Manny Pacquiao vs. Floyd Mayweather is the only fight that everybody in the boxing world would truly look forward to, but it won't happen until at least 2012. After his November bout against Juan Manuel Marquez, Pacquiao should call Mayweather's drug testing bluff.
The two high-profile champions had an agreement to fight in early 2010, but the deal broke down after Mayweather's camp demanded drug testing similar to that done at Olympic events. Pacquiao, who is an extremely regimented person, declined the offer.
With $50 million in guaranteed money on the table at that point, it's amazing that an agreement couldn't be reached. It reeks of posturing on Mayweather's part in order to avoid the fight.
Pacquiao shouldn't have much trouble dispatching of Marquez, just like Mayweather had no problem with Victor Ortiz. The win over Ortiz moved Pretty Boy to 42-0 in his career. A win over Marquez would improve Pacquiao's record to 54-3-2.
However, Pac-Man has won his last 14 fights dating back to 2005.
In his post-match interview, Pacquiao should send shock waves throughout the sports world by announcing that he is willing to accept Mayweather's drug testing offer. Not only would the statement send fans into a tizzy, but it would force Money into a tough position.
Does he accept Pacquiao's offer, or does he back down and tarnish his legacy forever?
Mayweather had some tough words for 80-year-old HBO commentator Larry Merchant after his win over Ortiz, so it's clear he's trying to show off that tough-guy persona. If he wants to live up to it, however, there's no way he could back down from Pacquiao.
The problem for Pacquiao is that if he never agrees to advanced drug testing, there will be whispers about his rise to the top of the sport. Being able to cover seven divisions is a terrific feat, but it raises questions about how he was able to make such a seamless transition each time.
Pacquiao would likely be a sizable favorite in the bout, which would net both men huge paydays regardless of the outcome. Both Pac-Man and Money know how big of a fight it has the potential to be, and for the sake of the sport, they have to make it happen.
The ball is in Pacquiao's court to make Mayweather put up or shut up.