him Rosie Ruiz jumping on a subway in the Boston marathon. I think the public reaction more than anything else has helped these athletes realize that it's not worth it. I think a lot of athletes might have used in the past because they thought their opponent was and they weren't looking for an unfair advantage, they will looking to even the playing field.

GL: Does Pacquiao not wanting to take the additional tests seems suspicious to you or do you think it's more of who the hell are you to tell me which non-mandated tests to take?

KK: "Part of it might be the latter there, that both sides have dug in their heels pretty good based on the language used by both sides. As far as blood testing, you could have a situation where you could have bruising, you could nick a vein. I would never want to do blood testing in a locker room because it's an unsterile situation where you could have infection. Or Godforbid, they get infected with another disease because of the needle. It's a lot more dangerous than urine testing. We do require blood testing for HIV and Hepatitis B and C because that is the only efficient way to test for those viruses. And that's usually done 30 days before the fight unless somebody is a last minute sub, but those are done in a doctors office or a hospital, a sterile environment."

GL: Do you ever see USADA testing becoming the standard in boxing?

KK: "I don't know if there's much of a difference between what the USADA does and what the Nevada Commission or any other Commission does. The labs we use follow the same type of procedures. We all use the WADA list of prohibited substances."

Nevada orders testing for Mayweather, Pacquiao

Manny Pacquiao and Floyd Mayweather Jr. have both been ordered to take immediate drug tests by the Nevada Athletic Commission.

NAC chairman Pat Lundvall issued the demand on Monday in line with the commission’s random testing policy, which conforms to the World Anti Doping Agency’s guidelines.

Even though the proposed March 13 fight between Mayweather and Pacquiao has not yet been finalized, as both men are licensed fighters in Nevada they are subject to random tests.

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However, the tests will only sample urine, and despite the commission’s actions, a resolution to the argument over blood testing which is threatening the staging of the fight is no nearer.

Lundvall ordered NAC executive director Keith Kizer to inform Mayweather and Pacquiao that they would be tested by an independent testing company, LabCorp. Mayweather will provide a sample in Las Vegas and Pacquiao will go to an approved laboratory in the Philippines.

This move by the commission seems designed to show it is committed to a drug testing policy, following the flurry of publicity surrounding performance enhancing drugs in the negotiations over the fight.

At a board meeting Monday, Lundvall and Kizer revealed there had been no requests for blood testing for the proposed superfight submitted through their organization as yet.

Pacquiao promoter Bob Arum made a “final offer” on Sunday, claiming he and Pacquiao would abide by whatever system the NAC deemed appropriate, and that Mayweather and Golden Boy should do the same. Pacquiao has previously rejected Mayweather’s demands for random blood tests at any time leading up to the fight.

Lundvall insisted that differing medical opinion and information on the efficacy of various testing systems, made it difficult to ascertain which was the optimum program to use. However, she claimed she was confident the method employed by NAC was effective in catching cheats.

However, the commission’s stance now makes it even less likely Golden Boy and Mayweather would agree to let the commission make the final decision on testing, as stipulated by Arum.

The likely next step is that Arum will go ahead with preliminary negotiations for a replacement fight for Pacquiao with Paulie Malignaggi, and wait to see if the Mayweather camp softens its stance.

The superfight is not yet dead, but ground needs to be given on both sides. With the egos and issues involved, that could be a slow process.

Getting Testy - Floyd Mayweather Jr. and Manny Pacquiao

The very latest scandal in the Floyd Mayweather Jr. vs Manny Pacquiao super-fight is the demand by the Mayweather camp for Manny Pacquiao to undergo Olympic-style drug testing leading up to the fight March 13, 2010.

Perhaps the smartest thing Mayweather has done so far is to partner up with Golden Boy Promotions, allowing them to negotiate on his behalf and utilizing their substantial muscle and network. Mayweather's demand that the Olympic U.S. Anti Dopers Association (USADA) be the organization that conduct the tests is most likely because of Oscar De La Hoya's personal relationship with the head of this group. Considering that "Olympic-style drug testing" means the testing would be at random and as often as the USADA would like, the relationship with De La Hoya and Golden Boy Promotions is a huge advantage. Especially now that everyone knows Pacquiao is superstitious about getting blood drawn in general, much less right before a fight. (This superstition was born when Pacquiao was blood-tested before his first bout against Erik Morales, which he lost.)

Team Pacquiao has refused such random tests and instead, have offered to give blood directly after the fight. The USADA claims that a scheduled blood test would give Pacquiao's team the opportunity to shoot him up with a masking agent and thus render the test meaningless.

So it seems they are at an impasse and the fate of the super-bout hangs in the balance.

Is this a pressure tactic designed by Floyd Mayweather Jr. to ultimately avoid fighting Manny Pacquiao? There are many inconsistencies within Golden Boy Promotions' protocol that would make it seem so. While negotiating the PPV bout between Shane Mosley and Zab Judah in 2008 (the fight never got made,) Golden Boy CEO, Richard Schaeffer refused the Olympic-style drug testing requested by the Judah camp, stating "Whatever tests they [the Nevada State Athletic Commission] want them to take, Shane will submit to that. We are not going to do other tests than the Nevada commission requires. The fact is Shane is not a cheater and he does not need to be treated like one."

Pacquiao's trainer, Freddie Roach has stated that they will adhere to the rules and tests enforced by the Nevada State Athletic Commission (NSAC), which includes extensive drug tests through urine analysis, a method that NSAC Executive Director, Keith Kizer considers less invasive than blood testing. "Urine tests are not only cheaper, they are more effective and there are no risks of nicking a blood vein or causing an infection," Kizer explains. "If blood tests are administered in the locker room, something like nicking a vein or excessive bruising would force us to cancel the fight, not to mention the risks of infection, administering a test in that kind of environment." Kizer states "Our goal is to deter the use of drugs [by athletes] in the first place." It is Kizer's belief that if drug tests aren't strictly enforced, the athletes who don't normally use performance-enhancing substances may feel compelled to do so in order to even the playing field. "Blood tests are not as effective as urine tests in most cases," Kizer says. "As far as I know, the only test that shows up better in blood is EPO (blood-doping), which is a long-term test that should be administered over the course of months and months in order to be accurate." When asked whether he thought Manny Pacquiao uses steroids, Kizer immediately answers "No. We've tested Manny Pacquiao several times, including the fights during his climb through the weight classes and he has always tested clean."

Roach has even proffered a letter from the NFL, arguably the strictest professional league when it comes to drug-testing, which would state that blood testing is unnecessary and less effective than urine or saliva tests. Though a blood test has been developed for human growth hormone (HGH,) the test has not been proven effective or reliable, as it has never detected HGH in any of the athletes tested, including all of the athletes at the Olympic Games of 2008.

A Brief History

Mayweather was accused of ducking the mega-fight in May, 2009, when he announced his first fight out of retirement would be against Juan Manuel Marquez. The announcement came on the day of Pacquiao's fight against Ricky Hatton. Fight fans and media outlets started calling Mayweather out for his apparent avoidance of fighting Manny Pacquiao, though claiming to himself be the true pound-for-pound king of boxing. Brian Kenny of ESPN went head-to-head against Mayweather in an on-air interview (click to see video clip,) being the first public figure to officially accuse the former pound-for-pound champion of dodging Pacquiao. Mayweather may have suffered his first comeuppance at the hand of Brian Kenny, but the real blow came when ticket sales to his comeback fight against Marquez were dismal. The fight got moved from July 18, 2009 to September 19, 2009 due to an alleged rib injury suffered by Mayweather, but many people have speculated that the real reason for the postponement was to build the fight and increase ticket and projected PPV sales. Mayweather dominated his fight against Marquez, who was forced to gain over 10 pounds for the bout. Mayweather even came in two pounds overweight, tipping the scales further in his favor. Instead of regaining the respect of fans for beating the pound-for-pound second best in Marquez, Mayweather suffered further criticism through the media and fans. Hip Hop icon, Eminem's Sirius radio station, Shade 45, had a phone interview with the tarnished former pound-for-pound champion on October 29th, 2009, attacking Mayweather for protecting his record and not fighting anyone who would test him. Hip Hop star "RA the Rugged Man", a guest on the show and a veritable boxing encyclopedia, did most of the talking in the no-holds-barred conversation (click to hear audio clip.)

Conversely, Pacquiao went on to fight one of the the welterweight division's most feared fighters, Miguel Cotto and in a stunning TKO victory in the 12th round, affirmed his position as boxing's pound-for-pound king. During Pacquiao's post-fight interview, fans chanted "we want Floyd!" repeatedly, begging Larry Merchant to ask who Pacquiao would like to fight next. Pacquiao gave the usual answer, stating he would fight whomever his promoter put in front of him. Mayweather immediately went on record, harping to anyone who would listen that Manny was avoiding the fight by not specifically calling Mayweather out when asked who he'd want to fight next. Mayweather stated "Tell Manny Pacquiao to be his own man and stop letting everyone including his loudmouth trainer, talk for him. If Manny Pacquiao wants to fight me, all he has to do is step up to the plate and say it himself." During coverage of Manny Pacquiao's LA victory party, days after the Cotto fight, a KTLA Los Angeles reporter asked Pacquiao "For the record, do you want to fight Mayweather?" to which Pacquiao simply replied, "for the record, yeah."

This may have forced Mayweather's hand as far as starting negotiations for the fight of the decade, but since then, fight fans are left wondering whether he will actually go through with it. The latest blood-testing hoopla only confirms the fans' worst fears that this much-anticipated fight may not get made as it seems Mayweather's camp is trying to find any feasible way to back out of the fight while saving face.

