Oh, where to begin? Ever since Manny Pacquiao began his ascent into the Welterweight ranks, the world has been begging for a summit meeting between the two top, pound-for-pound fighters in the world. When this wet dream of a bout was on the brink of becoming reality, boxing’s biggest stars each found discomfort in the negotiations. The stalling of this behemoth of a fight began with Mayweather, who with the knowledge of former opponents such as “Sugar” Shane Mosley, age 40, (46-7-1, 39 KOs) formally using P.E.D. (Performance Enhancing Drugs) and still passing through the Nevada State Athletic Commission’s drug testing policy, became wary of all fighters being “juiced up.” Mayweather pleaded with Pacquiao to accept random, Olympic-style drug testing. Pacquiao, seemingly insulted by the insinuation, filed a defamation suit against Mayweather. Mayweather rebutted by stating he never claimed Pacquiao was on P.E.D., but just wanted to ensure that fact for the fight. Mayweather’s position holds true: if one fighter has performance enhancing drugs and the other doesn’t, there is an unimaginable advantage. Alas, besides the lawsuit, Pacquiao also refused Mayweather’s drug testing demands, despite Mayweather agreeing to put himself through the same stringent drug testing. Now this isn’t to say Manny Pacquiao doesn’t want to mix it up with Floyd, as it’s very plausible that Pacquiao feels it’s in his right not to be made demands of.
The question I pose is what’s wrong with making sure each fighter is 100% clean on the biggest stage in boxing? The sporting community, boxing included, has seen the likes of Barry Bonds, Roger Clemens, and various others break world records without being caught using performance enhancing drugs until after the fact. Since the two stars have yet to meet in the squared circle, public frustration continues to mount. Up until Pacquiao’s last outing, a subpar performance against the great Juan Manuel Marquez age, 38 (53-6-1, 39 KOs) , a majority of fans had been blaming Mayweather for the hold up. At this point, it’s a toss up: one could blame Floyd for being so persistent in the stringent drug testing, or one could assign responsibility to Pacquiao for being so resistant to taking the drug test, which also raises suspicion on whether or not he is clean. The majority has opted to blame Mayweather, which is fine. Every man, woman and child is entitled to their own opinion, and many believed it was Mayweather avoiding the fight. BRB disagrees with that line of thought because, well, Mayweather loves his money, and outside of his fight with Oscar De La Hoya age, 32 (39-6, 30 KOs) , he never really splits the pie evenly. With Pacquiao, Mayweather agreed to a 50-50 split of revenue in the contract, along with random drug testing for both of them, and still, the eight-division World Champion didn’t accept.
BRB is far from foolish enough to believe that Manny Pacquiao fears any man, as said earlier, it’s possible he just doesn’t want Mayweather “calling the shots.” However, Pacquiao’s reasoning for not taking the test and his trainer, Freddie Roach’s reasoning is a bit suspect. Pacquiao says he doesn’t like needles, but over the past couple of years he’s gotten plenty of tattoos. Also, just a week or so before a bout he had in 2010, he took a blood test as part of a physical.
As for Roach, he continually instructs Mayweather to “do your job and let the commission do its job”. Well, Freddie, with all due respect, and Roach is, without a doubt, one of the best boxing minds the sport has ever seen, are you referring to the same commission which allowed numerous fighters a pass on their drug testing policy? The same commission which has given gift decisions time and time again to the man who didn’t deserve to win the bout? Why should Mayweather, or the boxing public for that matter, trust the Nevada State Athletic Commission with those transgressions in mind?
Another injustice some have taken note of is that Mayweather received much of the blame for the bout not taking place these past three or so years. Yet the Monday after Marquez and Pacquiao had their epic third encounter, Mayweather set a date at the MGM for May, and stated he was ready to get in there with Manny. Pacquiao has not responded since, which is perfectly admissible. Pacquiao deserved some breathing room after his bout to either weigh his options or take a break. The beef BRB has with the situation is that Mayweather was implicated as a chicken, and therefore as the main deterrent in the fight’s happening. If people are going to call Floyd a chicken for not getting into the ring because he wants a 50-50 revenue and Olympic drug testing with Pacquiao, then it’s only right they get on Pacquiao’s case for not responding to Mayweather when Mayweather has been clamoring for a match for over a month now.
An alternate and entirely plausible explanation would be to think that Promoter Bob Arum, not Manny Pacquiao, doesn’t want the fight between the two to happen. Pacquiao struggled with the terrific counter punching, technique, and defensive capabilities of Juan Manuel Marquez, and Floyd Mayweather is the best in the game in all of those attributes. With Arum being aware of this, he may not want to risk his cash cow, as the promoter has already opted to speak of a fourth fight against Juan Manuel Marquez rather than the much anticipated bout with Mayweather, despite the public wanting the Mayweather bout immensely more.
And the plot thickens. BRB apologizes in advance for jumping to conclusions, but as is public knowledge, Mayweather is going through legal problems now; Bob Arum is a smart man. Because Floyd may be looking at some time behind bars, Arum will possibly get an opportunity to save face and spin Floyd’s legal problems as the catalyst in preventing the bout. A likely scenario would be that once Mayweather gets sentenced, if he is sentenced, Arum could say, “Ok, we’re ready to do this thing, but because of Floyd’s legal problems, it looks like we won’t be able to make this bout happen in May.” Manny Pacquiao is a warrior, and I don’t think the tough Filipino would ever back down from a challenge, but his promoter may be thinking business, but that remains to be seen. I find calling Mayweather or Pacquiao a coward to be a waste of time, as both of these legends are anything but. Although we’d all rather have them just sort everything out in the ring tomorrow, everything will eventually be sorted out. We should learn all the facts before labeling men who put their life on the line for a living “cowards.”