It was supposed to be the fight that would make the world stop.
If you had blood flowing through your veins, you'd be one of two place come Mar. 13: in front of a TV or at the MGM Grand.
Undefeated Floyd Mayweather Jr. and international sensation Manny Pacquiao are unquestionably the biggest draws in boxing. The stage was set for the two superstars to square off in the ring in what was to be the most highly anticipated fight in the history of the sport.
Then it all fell apart.
In a bizarre turn of events, Mayweather concluded that standard procedure drug testing was not proficient enough and demanded that Olympic style testing be used for this mega-fight. Pacquiao refused to comply and the fight was cancelled.
Was Mayweather legitimately suspicious that Pacquiao had been using performance-enhancing drugs? Or was he simply a coward looking for a way out of a fight that could ruin his unblemished legacy?
That is a matter of opinion. The fact is that Manny turned down about $50 million because he didn't want his blood taken a few days before the fight.
Sure, you can argue that the immensely wealthy Pacquiao was not concerned with the dollar amount so much as his professional integrity. Why should he adhere to the demands of the arrogant blowhards at the Mayweather camp, and who are they to accuse Manny of foul play? Indeed, Pacquiao filed a lawsuit against Floyd and his father, alleging that they made false and defamatory statements.
In no way does Manny's noncompliance prove or even support his guilt. Boxers are often superstitious about things such as drawing blood, and Manny has built his phenomenal career by training in a specific way. Now Floyd is throwing a curveball and questioning the expertise of the Nevada State Athletic Commission, which only requires urine testing.
Still, it does beg the question; if Manny is clean, are the reasons stated above justification to cancel the fight that could cement his place as one of the greatest boxers to ever live?
There is plenty of blame to go around here, and the two fighters are only part of the problem. Pacquiao promoter Bob Arum has a personal beef with former client Mayweather, which was one of the elements that doomed the fight. And you can bet that it wasn't Floyd Jr.'s bright idea to set this ultimatum in the first place.
What a colossal failure. Boxing needed this fight tremendously. Perhaps negotiations will reconvene and an agreement will allow the fight to materialize.
For now, the world will have to wait.