Freddie Roach states "I'm not going to let my fighter endure any kind of blood test so close to the fight. We don't work for Mayweather. I'm perfectly happy complying with whatever the Nevada State Commission asks of us." As it is, Mayweather insisted on having the fight at the MGM Grand in Las Vegas instead of in Dallas, Texas, which would have been much more lucrative. Though Pacquiao didn't express a preference of where the fight should be located, Roach believes that having the fight at the MGM, or "Floyd's backyard" as he put it, was enough of a compromise.

Inside Scoop

Insiders say Golden Boy has tentatively agreed to use the tests enforced by the Nevada State Athletic Commission, but only if the NSAC standards are also adhered to in the weight clause, reducing the $10 million penalty per pound over from the contracts to $600 thousand per pound over. Roach has no problem with this, stating "I don't care how much the penalty is. If Floyd shows up overweight - we won't fight him."

Roach goes on to say that negotiations are already underway with WBO NABO Light Welterweight champion, Paulie Malignaggi as well as WBA World Light Middleweight champion, Yuri Foreman. A win over Foreman would make Pacquiao a world champion in a record-breaking eight different weight classes, to which he already holds the record at seven titles, beating Oscar De La Hoya's six and besting Floyd Mayweather Jr.'s five.

Talk has also surfaced that Pacquaio plans to sue Mayweather for defamation of character.

In My Opinion

Will this fight get made? Many arguments can be made for either side, but I believe it will get made in the end. Mayweather has already succumbed once to holding negotiations after countless accusations that he is ducking Pacquiao and for the most part, the media and fans are still not backing him up even after this latest attempt to scandalize the fight. He is left with no leverage and no way out other than admitting cowardice, or sustaining (read: faking) an injury / infection that would prevent him from fighting for the next several months - which might happen. And if it does, you heard it here first.

Arum sets Mayweather deadline

Manny Pacquiao's promoter Bob Arum has given Floyd Mayweather Jnr's camp a Monday deadline to resolve a blood-testing row which has threatened to derail the proposed super fight between the two welterweights.
Top Rank promoter Arum confirmed to Sports Illustrated that Pacquiao will submit to unlimited urine tests while agreeing to blood tests in January and as many as two more, no later than 30 days before the fight.
Arum is also proposing a hearing be held on January 19 in front of the Nevada Athletic Commission to determine whether additional blood tests are necessary.
"This is unprecedented," Arum told the U.S. based sport magazine. "Our expert says blood tests are ridiculous. But we will let the commission decide. They are the governing body."
If Mayweather refuses, Arum revealed he will make a deal for Pacquiao to face former junior welterweight champion Paulie Malignaggi in Las Vegas.
"That deal will take about an hour [to make]," Arum added.
Our expert says blood tests are ridiculous.
--Bob Arum
The welterweight clash was due to take place in Las Vegas in March but the pair have become embroiled in a dispute over Mayweather's controversial request that Filipino Pacquiao has Olympic style blood-screening 30 days prior to the fight.
Pacquiao has since said he will file a defamation lawsuit against American Mayweather -- whose promoters Golden Boy Promotions went public with their demands for testing as laid down by the United States Anti-Doping Agency (USADA) -- for accusing him of taking performance-enhancing drugs.
Pacquiao, 31, became a five-weight world champion following his WBO welterweight title win over Miguel Cotto in November, while Mayweather returned from a 21-month retirement to beat Mexican Juan Manuel Marquez in September.

Mayweather, Jr. vs. Pacquiao will happen; "The Secret" is out

This is all so silly. The two sides (Floyd Mayweather, Jr. / Golden Boy vs. Manny Pacquiao / Top Rank) have to wake up pretty early each morning to determine who is mad at whom and why each day.

What I'm picking up on is these daily turf wars; everything from the "100,000 vs.16,200" to "blood vs. urine" is setting back our once quaint boxing civilization.

Somebody with some clout must have a serious secret that he's fighting to keep in his vault. And I mean it's such a deep dark secret that if it gets out, it will rock a few worlds.

So these little turf wars will continue, but they are getting terribly tedious. Five years from now, some mutant form of Golden Boy and some similar form of Top Rank will be fighting over a couple of 17 year-old kids of different races and nationalities. Today's fighters, Mayweather, Jr. and Pacquiao will be old news.

I remember just a few years ago Golden Boy employed "The Voice of Reason," the dignified Don Chargin, as a consultant. But soon after that concluding, Golden Boy seemed to have lost its moral compass and now GBP lives in the proverbial glass house.

GBP shouldn't be throwing stones from the glass house, such as making demands regarding blood tests or anything else really. They should just be happy to be in on the deal on Mayweather, Jr.'s nickel.

Mayweather, Jr. isn't really even their fighter, he hired them to negotiate for him to close this particular deal to fight Pacquiao against his former promoter Top Rank.

Hiring GBP to negotiate for him against Top Rank is certainly his legal right but one of the laziest and stupidest moves in both business and boxing history.

It let a known wolf into the hen house.

GBP has a promotional piece of opponent Manny Pacquiao! What a conflict of interest! But this is professional boxing.

They actually earned it when they once intercepted Pacquiao at LAX Airport and later handed him a duffel bag full of money, rumored to be a cool $250,000.

Remember that classy bit of boxing history? And an arbiter standing between Richard Schaefer and Bob Arum still actually handed GBP a piece of the action. Only in America Don King! GBP actually benefited from this!

Back to this secret. Is this secret now elevated to "The Secret." Such as the fight becoming "The Fight?"

So is there or isn't there a "Secret" that explains a bunch of strange moves by Mayweather, Jr. and Golden Boy Promotions?

Is it totally crazy that Mayweather, Jr. could owe a certain casino a ton of money in the form of loans and gambling markers and in return, deliver this or any other fight he's involved in as some form of medieval collateral?

Not so crazy if you consider his huge IRS debt and self-stated gambling habits. If NBA referees can sell out, why not a boxer in major debt?

But could it be "The Secret" is the explanation for a bunch of isolated, peculiar Mayweather, Jr. and GBP moves?

Perhaps time will tell, but for now, we can all just guess something made them defy sports logic and balk at a real Super Bowl venue (and the biggest live gate guarantee in boxing history) without hesitation or consideration. And that same possible dark secret logic may be the very reason they can't blow this fight.

Can I prove it? No. It's just my opinion.

MGM Grand (16,200) vs. Cowboys Stadium (100,000) will be a new required course as part of the Harvard Business School curriculum this spring.

But back to Floyd. When he told Golden Boy CEO Richard Schaefer this two weeks ago, Schaefer, no fool, the "Swiss Banker" had no reason to fly to Texas even though he knew he would be publicly humiliated for pulling out at the 11Th hour.

This would explain a lot of things to my satisfaction. This "blood vs. urine" is now just window dressing. It's just to screw with Pacquiao's head.

But "The Secret" explains a bunch of isolated, peculiar Mayweather, Jr. and GBP moves.

I'm waiting for the next turf war.

Saturday, December 26, 2009

Pacman’s Holiday Greetings for Floyd: Merry Christmas and I’ll See You in Court

Former pound-for-pound best Floyd Mayweather Jr. may have finally overplayed his hand in the continuing saga over his proposed superfight against reigning pound-for-pound king Manny Pacquiao as the Pacman has finally decided to respond by filing a case against them as reported by popular Filipino boxing website

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Yes! Stick it to the heart of those pompous, arrogant, malicious, scheming bullies and their spin doctors, and score a point for the low-key, humble, and patient little guy who refuses to bow down to the harassment put up by his detractors who are insisting on an overly stringent self-serving drug testing procedure while at the same time continuing to malign his good name with their false and baseless accusations.

Former pound-for-pound best Floyd Mayweather Jr. may have finally overplayed his hand in the continuing saga over his proposed superfight against reigning pound-for-pound king Manny Pacquiao as the Pacman has finally decided to respond by filing a case against them as first reported by popular Filipino boxing website, taking the high road by choosing to answer the trial-by-publicity blacksmear campaign employed by the Mayweathers in the proper forum.

In a statement prepared on Christmas Day from his hometown in Sarangani, Philippines, Pacquiao announced that he will be filing libel, slander and defamation charges against Floyd Mayweather Jr., Floyd Mayweather Sr., and Golden Boy Promotions in the next few days.

"Enough is enough. These people, Mayweather Sr., Jr., and Golden Boy Promotions, think it is a joke and a right to accuse someone wrongly of using steroids or other performance-enhancing drugs. I have tried to just brush it off as a mere pre-fight ploy but I think they have gone overboard", said Pacquiao.

He really wasn't under any obligation to explain his success especially considering that the allegations were purely unsubstantiated and coming from sources who are themselves questionable with their own ulterior motives. But seeing how the issue has continued to snowball into absurd proportions through the constant yapping of the Mayweathers and their cohorts, Pacquiao went on to explain:

"I maintain and assure everyone that I have not used any form or kind of steroids and that my way to the top is a result of hard work, hard work, hard work and a lot of blood spilled from my past battles in the ring, not outside of it".

As may be recalled, the steroid insinuations were started by the elder Mayweather a few months back while Pacquiao was in the midst of his preparations for his November 14 fight against Puerto Rican Miguel Cotto. According to his statement, Pacquiao contemplated on taking legal action then but decided against it because he did not want to get distracted during that time as he was preparing for one of the toughest fights of his career.

