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The Fight Isn't On, but 'the Cold War' Could Resume




Now, this could change by the time you read this, but, as of Monday afternoon, there was still no resolution between the camps of Manny Pacquiao and Floyd Mayweather. But there might be other fights brewing behind the scenes between the sport’s two most influential promotional firms that could have a huge impact on the boxing landscape.

 

Speaking from Cabo San Lucas, Mexico, where he was vacationing, Bob Arum told Maxboxing, "The saga is that the Nevada commission has ordered the fighters, who are licensees of the Nevada commission, to submit to urine tests within the next 48 hours. And at our suggestion, since Manny’s in the Philippines- where people are sleeping there now- that request has been relayed to the Philippines boxing commission; which will arrange for Manny’s urine test. The Nevada commission is clear and plain that this blood test thing is absolute nonsense, it’s not being done anymore."

 


The veteran promoter speculated, "There are three reasons they are doing this sh*t. One, he (Mayweather) doesn’t want the fight. Number two, they want to smear Manny; which they’ve done. Anybody reading that Oscar blog knows that it is actionable. He’ll have to pay the price. He’s got a lot of money, which is good. And third, it’s to get Manny crazy with taking blood tests; which we know he doesn’t like to do, particularly close to the fight when he’s in training. So it’s all bullsh*t, because everybody says that the blood tests are totally useless. Everybody uses urinalysis now. This whole thing is a sham."

 

But Richard Schaefer, CEO of Golden Boy Promotions, who is representing Mayweather in these negotiations, debunks the myth that Pacquiao is uncomfortable with drawing blood so close to the night of the bout. Thus far, Pacquiao and his side have resisted any compromise that would have them do any blood tests within 30 days of the fight (which was scheduled for March 13th.)

 

"We have actually been able to establish that, two weeks before the Hatton fight, he (Pacquiao) had his blood taken here in Los Angeles and he obviously knocked Hatton out," said Schaefer, referring to a clip from that promotion’s “24/7” footage that has recently been uncovered. "So I don’t think that argument really stands. I just read a Reuters report where Bob supposedly said that he feels he (Pacquiao) lost the first (Erik) Morales fight because he had to give blood 10 days out. So it’s interesting how these dates are shifting all over the place. But basically what we are saying is, I would like Todd DuBoef (president of Top Rank) and Bruce Binkow, on my side, to work out a procedure which would include random blood and urine tests and agree on some sort of a cut-off date, which would still keep the integrity of these random tests and which would be acceptable to the Pacquiao people and to the Mayweather people. So then I can go back to Mayweather’s management and try to get them on board."

 

Schaefer added, "And I hope that Bob can go back to Pacquiao and explain to him that, in fact, he did give blood two weeks before the Hatton fight. I guess the result was pretty good for him, then."

 

But this whole episode could end up being about much more than just a fight that isn’t consummated. It could harken back to a few years ago when Top Rank and Golden Boy waged boxing’s version of “The Cold War” which, for the lack of a better term, was one big pissing contest; that saw the superpowers constantly sniping at each other outside the ring. Unfortunately, none of their fighters wound up battling it out inside the ring. Ironically, the epicenter of this dispute was Pacquiao, who famously took a briefcase full of money from De La Hoya at a steakhouse months before his third battle with “El Terrible.” Pacquiao eventually gave the money back and pledged his allegiance to Top Rank.

 

This issue was not resolved until there was mediation that brought the two sides together in the summer of 2007. Since that point, the two companies have worked together on a regular basis on some of the sport’s biggest events. But this détente is being threatened as Top Rank believes that Golden Boy has acted like anything but a “partner” during this negotiation. There has been talk of legal action being filed by Top Rank and Pacquiao.

 

"That already started," confirmed Arum. "A letter will reach them tomorrow. It’s being sent by Daniel Petrocelli, raising the issue of Schaefer’s comments to Oscar’s comments and asking for that type of relief by Judge Weinstein. The letter is out." Petrocelli represented Top Rank during the mediation a few years ago, which was presided over by Weinstein.

 

According to reports, Schaefer was accused of making accusations about Pacquiao to a Filipino writer in September, at the Golden Boy offices in Los Angeles. Then, there was De La Hoya’s blog that ran on December 23rd on Ringtv.com.

 

http://www.ringtv.com/blog/1457/de_la_hoya_blog_pacquiaomayweather_impasse/

 

"Anyone reading that Oscar blog that thinks that that is not actionable is out of their mind. Of course it’s actionable," claimed Arum.

 

When asked about the possible threat of a litigation, Schaefer answered, "Anyone can threaten anybody with lawsuits but, the fact is, we have done nothing wrong and we have never said -and I have not been quoted anywhere, in any article, newspaper or whatever- that we suggested that Pacquiao is using performance-enhancing drugs. The only thing we have been doing is representing my client and they -which is Mayweather Promotions- haven’t said anything, either. I haven’t read anywhere that Floyd Mayweather Jr. said that Pacquiao is using performance-enhancing drugs; nor did Leonard Ellerbe or Al Haymon. So I don’t know what they would base their lawsuit on. It was a deal-point, Olympic-style drug testing; just like they insisted on a $10 million penalty for every pound or fraction thereof (Floyd) was over. That was a deal-point, too. That wasn’t something like, ’Let the commission decide.’ No, it was a negotiated deal-point and we agreed with it.

