It has come to light that the potential mega-event that is Manny Pacquiao vs. Floyd Mayweather, Jr. may have hit a devastating snag.
At the request of Floyd Mayweather Jr., one of the contingents of this fight coming to fruition was that Olympic style drug testing as mandated by the United States Anti-Doping Agency be implemented.
Today, Top Rank President Todd duBoef contacted Golden Boy CEO Richard Schaefer and explained to him that Manny would not agree to have his blood taken 30 days prior to the event.
Schaefer commented, "Todd told me that Pacquiao has difficulty with taking blood and doesn't want to do it so close to the fight. He, Pacquiao, would only agree to have blood drawn before the kick-off press conference and after the fight."
"It is unfortunate to hear this from Manny Pacquiao's representatives, particularly since, as of today, both parties had worked out all other issues related to this fight," added Schaefer. "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."
When Mayweather heard of the news that Pacquiao is refusing this type of testing he expressed his disappointment in Manny's decision.
"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."
Leonard Ellerbe, CEO of Mayweather Promotions added, "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."
An event of this magnitude will inevitably hit some snags. Let's hope this particular one gets worked out.
More to follow shortly.
Questions and comments can be sent to firstname.lastname@example.org