But holding out hope that their megafight tentatively scheduled on March 13 can still push through, Pacquiao issued this feisty challenge, "Now, I say to Floyd Mayweather Jr., don't be a coward and face me in the ring, mano-a-mano and shut your big, pretty mouth, so we can show the world who is the true king of the ring", said Pacquiao. "Pretty Boy Floyd, face me instead on March 13 in Las Vegas and not in some talk show forum or in press releases written for you by people who don't even know me. Face me in a fight where I get to punch back".

Those are words that don't usually come out of the mouth of the soft-spoken Pacquiao who doesn't normally engage in trash talks. There is a chance that it was issued in hopes of trying to salvage their titanic showdown, as there may still be a chance if the Mayweathers get to their senses, but most definitely it sounded like a man who has clearly been wronged and out to get his just revenge, whether in the ring or out of it. Either way, Pacquiao stands to gain a windfall off the Mayweathers whether Floyd decides to fight him in the ring or not as the defamation suit is sure to cost the Mayweathers millions as well.

Pacquiao made it clear however that he is not against any form of drug testing as long as it is mandated by any athletic sports commission. He just finds it funny and stupid that a system which has been in place for decades will be changed just because Floyd Mayweather said so. He further stressed that he has undergone all kinds of drug testing and medical examinations before and after every fight for the past fifteen years and he has never failed any of them.

Not forgetting the yuletide season however, Pacquiao closed out his statement by sending some holiday cheers to his detractor, "to Floyd, despite all these accusations, may your Christmas be merry and I will see you in court, soon".

As a fan, as much as I want to see Paquiao and Mayweather get it on in the ring, and I do believe it will eventually happen at some point whether on March 13 or not, it cannot be overemphasized how important this move is for Pacquiao's career and legacy. Having followed his career even before he made it big in the world stage I firmly believe that he is clean of all the insinuations hurled against him and I would want nothing more than to see him clear his name and prove to all the world that he is.

Pacquiao provides so much inspiration with his fairytale back story, his ring exploits, and his classy and humble disposition outside of it. But this defamation suit strikes a different chord with ordinary people especially those who at one time or another have been wronged for whatever reason. When all humility and patience have been exhausted, do not stoop to the level of your detractors but instead make your stand in the court of law even at the expense of a potential $40 million payday. Once again Pacquiao distinguishes himself not only as a champion inside the ring but a true champion of what is good and decent left in humanity.

Friday, December 25, 2009

The Mayweathers Carry The Burden of Proof

The burden of proof.

During my stint as a debating class student, we were told that anyone who has the guts to make serious accusations, claims, and other pieces of information that could prove vital and add more validity to his argument must present evidences to support such claim.

Such is the burden of proof.

In what is now a halted negotiation for the Pacquiao-Mayweather super fight, it is clear where the snag in the agreement process stems from. Right after Pacquiao scored a devastating second round-knockout victory over Ricky Hatton last May, Hatton’s then head trainer Floyd Mayweather Sr., made some serious comments that implied the probability of Pacquiao using illegal substances that could have boosted his performances and helped him campaign successfully through various weight classes.

As time went by, the accusations grew bolder and stronger and have recently hit fever pitch when the Mayweather camp insisted on an Olympic-style series of random drug test to “level the playing field.” For Pacquiao and his people, this demand is outrageously ridiculous and does not warrant any merit at all.

I agree.

See, the burden of proof falls on Mayweather Sr.’s shoulders. After all, it was he who made such accusations in the first place.

But did they show any evidence that Pacquiao is indeed taking performance-enhancing drugs? No. Did they have any charts or papers or test results that reveal any signs of steroids in Pacquiao’s system? No. Was there a point in time that they present a witness that says Pacquiao is indeed taking steroids? No, they did not.

The point being driven here is that the Mayweathers are pressing a claim that is unfounded and lacks substantial evidence. Unless they can present the boxing public with just a proof to support the allegations, then Pacquiao needs not to explain himself why he does not want to undergo any other drug tests other than those required by the Commission.

And if this was a debate, which in some way it is, the Mayweathers have a heavy burden on their shoulders right now.


WBO/NABO light welterweight champion Paulie “The Magic Man” Malignaggi (27-3, 5 KO’s) is ready to face pound-for-pound king Manny Pacquiao on the March 13 date previously set aside for a Pacquiao-Floyd Mayweather Jr super fight at the MGM Grand in Las Vegas.

Chicago based Filipino reporter Joseph Lariosa said that Malignaggi, in a phone interview on Christmas eve in the US told him he was willing to submit to a blood test “ten times” even on the eve of a fight with Pacquiao if it will be his chance to fight the Filipino boxing great.

Malignaggi said he was excited and honored to be mentioned alongside other fighters being considered as possible opponents for Pacquiao after negotiations on a proposed Mayweather fight were called off.

Top Rank promoter Bob Arum called off the fight and said "Mayweather can go to hell with their outrageous demands" after the Mayweather camp and Golden Boy Promotions CEO Richard Schaefer insisted that Pacquiao submit himself to drug tests which include blood tests to be conducted by the US Anti Doping Agency.

Arum and Pacquiao agreed to a blood test on the eve of the kickoff press conference, 30 days before the fight and immediately after the fight pointing out that if Pacquiao was on performance-enhancing drugs as alleged by the Mayweather camp then it would be discovered in the tests. Arum also, by way of a compromise, said they were willing to undergo tests conducted by the professional group that tests NBA, NFL and MBL players. But Schafer turned this down.

Malignaggi told Lariosa that facing Pacquiao will be “a big challenge” but he is always optimistic when facing any opponent He said he would be able to come up with a strategy to beat Pacquiao or anybody else, including Mayweather.

Malignaggi said “I know Manny is a great fighter but I c an always find a way to beat him” said the American of Italian-descent, adding “you saw how I beat Juan Diaz.”

While stating that Pacquiao’s refusal to submit to a blood test a day before the fight as demanded by the Mayweather camp “always raises some questions” Malignaggi said “but I won’t mind if Manny refuses to submit to a blood test a day before the fight. If Manny wants to submit to a blood test a month before the fight, it’s not a problem with me. I am willing to submit to a blood test ten times a day before the fight if I am going to face Manny.”

The Brooklyn New York native said it did not matter whether the fight was at light welterweight or welterweight..

Malignaggi is coming off a big win over Juan Diaz in a rematch after Diaz won a hugely controversial decision in their first fight in Houston, Texas.

Irked Paquiao eyes legal action vs Mayweathers

Miffed by theatrics made by Mayweather’s camp, the Filipino boxing icon already instructed Top Rank promoter Bob Arum to file charges against Floyd Sr. and Jr. and Golden Boy Promotions (GBP) for continuously maligning him.

It’s about time that he defended himself against accusations from Floyd Sr. that he used performance-enhancing drugs in beating his opponents in different weight classes, Pacquiao said, in a report by Sports Saksi Chino Trinidad.

GBP president Richard Schaeffer will also be named as one of the respondents.

“Enough is enough," Pacquiao said. “These people [Mayweather Sr., Jr., and GBP] think it is a joke and a right to accuse someone wrongly of using steroids or other performance-enhancing drugs," said Pacquiao in a report by

Floyd Sr. has consistently accused Pacquiao that the source of his incredible strength and speed is from performance-enhancing drugs that the Filipino seven world division champion takes while preparing for a fight.

Pacquiao thought that Mayweather Sr.’s statements are part of a publicity stunt.

For the latest Philippine news stories and videos, visit GMANews.TV
“I have tried to just brush it off as a mere pre-fight ploy but I think they have gone overboard," said Pacquiao in Filipino.

But when more people have been asking him if he used performance-enhancing or not that is when Pacquiao decided to seek legal action.

“I have instructed (Arum) to help me out in the filing of the case as soon as possible because I have had people coming over to me now asking if I really take performance-enhancing drugs and I have cheated my way into becoming the No. 1 boxer in the world," said Pacquiao.

Team Pacquiao is planning to file libel, slander, and defamation suits against the Mayweathers.

Pacquiao said that he passed all the eight urine tests made by the Nevada Athletic Commission every time he fights in Las Vegas.

“I maintain and assure everyone that I have not used any form or kind of steroids and that my way to the top is a result of hard work, hard work, hard work and a lot of blood spilled from my past battles in the ring, not outside of it," said Pacquiao.“I have no idea what steroids look like and my fear in God has kept me safe and victorious through all these years."

“Now, I say to Floyd Mayweather Jr., don’t be a coward and face me in the ring, mano-a-mano and shut your big, pretty mouth, so we can show the world who is the true king of the ring," said Pacquiao

Despite the plans of suing the Mayweathers, Pacquiao is still looking forward of someday facing the undefeated Mayweather Jr. - GMANews.TV

Golden hypocrites: Nevada test sufficient for Mosley, not for Pacquiao

The hypocrisy of Boxing Banker Richie Rich Schaefer, who only does the bidding of Floyd Mayweather and adviser Al Haymon anyway, has come back to haunt him and the Mayweather camp like my uncle, Jacob Marley ,came back to haunt that miser Scrooge in “A Christmas Carol.”

When it looked like Zab Judah would fight BALCO graduate Sugar Shane Mosley, who has sworn under oath in federal court that he took illegal steroids before a fight with Oscar de la Hoya but was unaware of their illegality, the Judah camp called for drug testing for Shane above and beyond what the Nevada commission requires.

