Mayweather-Pacquiao fight is in jeopardy over blood tests
The much anticipated Floyd Mayweather, Jr. and Manny Pacquiao fight might not be happening after all. The two sides have reached an impasse in their negotiations over the issue of blood testing for drugs 48 hours before the fight. Pacquiao's side does not want to submit to a blood test 48 hours before the fight because they believe it is harmful to the body.
Mayweather's team is demanding olympic style blood testing so close to the fight because they believe it is the only way to ensure a fair fight. Mayweather released the statement, “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."
“As Floyd’s management, we are insistent that there be a level playing field,” Ellerbe said. “This is in the best interests of the fighters, the fans and the sport. If you want a level playing field, the best way to do it is to have Olympic-style, random drug testing administered by the premier agency in the world, the [United States Anti-Doping Agency].”
Pacquiao's promoter Bob Arum doesn't think blood testing so close to the fight is necessary, nor does he think blood testing is an effective measure at detecting performance enhancing drugs. Arum said, “We’re not going to agree to have Manny give blood in training, because that’s stupid. Every doctor in the world will tell you that is stupid. He’ll give his blood at the beginning of the year and he’s willing to be urine-tested 24/7, but blood doesn’t show [expletive] and he’s not going to do it.”
Pacquiao is willing to compromise by submitting to blood tests a month before the fight, and immediately after. However, Mayweather's side have not agreed to this compromise and are sticking by their demands for blood tests 48 hours before the fight.
The proposed March 13th fight at MGM Grand Garden Arena in Las Vegas, NV may be in jeopardy if the two sides cannot come to an agreement on the blood test issue. Pacquiao's adviser and de facto manager Michael Koncz doesn't think Pacquiao needs the Mayweather fight. As the current title holder, Pacquiao has other fighters to choose from if the Mayweather fight doesn't work out. Koncz said, "Manny has a lot more options than Mayweather does. Manny is clean and he’s never done a thing, and he’s willing to go to great lengths to prove it. It’s my understanding that this stuff doesn’t just leave your system overnight. He’ll take a blood test immediately after the fight, if that’s what they insist upon. But Manny believes very strongly that it would be harmful to him to draw blood that soon before the fight and he plain and simple isn’t going to do it.”
Pacquiao has never been tested for a banned substance. He submitted a blood test to the Nevada State Athletic Commission in April, 2009 to gain his Nevada State boxing license, which lasts for one year. The Nevada State Athletic Commission screen for HIV and Hepatitis B and C, but blood tests for drugs and illegal substances are not required.