Manny Pacquiao with trainer Freddie Roach
Eight-division world champion Manny Pacquiao has finally agreed to everything Floyd Mayweather Jr. wants in order to make what seems to be the biggest and most lucrative fight in boxing history.
One of the major conditions demanded by Mayweather during the early stage of negotiations almost three years ago was the Olympic-style drug test (OSDT), which required Pacquiao to submit to a random drug test all the way up to the day of the fight.
Mayweather believed Pacquiao was taking performance enhancing drugs which gave him an added advantage over his opponents during his previous fights.
In order to come to an agreement, Pacquiao offered a 14-day drug testing window, saying he feels weak when blood is taken from his body and would need a few days to recover.
Mayweather balked at Pacquiao's offer and after weeks and months of negotiations, Pacquiao relented and changed his offer to seven days.
Still, Mayweather continued to criticize Pacquiao for his refusal to join him in what he called an action necessary to clean the sport of boxing.
In his desire to give boxing fans the fight they have long wanted to see, Pacquiao finally decided to agree on Mayweather's demand without pre-conditions.
During his interview Thursday on ESPN's First Take show, Pacquiao said he sees no problem with the drug-testing issue.
"No problem," Pacquiao said. "Whatever he wants to do."
He said he is willing to be tested even on the night of the fight. "No problem," he said. "Even the night of the fight. No problem."
The other major contentious issue is the fight purse which appears to have likewise been resolved with Pacquiao's latest statement on ESPN, saying he is now willing to face Mayweather on a 55-45 purse split in order to make the fight happen.
It may be recalled that some members of Team Pacquiao proposed a 45-45-10 sharing which Mayweather has turned down. In this proposal, the 10 percent goes to the winner which means he gets 55 percent while the loser gets 45 percent.
Another thorny issue is the venue of the fight which poses a problem for the promoters as big numbers of fans are expected to watch the long-awaited fight.
Pacquiao's promoter Bob Arum wants to build a temporary structure in Las Vegas to accommodate more people to watch the fight, but he said the Cowboys Stadium in Texas is a good alternative venue for a fight of this magnitude. Mayweather, though, prefers Las Vegas as the future fight venue.
The fight venue as well as other minor issues are yet to be agreed upon by both parties.
Despite Pacquiao's call for Mayweather to face him in the ring after Pacquiao's fight with Juan Manuel Marquez on December 8, the unbeaten champion Mayweather has opted to maintain silence on the issue.
Pacquiao said win or lose against Marquez, he will take 45 percent of the purse if that will pave the way for the super fight to happen early next year.
Lance Pugmire of the Los Angeles Times wrote "'Win or lose, I’ll take 45%,' Pacquiao told his publicist Friday in Mexico City." "Floyd can have top billing, he can be introduced in the ring first or last," Pacquiao also said in the article.
“He can wear my trunks. I don’t care. I just want to get him in the ring and make the fight.”
But after the interview on First Take, According to Pugmire, on Friday Pacquiao's advisor Michael Koncz tried to clarify to The Times Pacquiao's statement on the 55-45 sharing. More on the difference in Pacquiao's and Koncz's takes on the purse split can be read here in this article by Ben Thompson on Fight Hype.com.
Pacquiao, who tried to postpone his decision to announce his fight with Marquez in the hope he can still land a fight with Mayweather within the year, said he does not understand why the fight has not happened.
“I hope that the fight with Mayweather will be close, to give the fans the fight they want,” Pacquiao said in the Los Angeles Times article.
Fans and critics are eager to hear what Mayweather has to say on this raging boxing issue of the day.