Schaefer’s resounding answer was: No way, Jose!
Here’s part of the Associated Press report on the controversy in 2008:

“One of Judah's managers, Michael Shinefield, said he sent an e-mail two weeks ago to Golden Boy Promotions, which represents Mosley, calling for blood testing for both fighters. Golden Boy chief executive Richard Schaefer said he has not responded to that e-mail, but that Mosley will agree to any tests required by the Nevada Athletic Commission.

"The Nevada commission requires urine testing of fighters immediately after bouts, but does not require blood tests. Drug experts differ over whether blood tests are more effective than urine tests at detecting some performance-enhancing drugs.

"We only do urine tests. Our inspectors collect urine from the fighters on fight night. Our inspectors aren't qualified or licensed to draw blood," Keith Kizer, executive director of the Nevada Athletic Commission, said in a telephone interview. "If they want to do any other type of test, that's up to them, they're free to do that."
Last year, Mosley acknowledged using steroids before a bout against Oscar De La Hoya in 2003, but said the use was unintentional. Mosley testified in 2003 before the Bay Area Laboratory Co-Operative grand jury. He never has tested positive for drugs, and has not been charged in the BALCO case.”

The Judah-Mosley bout never took place in Las Vegas but Schaefer’s insistence that the Nevada commission testing was sufficient for admitted steroid user Mosley speaks volumes.
I guess what was sufficient for Mosley is not sufficient for Pacquiao.

Thursday, December 24, 2009

Athlete of the year: Manny on top of the world

MANILA, Philippines - No Filipino athlete has made as much impact on a global scale as seven-time world boxing champion Manny Pacquiao in the history of sports. Today, he is hailed as the universal No. 1 pound-for-pound fighter – the most exciting warrior on the planet and the only man ever to capture seven world titles in seven weight divisions.

Pacquiao is the first Filipino sportsman to grace the cover of Time Magazine (Nov. 16, 2009), to be named in the top 10 list of most influential athletes by Forbes Magazine, to join the likes of Kobe Bryant, Maria Sharapova, Tiger Woods and Roger Federer in Nike’s star-studded cast of high profile endorsers and to earn at least $25 million from only two fights this year.

In choosing the top Filipino athlete achiever of 2009, Pacquiao is the consensus pick of The STAR because he alone has brought pride, glory and honor to the country to a level of recognition that is unprecedented.

As the year comes to a close, the ring icon remains on top of his game, at the peak of his storybook career. He has been called the Fighter of the Decade, outshining ageless Bernard Hopkins and two undefeated pretenders Floyd Mayweather Jr. and Joe Calzaghe in a cold-blooded assessment by renowned boxing writer Thomas Hauser.

Like the Pied Piper, Pacquiao is a magnet that generates almost a cult following as a result of his display of guts and skills in the ring. His fans come from all over the world. Everyone loves a winner and Pacquiao is a man driven to win. Filipinos are now joined by Mexicans, Puerto Ricans and Englishmen in their hero worship – Pacquiao is a one-man United Nations. He is the ultimate people’s champion.

For Pacquiao, the accolades aren’t as important as his dedication to his fans. “The best thing for me about fighting is to make people happy,” he once said. And to his legions of Filipino fans, Pacquiao’s most significant contribution is the feeling of national pride he shares whenever he wins.

This year, Pacquiao fought only twice but both bouts were monumental. Last May, he poleaxed Ricky Hatton in two rounds to wrest the IBO lightwelterweight crown at the MGM Grand Garden Arena in Las Vegas. Pacquiao was guaranteed $12 million with a contracted purse of $7.4 million. The difference was covered by co-promoters Top Rank and Golden Boy from Pacquiao’s 52-50 share of the pay-per-view upside and ancillary revenues. The 52-50 deal was negotiated to give Pacquiao a two percent extra from the co-promoters’ share after a 50-50 split. Pay-per-view sales went beyond 800,000.

Then, last November, Pacquiao stopped Miguel Cotto in the 12th round to annex the WBO welterweight diadem, also at the MGM Grand Garden Arena. He was guaranteed $13 million with a contracted purse of $7.5 million. The sharing of income wasn’t disclosed but Pacquiao probably took a 60 percent cut and with 1.25 million pay-per-view buys, could’ve walked all the way to the bank with a total take of $23 million.

Pacquiao hasn’t lost since bowing to Erik Morales on points in 2005. He has now won 11 in a row to raise his record to 50-3-2, with 38 KOs.

The five factors that made Pacquiao the logical pick as Athlete of the Year are:

• History. Pacquiao has virtually installed himself in the Hall of Fame. He broke out of a tie with four others as the only fighters ever to win six world titles in different divisions. Now, Pacquiao is in a class of his own. Left behind were Oscar de la Hoya, Tommy Hearns, Hector (Macho) Camacho and James Toney.

What is remarkable about Pacquiao’s feat is his ascent from being the WBC flyweight champion in 1998 to gaining the WBO welterweight crown this year. His collection of titles consists of the WBC 112-pound flyweight, IBF 122-pound superbantamweight, Ring Magazine 126-pound featherweight, WBC 130-pound superfeatherweight, WBC 135-pound lightweight, IBO 140-pound lightwelterweight and WBO 147-pound welterweight crowns.

With his seven world championships, Pacquiao has eclipsed the record of six world titles bagged by bowler Paeng Nepomuceno who is a Hall of Famer in his sport.

“I’ve been around Muhammad Ali, Marvin Hagler and Sugar Ray Leonard,” said Top Rank chairman Bob Arum. “Manny is the best fighter I’ve ever seen.”

• Gatekeeper. Pacquiao has opened the doors for other Filipino fighters to invade the lucrative US market. He has paved the way for his countrymen to earn their share of fame and fortune in the ring.

This year, there were 16 world title fights involving Filipinos who won nine, lost five and drew two. Six Filipinos reigned as world champions – Pacquiao, Nonito Donaire (IBF flyweight), Donnie Nietes (WBO minimumweight), Brian Viloria (IBF lightflyweight), Marvin Sonsona (WBO superflyweight) and Rodel Mayol (WBC lightflyweight). At the end of the year, four remained on their thrones – Pacquiao, Nietes, Viloria and Mayol.

Two Filipinos won world crowns on an “interim” basis. Donaire relinquished his IBF diadem and is now the interim WBA superflyweight titleholder while Johnriel Casimero claimed the interim WBO lightflyweight crown last Saturday.

• Inspiration. Pacquiao’s rise from rags to riches is almost like a fairy tale. He broke out of poverty by making a name for himself in professional boxing. Pacquiao proved that even if he finished only up to Grade 6, the world could still be his oyster. In fact, he has gone back to school, working to earn a degree in business.

“Pacquiao’s 12,000 square-foot estate, is not far from the streets where Manny, the second of four children, peddled rolls of bread at age 12,” wrote Pablo Torre in Sports Illustrated (Dec. 8, 2008). “Beyond the passel of bodyguards toting assault rifles is the port where Pacquiao boarded a ferry as a 14-year-old, stealing away to turn pro in Manila without his mother’s permission.”

In his pro debut, Pacquiao weighed 106 pounds, two under the lightflyweight limit. That was in 1995. Now, he is king of the welterweights and his trainer Freddie Roach said if WBA lightmiddleweight titlist Yuri Foreman is available, the Israeli might even be a future target.

Howard Chua-Edan and Ishaan Tharoor, writing in Time Magazine, called Pacquiao “the latest savior of boxing, a fighter with enough charisma, intelligence and back-story to help rescue a sport lost in the labyrinth of pay-per-view.” Pacquiao has revived global interest in boxing which used to rely on heavyweights as its biggest attractions.

• Unifier. The story goes that whenever Pacquiao fights, the national crime rate drops to zero because the entire population is mesmerized into a fanatical frenzy. To a large extent, Pacquiao is a symbol of Filipino unity. He brings together rival camps in politics, religion and business as a galvanizer. He makes every Filipino proud to be Filipino. He destroys the disease of crab mentality because who could ever imagine trying to put him down?

“Nobody whom I ever promoted was as popular as Ali but it wasn’t the same,” said Arum, quoted in Hauser’s book An Unforgiving Sport. “It wasn’t one country, almost as one person, rising up and making it such a national issue as they do for Manny. An entire nation of 90 million people is focusing on Manny’s every move. It’s the most important topic of conversation in the Philippines. Some of these stories in the newspapers about Manny and how much the Filipino people love him are so beautiful, they make you cry.”

Torre said, “Pacquiao overshadows just about everything, national security included – before his victorious superfeatherweight rematch against Juan Manuel Marquez, the Philippine military declared a seven-hour ceasefire in its war against communist insurgents – Beatlemania pales in comparison to Pacmania.”

• Example. As a role model, Pacquiao is living proof that anything is possible if you work hard to just do it. He made believers out of skeptics who thought De la Hoya, Hatton and Cotto were too big for the Filipino to handle. In the end, Pacquiao showed that if you’re determined, if you’re dedicated and if you’re disciplined, you can achieve what you set out to accomplish. He did the impossible, winning seven titles in seven divisions and in the process, mowing down future Hall of Famers like Morales, Marco Antonio Barrera and De la Hoya.

Pacquiao, 31, has filed his candidacy for congressman in Sarangani and it’s a bid that he’s dedicating to his provincemates. His dream is to serve the people as a fighting congressman.

But before the May elections, Pacquiao is penciled to take on Mayweather Jr. in a fight that is tipped to surpass the pay-per-view record of 2.14 million subscriptions in the 2007 fight between De la Hoya and Pretty Boy. The March 13 showdown will stake Pacquiao’s WBO title in Las Vegas with the protagonists guaranteed a whopping $25 million apiece. It may or may not be Pacquiao’s swan song. But no matter if he decides to continue boxing or not, Pacquiao will forever be revered as the greatest Filipino fighter of all time.

