Last night, while reporting on ESPN's Friday Night Fights, Teddy Atlas raised new questions about Manny Pacquiao's refusal to take a blood test when negotiating terms to his fight with Floyd Mayweather when being interviewed by ESPN anchor Brian Kenney.
He started off with general questions that many fans and media alike are asking, but towards the end of his interview, Atlas brought new information to the table, information that is now being publicized in the New York Daily News.
In what would be the fight of the decade, maybe even this generation, a battle of the two superstars has been put on ice indefinitely due to the two sides disagreeing on blood testing and other various circumstances pertaining to pre-fight terms.
Atlas raised the question, "I am not saying in any way Pacquiao is dirty, but why would someone turn down a guaranteed $30 million (both fighters would receive $25 million up front) because he didn't want to get a blood sample taken if he has nothing to hide and is clean?"
Obviously, Atlas is covering his tracks, but let's be honest. He is asking this question because like many people who have followed ever bizarre twist and turn to these negotiations, Pacquiao looks even guiltier as the talks have fallen through and the fight is very unlikely in the near future.
In a disappointing turn of events, Pacquiao has recently agreed to fight former welterweight champion Joshua Clottey, thus making the Mayweather-Pacquiao fight negotiations dead, for now.
The possible "bombshell" that Atlas dropped was his trusted source has confirmed two e-mails were sent during the fight negotiations from Pacquiao's camp to Mayweather's camp asking two questions. The first was, "What would be the repercussions of a positive test?" The second, "If Manny was to test positive, could it be kept a secret for the sake of boxing?"
While neither of these questions directly incriminates Pacquiao, while the e-mails have failed to be confirmed true or false (shocking if they exist they have not been leaked) and while Atlas' source remains to be indentified, it certainly does make one question another athlete when it comes to banned substances.
It seems as though everywhere you turn in the world a sports, accusations are flying about who is using PED's and other banned substances in order to gain an edge on the competition.
If Pacquiao does in time turn out to have been using a banned substance, the downfall of boxing as a major sport in the United States will become complete. Boxing will become a sport that is constantly pushed to the side, and not the once powerful sport it was in the past. In recent history, boxing has suffered immensely since the last great American heavyweight (and the rise in popularity of MMA), that is until Mayweather and Pacquiao have become two of the greatest pound for pound fighters in the history of boxing.
A great fight between the two could have brought boxing back into the mainstream in the United States, but now it has come to this. Americans are getting fed up with the constant talk of banned substances, and it seems like this is just another scandal in the midst.
In order for Pacquiao to silence his doubters, including the loud-mouthed Floyd Mayweather, he must beat Clottey of March 13 and set his sights on Mayweather for the future. To go down as one of the best in history, Pacquiao must face this controversy head on, take the test and fight Mayweather.
The fans of boxing need this to happen; so for the sake of boxing, one can only hope both sides finally come to terms sometimes in the near future. It will be the fight that saves boxing, and it can become a fight which defines a generation.
The downside is that it is very likely this fight will forever remain a pipe dream to those in waiting. It seems as though Pacquiao has something to hide, and it is apparent that Mayweather is looking to expose whatever those skeletons may be. Regardless, this could prove to be a monumental downfall for boxing in the United States, or it may lead way to the next great generation of boxing in the mainstream.
Unfortunately, there is only one question that can be answered to put all worries and doubts to rest, and eventually make this dream fight a reality:
What exactly is Pacquiao hiding?
Are these alleged e-mails true? Do they even incriminate Pacquiao in any way?
Unfortunately, these questions share the identical answer with another famous pop culture question:
"How many licks does it take to get to the Tootsie Roll center of a Tootsie Pop?"
When it comes to what (if anything) exactly the "Pac-man" is hiding and whether said e-mails are confirmed true, "the world may never know."