I'm not a boxing writer, or a prolific boxing analyst by any means. But you can count on me to be one thing—real talk. Beyond all the B.S. (today it stands for "Bleacher Screaming"), I had to take a position on this issue, and here it is:
Mayweather, and Mayweather's camp, please, man up.
Now I'm not saying I could take Mayweather in a fight, but we might never get around to it. You know how it goes. He might find out that I'm lactose intolerant, and challenge me to the one-gallon whole milk challenge the day before the fight and refuse to fight me if I'm not in fighting shape.
Then, after I refuse to do the one-gallon milk challenge, he'll say it's because I use performance-enhancing drugs that create a resistance to milk.
Sound ridiculous? It's pretty similar.
Mayweather and his camp asked for Olympic-Style drug testing prior to the fight. Here are some fun facts:
—Olympic-Style blood testing is a somewhat unusual move in the world of professional boxing. Given that the Mayweather-Pacquiao fight would have shattered all kinds of PPV records, it seems suitable that they make a show of upholding the integrity of boxing by enforcing this type of blood testing.
—Performance-enhancing drugs are a VERY sensitive issue in America, and using an extra test to allege that your opponent is a cheater is a perfect spin of blame from the Mayweather camp for stupid people.
—We are not stupid people. We fact check, we reason, we look into things, and we understand situations. We know that Mayweather has historically hidden behind his record as an undefeated champ. Many of us feel that Pacquiao is the better fighter, and I have a feeling Mayweather agrees.
For a fighter, one's weight is vital to the sport. Maintaining a healthy balance and staying in good shape is more important than the strength of one's punches—that's why in most boxing schools, before you so much as learn to throw a punch, you jump rope. Your body becomes a blood pumping machine. I am convinced that every boxer has near-psychotic cardiovascular health.
Now, imagine taking blood out the day before a fight. You are upsetting a natural balance of the body and making it difficult to fight the way you trained. Pacquiao allegedly agreed to a POST-bout blood test (one that would prove he had not taken performance-enhancing drugs), but not one day prior to the bout. Accounts vary, but negotiations suggested Pacquiao would be willing to take a test 30-days before, and Freddie Roach even suggested one week before.
Pacquiao's refusal to submit a blood sample for drug testing isn't so much an admission of guilt as it is protecting his body chemistry for the bout. A fighter needs to know his body, first and foremost, and changes in blood can upset a very intricate knowledge of one's abilities. Even so much as one week would give the fighter time to become adjusted to the loss of blood.
Mayweather, in all of his undefeated glory, refused the counter-offer. Excuse my first person commentary, but:
Absurd. Pacquiao fights for more than money, more than personal pride, unlike Mayweather. Manny Pacquiao is the pride of his country in the Philippines, and I am absolutely convinced that he has nothing to hide, and that he would never cheat or jeopardize the reputation of his country by putting himself in a position to fail a drug test.
Mayweather is more concerned about winning the match with everything BUT actual boxing skill, using under-handed ways of trying to get into Pacquiao's head. Of course, this is all in the spirit of competition, but if Mayweather ever plans on fighting Pacquiao, I would be worried for him.
Pacquiao is probably using custom-made toilet paper with Mayweather's mug on each square, has Mayweather's smug frame printed on a punching bag in his training room, and is thinking, breathing, eating, sleeping, with the sole purpose of beating Mayweather to a subhuman pulp.
All of Mayweather's ducking and dodging should send one clear message to the American public: Mayweather is scared. You can't spin a story like that long enough to quiet the doubters, the pundits, and the bloodthirsty public. I want to see this match, but as long as Mayweather insists upon running from the negotiation table with soaked trunks and a trail of urine behind him, it's not going to happen.
Mayweather's next possible opponent is a 38-year-old Shane Mosley. As much as I love Shane, I can't speak much for his chances. And by chances, I mean chances of actually getting to the fight. Mosley was one in a group of athletes alleged to have been part of the BALCO performance-enhancing drug controversy.
Is Olympic-Style blood testing going to get in the way of this bout as well? Well, I expect anything from Mayweather, who dodges fights better than he dodges punches these days.