Manny Pacquiao Headlines 'The Nice List' of 2009

In my last write-up, I vented about all the things that irked me about the sweet science over the past year. Now, I get to list my top five favorite gloved moments of 2009, or -- as I have decided to call it -- the Nice List.
Santa and I definitely have different opinions as to what is "nice": Santa thinks helping old people across the street is nice, Bryguy thinks pinning a guy on the ropes and going to the body is nice. Santa thinks leaving him cookies is nice, Bryguy thinks leaving an opponent battered and bloody is nice. Santa likes peace on earth, Bryguy likes to see a guy get dropped by a left hook in the second round.
I enjoyed making this list so much that I've decided that I'm going to make it a Boxing Day tradition. Hey, Canada celebrates a different Thanksgiving than we do, so why can't I celebrate a different kind of Boxing Day? From here on out, year after year, you can count on me to break down the Naughty and Nice for Boxing Day.

Honorable Mention:
24/7 -- This documentary-style advertisement for HBO's big fights is one of the best things on TV in my opinion. The program follows each fighter around for the weeks leading up to the big event for an up-close and personal view of their camp and all the characters involved in it. The show is done so well that people who don't usually watch boxing get into 24/7, so I suppose that's why HBO does it. For a boxing fan, there is nothing better than a big fight, and any extras that come along with it are just bonuses -- especially if it's done as well as 24/7.

5. Quality Fights
I think the downturn in the economy has helped boxing fans. There have been more quality fights on regular television than I can remember in the past (it’s sad, but I consider HBO and Showtime regular television). A few years ago, fights like Shane Mosley vs. Antonio Margarito would have been pushed as a pay per view. Remember, in 2008, HBO was planning a PPV for Zab Judah and Mosley. A fight like that in 2009 would never have been put on PPV. Instead, we got to see quality fights like Juan Manual Marquez vs. Juan Diaz, Kermit Cintron vs. Alfredo Angulo, Paul Williams vs. Winky Wright, Lucian Bute vs. Librado Andrade, Miguel Cotto vs. Joshua Clottey ... you get the picture. Also, thanks to the push from UFC, the fights are getting better. I didn't see too many lopsided fights on the big networks -- outside of maybe the Pacquiao-Cotto undercard fights.

4. New Blood
Usually I am very skeptical when I hear people pushing boxers as the stars of tomorrow. That sometimes comes with HBO dates against overmatched opponents and sickening amounts of butt-kissing from the HBO team (except maybe Larry Merchant -- he pretty much tells it like it is). This year, I saw more deserving fighters having star-making performances than I have in quite some time. Here are a few on my list:

Andre Ward (21-0,13 KO): The 2004 gold medalist has had his doubters since he turned professional, but the whooping he put on the favorite in the Super Six tournament should have started a long line for his bandwagon. His fight against Mikkel Kessler (42-2, 32 KO) was a star-making performance if I've ever seen one.

Timothy Bradley (25-0,11 KO): Bradley has been a champion at 140 pounds since 2008 and he defended his title three times in 2009, but it was his last fight against Lamont Peterson that really had people noticing what a great champion he could be. He got better with every fight and finally proved to me he is the real deal. I am looking forward to seeing what he can do in 2010.

Amir Khan (22-1, 16 KO): Khan was a much-hyped prospect coming out of the Olympics and was all but written off when he was KO'd soundly in the first round by Breidis Prescott (21-2, 18 KO). Khan made a great career move in hooking up with Freddie Roach, which led to a stellar year. He took a technical decision in five against legend Marco Antonio Barrera (65-7, 43 KO), outboxed Andriy Kotelnik over 12 and demolished Dmitriy Salita (30-1-1, 16 KO) in about a minute and a half.

Lamont Peterson (27-1, 13 KO): I was impressed with the skills, heart and overall composure that Peterson showed in his fight with Timothy Bradley. I think he proved that he has what it takes to be a champion -- just not right now, and especially not against a steamrolling Bradley.

Lucian Bute (25-0, 20 KO): I know that in Canada, Lucian Bute is already a star, and he was starting to win me over slowly, but after his destruction of the iron-chinned Librado Andrade (28-3, 21 KO), I’m sold. The only bad thing I can say about Bute is he's not in the Super Six.

Jean Pascal (25-1, 16 KO): A move to light heavyweight turned out to be great for Pascal. It is a division that has gotten stale over the years, and boxing fans were looking for someone to challenge Chad Dawson (29-0, 17 KO). In his first fight at the higher weight, Pascal won the vacant WBC belt after taking an entertaining decision from Adrian Diaconu (26-2, 15 KO). Pascal then dispatched Silvio Branco in 10 and fended off Diaconu again, this time with one shoulder (Pascal’s right shoulder had to be popped back into place twice during the fight).

3. The Villain Returns
Love him or hate him, you have to like the return of Floyd Mayweather Jr. (40-0, 25 KO) in 2009. The guy may not be the most likable character in the world, but he sure knows how to box. He put on a master show against a very talented boxer in Juan Manuel Marquez (I know Marquez was much smaller, but he is still a great fighter). Without Mayweather's return, Manny Pacquiao would be without a dance partner for the March 13 super-fight. It’s like my Mom used to say: “It takes two to tango." Also, you must admit that the 24/7s just aren’t as fun without the whole Mayweather clan. There were so many times I was praying Uncle Roger would show up and train Miguel Cotto.

2. World Boxing Classic
What a great idea -- taking some of the best guys in a stacked division and pitting them against each other in a round robin-style tournament. Why is this such a new thing? Showtime deserves all the credit for putting together a format that will hopefully catch on in other weight classes and flush out some new superstars in the world of boxing. We have already seen three solid fights, we are lined up to see three more at the start 2010, and after that, we have another three to look forward to -- and that’s before we even get to the semifinals. I hope this -- or something close to it -- becomes a staple in the boxing world.

1. Manny Pacquiao (50-3, 38 KO)
Come on, what has been nicer in 2009 than Manny Pacquiao? The man has risen from a great fighter to an all-time great in less than a year’s time. Sure, he had momentum coming in from 2008, but did anyone really think he wasn’t going to do a job on Diaz? And the whole Oscar De La Hoya thing seemed more like a circus sideshow at the time. I am not even going to get into the sudden sideshow that the Mayweather negotiations have turned into; it would only tarnish what a great year Pacquiao had.

In 2009, Pacquiao took on two legit champions in Ricky Hatton and Miguel Cotto, and he left no questions lingering in the way he finished off both fighters. The left hook he landed on Hatton nearly decapitated the poor guy, and the beating he gave Cotto may have ended his career (at least as the fighter we have come to know). I don’t think I’ve ever seen a fighter that is as skilled as he is entertaining. Without question, the nicest thing about 2009 was watching Manny Pacquiao KO his way into the record books (he is the first fighter to capture seven world titles in seven different weight classes).

There you have it -- all that was Naughty and Nice in the year 2009, according to the Bryguy. As I said, I enjoyed jotting them down so much, I may do it every year in honor of my own version of Boxing Day. Please let me know if there is anything I left out, or if you disagree with any items on my list.

I hope all you boxing fans out there have a safe and happy holiday. Let's hope Santa brings us a Pacquiao-Mayweather fight.

Floyd Mayweather rejected $10 million drug penalty for Manny Pacquiao

I thought I had a semi-bright idea to solve the blood testing contractual impasse which threatens to blow up the Floyd Mayweather Jr.-Manny Pacquiao mega fight which was planned for March 13.
Why not, I thought, take a cue from the over-contractual weight penalty clause that has been used in prior fights (including Mayweather’s September victory over Juan Manuel Marquez) and insert a million dollars or more penalty if either Floyd or Manny comes up “dirty” in pre or post bout testing?
(In fact, Pacquiao demanded a $10 million per pound over contract weight of 147 pounds clause and Mayweather swiftly agreed.)
I just spoke to a still furious Bob Arum, erupting like Mt. St. Helen’s unleashing hot, molten lava, and Pacquiao’s promoter told me, in no uncertain terms, that he views the random blood testing demanded by the Mayweather is harassment for his client and a ruse to get out of fighting his main Man-ny.
Arum also put the kibosh on my perky concept, saying his stepson and Top Rank president Todd duBoef had already tried that play.
“The fight is off. We will not go along with anytime blood testing the way they want it,” Arum said. “It’s harassment of Manny, that’s all it is. They’re playing mind games and one of their games could be to pop up and say, at the weigh in, 'OK we now demand a blood test.'
“The testing by the Nevada commission is more than adequate to catch any malefactors,” Arum said, resorting to one of his learned-at-Harvard-Law-School words. “But Mayweather is bigger than the commission. Mayweather is bigger than the sport itself.
“Because his idiot of a father (Floyd Senior) says Manny is cheating with drugs that justifies everything. They can test Manny at any other time they want to, we don’t have a problem with that, but not right before the fight. They want to harass him psychologically.”
Arum said he and duBoef extended an offer of a “caught dirty” penalty to apply to both boxers.
“I sent Todd in like my Neville Chamberlain (British prime minister who preceded Winston Churchill and who appeased Adolf Hitler) to settle it that way,” Arum said.
“We named some crazy amounts of money here., really anything they want…make it $5 million or $10 million, that is fine. But they weren’t interested.”

