Friday, March 24, 2023  |



Pacquiao will bend but big fight still unlikely


Floyd Mayweather Jr. and Manny Pacquiao seem to want to fight one another. The promoters say they’re open to the idea. However, the fighters have said nothing after Mayweather’s demolition of Shane Mosley on Saturday to significantly raise optimism that the fight will happen.

Pacquiao said on his Web site that he is willing to have his blood tested 14 days prior to the fight, which would’ve met Mayweather’s original demand and allowed the fight to take place on March 13. Pacquaio said at the time that he would agree to testing no closer than 24 days before the fight.

“I am willing to help the sport for the future of the sport,” he stated. “I do not want to see anyone cheat or cheat this sport. For that reason I am willing to consider taking blood as close as 14 days prior to the fight, as long as, my opponent does the same, and it is not a lot of blood, just enough to test. I do not want anyone having an unfair advantage where someone may get hurt. I am willing to do my part to help this sport out.”

However, Mayweather is now indicating that Olympic-style random testing will be used for his future fights, as it was for the fight on Saturday. Pacquiao obviously is willing to compromise but he is unlikely to agree to random testing, which can be done up to the day of the fight.

Mayweather seemed to say immediately after the fight that he will not budge on his demands.

“If he wants to fight, it's not that hard to find me,” he said. “We tried to fight before and it didn't work, and we moved on. Mosley did what I asked him to do and if every athlete in the sport would do that, we know we would have a clean sport. Everyone should take the test. I am willing to take the tests. If Manny takes the test, we can make the fight happen. If he doesn't, we don't have a fight.”

Plus, after the pay-per-view tally is complete and it becomes clear that Mayweather-Mosley drew many more buys than the 700,000 buys of Pacquiao-Joshua Clottey, Mayweather could demand a larger portion of the profits than he did in the original negotiations. That isn’t likely to sit well with Pacquiao.

The incentive to find common ground exists. The fighters stand to make $50 million or more in what probably would be the biggest fight in the history of the sport. That was the case the first time around, though, and they walked away from the negotiating table.

Bob Arum, Pacquiao’s promoter, has said that a Pacquiao-Antonio Margarito fight is a possibility.

At the moment, Pacquiao is focused on his congressional bid in the Philippines. It’s not clear what a victory would mean to his boxing career as his new duties presumably would consume much of his time.

He hadn’t seen the Mayweather-Mosley fight as of Monday, according to his Web site.