 

"So I’m not really worried as it relates to a lawsuit. If they want to go ahead and sue, then we’ll deal with it, then," declares Schaefer.

 

Arum, who’s given several deadlines, said, on late Monday afternoon, that,"Tomorrow morning, we’re announcing another fight." He declined to elaborate on who “The Pac-Man” would be facing. "I heard that he’s going to announce Yuri Foreman tomorrow," said Schaefer, when told of Arum’s statement. "I don’t know if that’s true or not. If he does, what can we do? He walked away, we didn’t."

 

But that would mean that Mayweather would have to look at other options moving forward.

 

"Look, the only thing I can say for sure is that -and we want to exhaust all possibilities of getting this fight done -if not, then we will move forward with something different and the one thing I do know is that Floyd Mayweather will fight on March 13th."

 

Which is interesting, given that Arum said Pacquiao will fight on that same date, regardless.

 

So who will get the MGM Grand?

 

And who does HBO side with?

 

Uh-oh, here we go again.

 

SEASONS BEATINGS

 

When asked if this snafu had ruined his Christmas, Schaefer admitted with a chuckle, "It sure did. But that’s the business I chose to be in and it goes with the territory. That the boxing business is not a 9-to-5 job, it’s an around the clock affair and it’s an exciting business to be involved in and like any other business, it has it’s ups and downs. Like I said, it goes with the territory.”

 

And did this compromise Arum’s annual vacation to Mexico?

 

"No, this is fun," said Arum, who, excuse the pun, is still full of piss-and-vinegar. "I’ve had a ball. This is like a f**kin’ joke, I mean, “Dr. Strangeglove” with his blood tests that nobody else does. I mean nobody does blood testing anymore. If they want to do it, they do it after an event because they can save the blood for eight years. So if they want to run the blood again in five years and they have other tests and so forth, they can do it. Something comes up and a guy loses his gold medal [in the Olympics]. They want to put this after the fight, we got no problem, or the press conference, we got no problems. A random test up to 30 days -I never should have agreed to- but we go no problems on that. That’s it, that’s our position. End of story."

 

Arum will not adhere to the Mayweather State Athletic Commission.

 

"You have a governing body, the Nevada commission that regulates these fights [and] every other commission that regulates these fights, what is all this sh*t?” Arum asks, rhetorically. “You turn it over to the Nevada commission, they have as many random urine analyses as they want. That’s fine, I got no problems with that. They have the right to do that anyway, absolutely, because you’re licensees and we have no problems with that. But they were the ones that didn’t want to go to Dallas, refused to go to Dallas, wanted the fight in Nevada and so they’re subject to the jurisdiction and the regulations of the Nevada commission. Period. End of story.

 

"He’s had 40 fights. 30 of them must’ve been in Nevada, right?" Arum, continued on, asking about Mayweather. "Has there been a blood test in any fight? Has Oscar De La Hoya ever taken a blood test? Has any boxer ever taken a blood test?"

 

GOT PISS?

 

My story with Victor Conte got a ton of responses but there were some who disagreed with this assertion that blood tests are the best way to detect the usage of EPO. One is a reader, who goes by the moniker “J.C.”, sent me this link:

 

http://www.antidopingresearch.org/BeyondSportsDopingHeadlines.pdf

 

“J.C” also sent me this interview with Dr. Don Catlin, who heads Anti-Doping Research Inc., that sheds another light on the urine-blood debate; as it relates to EPO.

 

http://www.letsrun.com/2003/epoqa.php

 

HUH?

 

Can someone please explain to me why the NSAC is now calling for urine from both Pacquiao and Mayweather? Seriously, I’d like to know exactly why this is being done at this particular juncture. I guess after Top Rank and Golden Boy took turns grandstanding, the commission decided it was their turn at bat. But why not re-open the investigation as to who shot Tupac back in the day? I mean, it’s just as relevant, as far as I’m concerned.

 

 

If they really want to do something constructive, why not find measures to upgrade and improve the current system in place so that these issues don’t come up in the future? All this other stuff, as they say, is just pissing into the wind.

 

CHAMPS BOWL FLURRIES

 

Was told on Monday that there have been early conversations concerning a fight between Kelly Pavlik and Sergio Martinez in April...Also, you could see a junior middleweight slugfest between Alfredo Angulo and Joel Julio that same month. I can honestly say I really like both fights. And if Chris Arreola-Tomasz Adamek comes together, that’s one helluva month being put together by HBO...I’ll say it right now, I think it’s very possible we see a San Diego-Dallas rematch in the Super Bowl...Somewhere out there, the ’72 Dolphins had to be saluting Colts head man, Jim Caldwell. Caldwell, I guess, doesn’t subscribe to Herman Edwards’ theory on why you play the game...Anyone else getting Pacquiao-Mayweather fatigue? I can’t lie, I lost a lot of interest when this thing didn’t end up in Dallas...OK, unless I really, really like you, nobody call me between 8 PM Eastern and 11:45 PM, as Miami will be taking on Wisconsin in the Champs Bowl. Lets go, Canes!!!!...Questions or comments can be sent to k9kim@yahoo.com... Twitter.com/stevemaxboxing...

 



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