Arum said he had “no idea” what position Mayweather’s unofficial manager, Al Haymon, takes on the deal blowing up over the blood test demands but he did take a sly shot at Golden Boy bossman and former banker Richie Rich Schaefer.
Arum said Schaefer just follows the script as dictated to him by Mayweather.
“You know Swiss bankers, they will go along with anything…if you know what I mean,” Arum said, an apparent reference to the IRS crackdown on Americans holding secret accounts at Schaefer’s ex-employer, UBS Bank.
(Note that Schaefer's reputation as a banker is unsullied in any way. You may accuse Arum of dirty pool here but I'm sure Richie can more than counterpunch with Arum if he cares to.)
Arum reiterated that the Mayweather can have urine testing done at any time, even up to 24 hours before the fight.
“We don’t want the WADA (World Anti-Doping Agency) either,” Arum said. “All the doctors say that urine testing is superior to blood testing anyway. We say bring in the same agency that tests the NBA and NFL players and let them handle it. This is professional boxing not some amateur sport.
“We’ve been more than reasonable on this. I’ll say it again, Mayweather is a coward, he has always been a coward and he never wanted to fight Manny.”

Bad blood? Testing issue scuttles fight

Floyd Mayweather Jr. was expected to provide the toughest test of Manny Pacquiao's career -- only it was supposed to happen in a boxing ring.

The superstars' proposed March 13 showdown at the MGM Grand Garden appears to be off, scrapped by Pacquiao's objection to the Mayweather camp's insistence on stringent prefight blood testing administered by the U.S. Anti-Doping Agency.

Pacquiao's promoter, Top Rank chairman Bob Arum, said Wednesday that his fighter will not submit to the multiple blood tests. If Mayweather refuses to compromise on the issue, Pacquiao will fight someone else on March 13, possibly Yuri Foreman or Paulie Malignaggi.

"The fight is off as of now," Arum said. "Will they be able to save it? I don't know. But in my heart, I never believed Mayweather wanted to fight Pacquiao, and this is his way of getting out of it.

"This whole exercise is a malicious attempt to smear Manny Pacquiao. I knew what their game was, and I wasn't going to allow them to put Manny through that."

Mayweather's camp has inferred that Pacquiao's enhanced size and strength did not come naturally and wants him to submit to Olympic-style random drug testing, including five to six blood tests and as many as 10 urine tests.

Pacquiao has not flunked a drug test in his 13 years as a professional. Arum said Pacquiao is willing to be blood tested on a limited basis, either through the Nevada Athletic Commission or through an independent agency like those that administer tests for the NFL and the NBA.

"Manny has said all along he would allow himself to have blood drawn," Arum said. "But he's not going to have blood drawn right before he enters the ring. That's ridiculous.

"In my mind, since the fight was going to be in Las Vegas, the Nevada commission has jurisdiction over the fight. They should be the ones overseeing the testing. If that's not acceptable (to Mayweather), then have an independent agency do it."

According to Arum, Pacquiao would allow his blood to be tested in early January, coinciding with a kickoff news conference in New York, again 30 days before the fight and once more after the fight. In addition, Pacquiao would submit to an unlimited number of urine tests.

Arum said the USADA would not be able to meet those terms because of its protocol.

Top Rank president Todd duBoef was talking Wednesday to Richard Schaefer, the chief executive officer of Golden Boy Promotions, who has been representing Mayweather in the negotiations, to see if Mayweather would accept a compromise. On Tuesday, both Schaefer and Leonard Ellerbe, Mayweather's co-manager, said their stance on drug testing through the USADA was non-negotiable and that they would not permit the NAC to administer the additional tests.

On Wednesday, Schaefer seemed to be softening his stance slightly.

"I saw Bob's comments, and it's not really random when he's proposing specific dates," Schaefer said. "I think the blood testing is important because if you don't do blood, things like EPO and HGH can't be detected.

"But I'm not willing to give up. I think it needs calmer heads and some diplomacy. If we get that, maybe we can get this done. Let's see what happens in the next couple of days."


Top Rank promoter Bob Arum has blasted the US Anti Doping Agency for demanding that pound-for-pound king Manny Pacquiao undergo a total of seven random blood tests and twelve urine tests prior to the planned fight against Floyd Mayweather Jr in Las Vegas on March 13.

Arum said they are “propagandizing” and added “these people are crazy. We told them to take a walk.”

The top Rank promoter emphasized that Pacquiao is not against the tests while Pacquiao’s adviser Michael Koncz said the Filipino renowned as the “Hero of Asia” supported the efforts to keep all sports free of performance–enhancing drugs.

Arum disclosed he was prepared to allow “the same people that test the National Football League players and the National Basketball Association players among others to do the tests because they are used to dealing with professional athletes and they (Mayweather’s camp) refused.”

The Top Rank promoter who has steadfastly stood by their original position of allowing a blood test a day before the official press conference, one 30 days before the fight and a third in the dressing room immediately after the fight revealed that the same USADA which tested nearly 200 American athletes (boxers, swimmers and track and field athletes) before they went to the Olympic Games “took nil, zero, zero blood tests and they want to take seven from our little Filipino. Now what the hell is going on?”

Arum insisted “I am not going to allow it. I don’t care what kind of money there is or anything because this is an absolute outrage.”

Taking a dig at Mayweather who is being represented in the negotiations by Golden Boy Promotions CEO Richard Schaefer, Arum said “our first position is let the Nevada State Athletic Commission recommend. Nobody appointed Mayweather as super Commissioner.”

He stressed that “if there is to be any pre-fight drug test it’s got to be done by a professional organization that has tested other professionals. I am not going to turn this over to the USADA.”

Arum said he could foresee what would happen if they agreed to the so-called Olympic-style drug testing. He said “they would spook Manny Pacquiao, they would be threatening him with drug tests here, drugs tests there and this kid has a phobia anyway for getting his blood and claims he lost the first (Erik) Morales fight because they took blood the week of the fight. I’m not going to let that happen, I promise.”

At the same time Arum claimed that a lot of doctors and scientists have said that urinalysis is much more accurate.

Manny Pacquiao's promoter says fight with Floyd Mayweather Jr. is 'dead'

Boxing's tendency to inflame hostility, name-calling and old grudges in contract negotiations is threatening the biggest fight in the sport.

Manny Pacquiao's promoter, Bob Arum, told The Times on Wednesday that he's treating the Filipino's verbally-agreed-upon mega-fight against Floyd Mayweather Jr. on March 13 as if it's "dead," and added he's instructed his matchmaker to explore other possible fights for Pacquiao.

Arum is angered that Mayweather's camp wants Pacquiao to submit to a random blood-testing protocol supervised by the U.S. Anti-Doping Agency. Arum also said that Pacquiao feels harassed to go beyond pre- and post-fight urine testing already mandated by the Nevada State Athletic Commission. "Mayweather is not the commissioner of boxing," Arum said.

Arum once promoted Mayweather's fights, but the pair had a bitter split a few years ago and haven't worked together since.

The questions now are: Will Pacquiao agree to provide a blood sample inside the 30-day window before the fight, as requested by Mayweather? And are the parties at such loggerheads that they'd walk away from a Pacquiao-Mayweather bout that has a chance to be the richest in boxing history?

"I'm not saying the fight is off," Mayweather promoter Richard Schaefer said. "And unless I hear it is from Manny, then it's not."

Arum is merely "ranting and raving," Schaefer said, and he instead should talk to USADA chief Travis Tygart about how the blood-testing procedure would work. "Pacquiao may be having this nightmare of this being a huge needle sucking all this blood from him, and that's not what this is about," Schaefer said.

Mayweather said in a prepared statement Tuesday that he wants to ensure a level playing field for the bout.

His father, Floyd Sr., has speculated publicly that Pacquiao, who's won world titles in a record seven divisions, could be using performance-enhancing drugs.

USADA's Tygart said blood tests give his team the ability to search for a greater number of performance-enhancing substances, including a synthetic version of energy boosting EPO, and ultimately could check for human growth hormone.

Arum says he's perturbed that USADA has the right to request a blood sample on fight night, or at the weigh-in one day before the bout.

Instead, Arum has proposed the fighters' urine tests be conducted by those who preside over NFL and Major League Baseball testing, and said another alternate company which does blood tests could be summoned.

If they can't come to terms shortly, Arum said, a Pacquiao bout against someone like Paulie Malignaggi, Yuri Foreman or Juan Manuel Marquez could be sought.

Tygart told The Times that USADA's "testing will not interfere with the competition. It's unreasonable to believe that it would." As for Pacquiao's demand not to be tested within 30 days of the fight, that is "unacceptable to any effective anti-doping program," Tygart said.

Manny Pacquiao and Floyd Mayweather super bout in danger of collapse

The Filipino has refused to agree to the Olympic-style blood-testing terms set out by Mayweather’s promoters, sinking hopes that the contest - which would be one of the most lucrative in history - will go ahead.
Mayweather’s camp, represented by Golden Boy Promotions, has called for random blood and urine sampling before and after the fight as mandated by the US Anti-Doping Agency.

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Richard Schaefer, the chief executive of Golden Boy Promotions, said that Pacquiao’s promoters, Top Rank, had stated that he had agreed to have blood taken for testing before the initial media conference and after the fight, but would not agree to have blood drawn within 30 days of the bout.
The only hope is that the camps can somehow come to a surprise agreement today.
Promoter Bob Arum, who represents Pacquiao, said using such blood tests was unprecedented for professional fights in Las Vegas.
“As far as I’m concerned, the fight is off,” Arum said. “We don’t object to more extensive drug testing, even though it’s certainly not required in Nevada.
“What we’re saying is that the drug testing he is proposing is intrusive and would disturb Pacquiao’s training if it’s done within 30 days of his fight.”
Alex Ariza, Pacquiao’s LA-based strength and conditioning coach, alleged it was a ruse by Mayweather to allow him to pull out.
“He is desperate to protect his legacy, and could not face the prospect of possible defeat,” Ariza said.
“Even though there is $40 million (£25 million) on offer for him in this fight, Mayweather’s mindset means he may not be able to cope with the idea of having a loss on his record.”
Freddie Roach, Pacquiao’s trainer, disclosed privately to The Daily Telegraph recently that he had his doubts over whether Mayweather would go through with the contest, and was already looking at alternative opponents for his fighter.
Mayweather, meanwhile, has urged Pacquiao to agree to the testing.
“I understand Pacquiao not liking having his blood taken. Frankly, I don’t know anyone who really does,” he said. “But in a fight of this magnitude, I think it is our responsibility to subject ourselves to sportsmanship at the highest level.”
Pacquiao was to defend the World Boxing Organisation title he won in November by stopping Miguel Cotto in the 12th round in Las Vegas
for an unprecedented seventh title in seven different weight classes.
The showdown between Pacquiao (50-3-2) and unbeaten Mayweather (40-0) - to decide who is the best pound-for-pound in the world - was expected to be among boxing’s biggest revenue-producing fights.
Arum said alternative opponents for Pacquiao included Mexico’s Juan Manuel Márquez, American Paulie Malignaggi or unbeaten Israeli Yuri Foreman, the World Boxing Association super welterweight champion.

Wednesday, December 23, 2009

Why Are Golden Boy & Floyd Trying To Kill The Fight?

Manny Pacquiao has already agreed to drug tests before and after the March 13th fight, isn’t that enough for Golden Boy and Floyd?

It is public knowledge that Roy Jones, James Toney and others have tested positive for substances after fights through the established testing system . If Manny Pacquiao is on a performance enhancer isn’t the current testing system reliable enough to detect and capture him – if he is cheating?

Why is Golden Boy and Floyd doubting the current testing system which has proven to work – are they indirectly accusing Pacquiao and the Nevada State Athletic Commission to be capable of CORRUPTION?

Was Richard Schaefer or Golden Boy involved in the selection of the judges of the Guzman-Funeka fight in Quebec City?

Are the actions of Golden Boy, Richard Schaefer and Floyd consistent with an entity that wants to stage “Boxing’s Super Bowl”? Or would they prefer to kill the fight and stage a 10-round sparring session between Floyd Mayweather and Matthew Hatton?

Why won’t Golden Boy and Richard Schaefer and Floyd Mayweather demand and accept a urine test 48, 36 or 24 hours before the fight? Why must it be a blood test – is this their last and final way to kill the fight, except for Floyd coming up with another rib injury?

Are Golden Boy and Floyd hoping that by drawing blood from Manny Pacquiao within 24 or 48 hours of the fight, that this never before used tactic (to the best of my knowledge) in boxing history could have a minute but mental and physical effect on the strength and punch force of Manny Pacquiao in the fight? Could the loss of blood be their way to try and negate the vaunted power of the Filippino, which they fear?

Why did Bernard Hopkins and George Peterson previously say on the record that they believe the Pacquiao vs. Mayweather fight will NOT happen on March 13? Are they privy to secretly planned insider information?

Does Golden Boy and Richard Schaefer know that Floyd Mayweather is a “psychological coward” who will never fight any man who has a chance to brutally beat him to a bloody pulp, and therefore must DO ANYTHING to protect their scared fighter from a signing a contract that could lead to a devastatingly brutal knockout loss, so therefore they can continue to try and milk him with safer handpicks like Matt Hatton in order to fulfill a five-fight contract?

Where is Matthew Hatton lately and why has he not spoken to anyone from the boxing media?

Is Golden Boy standing on the edge of the financial cliff and knows it must protect it’s only significant asset of Mayweather from taking part in a fight that would destroy his career, his confidence and his future drawing power?

Do Golden Boy and Richard Schaefer look at Manny Pacquiao in total awe and dream about promoting such a wonder of the world type superstar? Do Golden Boy and Richard Schaefer ever compare Floyd to Pacquiao in terms of charisma, personality and drawing power and enviously conclude Top Rank is holding a bag of GOLD while they are holding a bag of **** in comparison?

Did Golden Boy or Richard Schaefer have anything whatsoever to do with the selection of the judges of the Guzman-Funeka fight?

Since the devastating KO of Miguel Cotto, has Floyd Mayweather carried himself like an ultimate warrior with supreme confidence, eagerly waiting to take part in the biggest event in boxing history? Or is Floyd acting like a frightened coward, desperately trying to set up block after block to prevent the fight from ever happening?

Why did George Peterson, who works with Floyd advisor Al Haymon, as they together guide the career of Paul Williams, insist with vehemence and certainty on December 2nd in New York City
that the Pacquiao vs. Mayweather fight “isn’t gonna happen” because some fights are “not meant to be made?”

Does Golden Boy and Floyd Mayweather fully realize that Manny Pacquiao can’t be beaten by a manufactured illusion with fast fading skills and confidence and therefore must resort to the ridiculous ploy of drawing blood from the man’s body within 24 or 48 hours of the biggest event in the history of the sport?

Does Golden Boy fear seeing it’s THIRD high value asset in a row lose by brutal knockout to Manny Pacquiao and therefore to ensure the survival of the company must protect it’s already psychologically beaten fraud (no win situation) from the certain defeat?

Does Golden Boy see Pacquiao vs. Floyd as a NO WIN SITUATION?

Why does Golden Boy and Floyd Mayweather feel the desperate need to randomly test a one-dimensional fighter, who as Floyd stated, “Knows he can’t beat me” though the said figther is willing to be tested before and after the fight?

By demanding and employing Olympic style testing and not the customary Las Vegas procedure, are Golden Boy and Floyd Mayweather implying that the Nevada State Athletic Commission will use CORRUPTION and FOUL PLAY to benefit Manny Pacquiao on March 13?


After Pacquiao knocks out Mayweather, just what assets are Golden Boy left with? And how much revenue can they generate with Hopkins and Mosley who, despite being top rated pound for pound fighters, have each been mysteriously inactive for over a year each?


Top Rank promoter Bob Arum, livid over the unconscionable demands of Floyd Mayweather Jr for pound-for-pound king Manny Pacquiao to undergo random blood tests as well as urine tests conducted by the US Anti Doping Agency before their planned March 13 fight told us late Wednesday morning, "is off as of now."

Arum made it clear that Pacquiao who has a phobia for needles and extracting too much blood which weakens him said he would gladly agree to have a blood test before the initial press conference and after the fight, plus urinalysis anytime he wants. What more? asked Arum.

Arum said "doctors will tell you that blood-testing is not even sure anymore and urinalysis is the state-of-the-art testing for drugs. But they don’t want the fight which is what I suspected from the beginning or they want to torture Pacquiao to throw him off his game.”

The astute promoter said he told them “absolutely not. That’s where we stand and we are prepared to walk away. I’m not going to bully this kid and Freddie (Roach) is adamant about that point.”

Arum said “they can go to hell as far as I’m concerned including (Richard) Schaefer although I don’t think it's his idea, I think its Floyd’s idea and we are going to go on and do something else. This is an absolute outrage.”

He said the Nevada State Athletic Commission under its highly respected executive director Keith Kizer is "beside themselves" over the Mayweather demands and said “their drug testing is the best in the world and it's an insult to them.”

Arum questioned the motives and asked “who is this ignorant, illiterate kid demanding this. Who is he? This has never ever happened in professional boxing.”

Pacquiao, in a statement issued by his adviser Michael Koncz said he had always wanted athletes to serve as role models in every sport and to keep sports free from drugs and that he was willing to undergo tests as he has always done in the past and come clean. Koncz said “we wanted to do the fight because that’s what the people wanted but obviously Mayweather is scared and looked for a way out.”

In an email to, Standard Today and Viva Sports, Golden Boy Promotions CEO Richard Schaefer said “Olympic style drug testing is not one blood test 30 days before the fight and one after the fight. It is random drug testing which would include somewhere between 3-5 blood tests and 8-12 urine tests taken during the period January 1 to March 15. Blood tests by the way are taken in a non-intrusive manner and are less than one tablespoon.”

Arum mentioned several issues that arose during the negotiations day after day. He pointed out that Mayweather “had no intention of coming in at 147” which is the welterweight limit and then said he didn’t want to fight for the WBO title and we said okay, if you come an ounce over 147 you are going to pay us $10 million. Then this all started.”

Pacquiao’s conditioning expert Alex Ariza responded to the Mayweather camps demand that the blood testing go all the way up to the weighin saying it was “ludicrous” pointing out that “there is nothing that they are going to find 24 hours before the fight that they cannot find five minutes after the fight. We are not refusing to give blood, we are not willing to give it that close to the fight.”

Ariza said he is convinced that Mayweather is “just posturing and the reality of the situation is Mayweather is looking for a reason to get out of this fight because Manny is going to give him the beating of a lifetime. He will sustain a beating that he never ever endured in his whole career in boxing. What he feels in his own small mind is that his legacy will go down being beaten by Manny Pacquiao.”


There appears to be a deliberate attempt by the camp of Floyd Mayweather Jr to mislead the public about pound-for-pound king Manny Pacquiao’s stand on the issue of Olympic-style drug testing.

A report datelined Los Angeles stated that the mega fight was in jeopardy after Golden Boy Promotions CEO Richard Schaefer who is negotiating fight details with Top Rank’s Bob Arum learned that Pacquiao was “refusing to comply” with Olympic-style drug testing as outlined and mandated by the United States Anti-Doping Agency and as requested by Mayweather’s management to ensure fair play and sportsmanship by both fighters.

The claim that Pacquiao refused to comply is completely false. He agreed to the blood tests before the kickoff press conference and after the fight. Where is the difference? If he is on any performance-enhancing drugs as repeatedly claimed by Floyd’s father, Floyd Mayweather Sr who failed to provide a shred of evidence to substantiate his charges and instead illogically (what’s new) demanded that Pacquiao prove he’s clean, surely the tests after the fight should satisfy any doubts.

If the USADA tests were taken at random why can’t they be taken before the press conference and after the fight? What difference does it make?

Pacquiao has, throughout his career, fought fair and square and never complained even when he lost as he did against Erik “El Terrible” Morales when a head-butt by Morales in round five opened up a nasty gash which bled profusely throughout the fight and which referee Joe Cortez erroneously claimed was caused by a punch!

Come to think of it, it was Floyd Mayweather Jr who failed to comply with the stipulated weight against the much smaller Juan Manuel Marquez, came in two pounds over the agreed upon limit and used his advantage to batter Marquez. Sure, Mayweather Jr paid $600,000 as a penalty but he used an unfair weight advantage in the ring to beat Marquez. So much for talk of fair play and sportsmanship!

That’s why Team Pacquiao is demanding that if Mayweather doesn’t make the 147 pound welterweight limit against Pacquiao he should pay $10 million per pound or a fraction thereof. In short, don’t let him cheat on the scales and get away by paying a fine. Make it hurt his pocket real bad.

Drug-testing is not mandated by the USADA in pro boxing. In Las Vegas that’s left to the Nevada State Athletic Commission under the highly respected lawyer Keith Kizer who has stated over and over again in response to the ranting of Mayweather Sr that Pacquiao has been tested before and after every fight and has come out spotlessly clean. The Mayweather camp wanted the fight in Las Vegas instead of Dallas, Texas because they were comfortable in Las Vegas and had faith in the NSAC. Why then don’t they trust the drug-testing by the Commission?

Schaefer’s statement that “Team Mayweather is certainly surprised that an elite athlete like Manny Pacquiao would refuse drug testing procedures which Floyd has already agreed to and have been agreed to by many other top athletes such as Lance Armstrong, and Olympians Michael Phelps, LeBron James and Kobe Bryant." Come on Richard, that’s not true and you know it. Manny didn’t refuse the drug-testing. He said he'll do it before the kickoff press conference and after the fight!!

By the way Richard, perhaps you should invite the USADA to conduct random drug tests on Sugar Shane Mosley before and after the Berto fight.

Mayweather reportedly feels that Pacquiao has to explain himself immediately or be faced with accusations from the media and the public regarding his own status as a clean and drug free athlete. Condescending to say the least. Pacquiao hasn’t asked Mayweather to explain his irrational behavior or his family history of getting into trouble with the law or even the recent incident when Mayweather’s car was seen at a venue where shots were allegedly fired by his bodyguards.

Mayweather went on "I understand Pacquiao not liking having his blood taken, because frankly I don't know anyone who really does," said Mayweather. "But in a fight of this magnitude, I think it is our responsibility to subject ourselves to sportsmanship at the highest level. I have already agreed to the testing and it is a shame that he is not willing to do the same. It leaves me with great doubt as to the level of fairness I would be facing in the ring that night. I hope that this is either some miscommunication or that Manny will change his mind and step up and allow these tests, which were good enough for all these other great athletes, to be performed by USADA."

Come on Floyd, which nation’s athletes have been found to use steroids and other performance-enhancing drugs? Look at baseball one of the biggest sports in the US. Look at the history of athletics where multi-titled sprinters were found to be on steroids. How many American athletes have been found to be on drugs? Of course, to the credit of the United States and the USADA these cheats have been found out. But this is not the style of Filipinos – despite all our weaknesses and frailties. We fight clean, fight hard and accept our defeats with grace and our victories – as Pacquiao has so often shown – with humility

Leonard Ellerbe, the adviser of Mayweather, has also joined in stating "We hope that Manny will do the right thing and agree to the testing as it is an egregious act to deny the testing and hence, deny the millions of fans the right to see this amazing fight. We just want to make sure there is a level playing field in a sport that is a man-to-man contest that relies on strength and ability. I still hope this decision is coming from someone in Pacquiao's camp and not Manny himself as it would be a shame that an athlete of his stature and who represents his whole country would not be able to show the public or his fellow athletes that he agrees to the highest standards in sports competition."

Mr. Ellerbe, you talk of a level playing field yet Floyd came into the fight against Marquez two pounds over the stipulated weight limit. Was that a level playing field or are you suggesting that by paying Marquez $600,000 it leveled the playing field and kept faith with the highest standards of sports competition?

We have known Manny from the time he began his career as a 16 year old kid on a weekly TV boxing show we produced and anchored much of the time and know he has a phobia about needles which means injections of any kind or extraction of blood. To ask him to be available any time the USADA knocks on his door and wants to stuff a needle in him is a pitiful attempt to load the dice against Pacquiao. Beyond that what is the difference between the testing methods of the Nevada State Athletic Commission and the United States Anti-Doping Agency. I guess it’s the letters US in front that puts the agency on a higher pedestal than the NSAC and gives it some assumed clout or power. Besides, do these people suggest that you can’t find a trace of performance-enhancing drugs a few minutes after a fight but can find it at random before? Doesn’t make sense to us.

Bottom line is what trainer Freddie Roach has always maintained and that is that Mayweather Jr is scared to fight Pacquiao who is at his peak and almost invincible. A dead giveaway was his insistence on staging the fight on March 13 when Manny hade somewhat of a hard fight against Miguel Cotto last November 14 besides having the May congressional elections on his mind. He thought Pacquiao wouldn’t agree and as the astute Bob Arum pointed out if Manny said no and wanted a fight later in the year Mayweather would have capitalized on it and said Manny was scared and didn’t want to fight.

Methinks it’s the other way around as conditioning expert Alex Ariza points out … Floyd is scared of getting the beating of his life.

As Bob Arum told us minutes ago, "Mayweather can go to hell."

Roach BLASTS Mayweathers - "Mayweather is a coward!"

8CountNews contacted Freddie Roach to get his thoughts on the recent reports of Manny Pacquiao's refusal to give blood the day before the scheduled fight with Floyd Mayweather. Roach says that he is the one advising Manny not to give the blood the day before the fight. Roach blasts the Mayweather's calling them cowards, and scared. Check out what else Freddie Roach had to say in this exclusive 8CN interview.

8CN - Freddie, todays headlines all say that Manny Pacquiao is refusing to give blood the day before the fight. What is your response?

FR - Well the sanctioning bodies and the state commissions run the boxing world, not Floyd Mayweather. Who is this guy to tell us that we have to have blood tests, or urine tests, or any tests? He's just looking for a way out of the fight. He is scared, and he's just afraid that he's going to get his ass kicked. We don't work for Floyd Mayweather. We fight for the state commission, since when does the fighter make up the rules?

8CN - To play devils advocate, Floyd's people firmly believe that Manny is taking steroids. Why not just take the test and prove them wrong?

FR - So, what if I think Mayweather is taking steroids too?, so does that mean I go out and change the rules in boxing? This guy isn't going to walk all over us, he's not railroading us. This is bullshit, we will go by the rules of the commission, and that's it. We'll go on to other things, and he can make no money fighting some bum. My fighter is clean, I have trouble giving Manny protein shakes and vitamins, let alone steroids. We will pass the drug test, because my fighter is clean.

8CN - Is it Manny refusing to take the blood test or is it someone deciding for him?

FR - It's me, I am not going to let my fighter give blood a day before the fight.

8CN - What can giving blood a day before a fight do to a fighter?

FR - It's just like having sex before a fight. You're not supposed to have sex before a fight, it makes you weak. If you mentally think that, it will. When Manny gives blood it takes him 3 or 4 days to recover from it. I am not going to have my fighter going into a fight feeling weak and not sure of himself.

8CN - Is it true that Manny never wanted to give blood the day before any of his fights?

FR - We will never do it a day before a fight. We never flunked a urine test, and there is no reason to think my fighter is dirty. We have passed every test ever given to us. We go by the commission rules, not no rule Mayweather puts out there.

8CN - So it's fair to say that the ball is completely in Mayweathers court now, you guys are not budging?

FR - Yes it's fair to say that. If Floyd wants to fight us, then step up and fight us. If you want Manny to take a blood test after the fight, no problem, but not a day before.

8CN - Wouldn't a blood test the day after the fight be the same as a test a day before? I mean if Manny was taking steroids, wouldn't the test the day after the fight show the same thing as it would the day before?

FR - Yes agreed. A urine test will show the same thing too,but if they want a blood test the day after the fight, I have no problem with that. I will not have my guy giving blood a day before the fight, that will make him weak. Why is Floyd Mayweather dictating what we do in life? It's crazy... he's a coward and he's afraid to fight us and that is all there is to it.

8CN - If this fight gets scratched, what's next?

FR - We go up and get Yuri Foreman's title. We will go up one more weight division, just for you Floyd!