Wednesday, December 30, 2009

Arum tries last pitch to Pacquiao

Boxing promoter Bob Arum said Monday he would announce Manny Pacquiao's next fight Tuesday - be it against Floyd Mayweather Jr. or someone else.

But Arum said Tuesday from Mexico he was going to have one last conversation with Pacquiao late Tuesday night to see if Pacquiao, who is in the Philippines, would agree to the latest pitch by Team Mayweather regarding the drug-testing that has threatened to kill this fight tentatively scheduled for March 13 at MGM Grand in Las Vegas.

Team Mayweather wants both fighters to undergo Olympic-style drug-testing, which would be anywhere from 8 to 12 urine tests and 3 to 5 blood tests taken at random, meaning blood could be drawn the day before the fight.

Pacquiao has balked, saying, among other things that having blood drawn so close to a fight might weaken him.

"Binkow is going to talk to Todd with their proposal, we're going to give it to Manny and he is going to make his choice," Arum said via telephone from Cabo San Lucas.

Bruce Binkow is an executive with Golden Boy Promotions, which is representing Mayweather. Todd duBoef is president of Arum's Top Rank Inc. Richard Schaefer, CEO of Golden Boy Promotions, confirmed Binkow and duBoef were talking Tuesday in an effort to reach an accord.

"Bruce Binkow and Todd are having what I think are constructive conversations," Schaefer said. "Let's see where it goes."

Neither Arum nor Schaefer on Tuesday discussed what they believe a suitable compromise would be for a final blood test on the fighters.

Schaefer on Monday said Mayweather still wanted only a two-day cutoff before the fight, but he indicated there might be some flexibility.

Some of Monday's discussion centered on Pacquiao being depicted on HBO's 24/7 series having blood drawn during a pre-fight examination ahead of his May 2 fight with Ricky Hatton.

Golden Boy issued a statement saying that test was taken approximately 14 days before that fight. Pacquiao's team has said it does not want any blood drawn inside of 30 days prior to fighting Mayweather.

Arum on Tuesday said he did some research.

"That blood test was taken on April 8, 24 days before the fight," Arum said.

Floyd Mayweather Sr. has gone on the record saying he believes Pacquiao is highly successful because he has been taking performance-enhancing drugs.

Meanwhile, Pacquiao on Tuesday lashed out at Golden Boy in a statement. Even though Top Rank is Pacquiao's chief promoter, Golden Boy has a financial interest in Pacquiao.

Pacquiao is peeved that Golden Boy doesn't appear to be supporting him; instead, it is helping Mayweather. Not only has Floyd Sr. made accusations about Pacquiao, Floyd Jr. said during a radio interview in October the Philippines produces the best performance-enhancing drugs.

"... It's a pity that Oscar `Golden Boy' De La Hoya's Golden Boy Promotions should have been supporting me, too, because his company has a promotional stake in my career," Pacquiao said.

"They all say they got my back, but yes, they stab me, too, when I turn my back."

Schaefer responded by saying nobody from Golden Boy has accused Pacquiao of taking steroids, and that Golden Boy is simply representing Mayweather in these negotiations. He said he finds it "amazing" that all of this is being taken so personal.

"It's just that Mayweather," Schaefer said, "wants Olympic-style testing."

Manny Pacquiao testing update

By Nick Giongco

A urine sample of Manny Pacquiao is on its way to Manila, World Anti-Doping Agency (Wada) accredited doctor Alex Pineda told Fightnews and Manila Bulletin on Wednesday afternoon. Pineda, who also works for the Philippine Olympic Committee, personally witnessed the initial phase of testing at Pacquiao’s residence in General Santos City. Pineda arrived in General Santos City at around lunchtime, headed to Pacquiao’s palatial home where he got the sample, then was driven back to the airport so he could catch the plane bound for Manila.

The samples (a total of 100 ml)–labeled “A” and “B”–will be sent to Thailand, Malaysia or China because “we don’t have a Wada-accredited testing in the country,” said Pineda.

Results of the tests will be sent to his office or to the desk of Games and Amusements Board chairman Eric Buhain, who had requested Pineda to go to General Santos City.

The Nevada State Athletic Commission (NSAC), had ordered that tests be done on Pacquiao and Floyd Mayweather in an effort to save their proposed super bout set March 13, 2010, from being shelved owing to a disagreement with drug testing procedures.

Pacquiao said he has been insulted by Mayweather’s demand that he undergo Olympic-style testing for banned substances.

Floyd camp rejects Arum final offer

MANILA, Philippines - Hopes of salvaging the megafight between Manny Pacquiao and Floyd Mayweather Jr. are slim after American promoter Bob Arum’s”final counter offer” was quickly turned down by Mayweather’s chief adviser, Leonard Ellerbe, and negotiator, Richard Schaefer.

Arum, main man of Top Rank, had given the Mayweather camp until Monday (today in Manila) to decide on his final proposal that both parties let the Nevada State Athletic Commission to make the final decision on the blood tests issue.

According to Yahoo! Sports, Arum suggested that both sides explain to the NSAC why their “preferred (blood) testing system” should be used or followed, and let the Nevada body make the final decision.

Mayweather wanted an Olympic-style blood testing to be supervised by the United States Anti-Doping Agency. Under the set-up, both fighters should agree to as many as five blood and 12 urine tests - randomly.

Freddie Roach said it’s so random that that USADA can knock on your doors in the middle of the night to get blood or urine samples, in the weeks, days or just hours before the fight, and shortly afterwards.

Pacquiao’s camp said there’s no need for such, and has agreed to three blood tests (one on the first week of January, then 30 days before the match and another after the match, but was again unacceptable to Mayweather.

Arum made the offer of letting the NSAC to decide. And if the Mayweathers disagree, the Top Rank president said he could seal a Pacquiao fight with Paulie Malignaggi on March 13 “within an hour.”

Arum may find himself making the phone call when he wakes up Monday morning while vacationing in Cabo San Lucas, Mexico after Ellerbe and Schaefer literally thumbed down the final counter offer from Top Rank.

“Random is random. We are all intelligent people and we know what random testing is. That is what we want and it has not changed,” said Ellerbe.

“It does not make sense for this to become a commission matter. This is a contractual matter. The commission did not decide the weights or the purse split or how the foreign television rights would be sold.

“If this is Bob’s final ultimatum, then that’s what it is. That is his decision if he wants to take that position. I very much hope this fight can be made, but the reason it is at a standstill is because of the way they have handled things,” Schaefer said.

Pacquiao is vacationing with his family in Gen. Santos City and his adviser, Mike Koncz, said the 31-year-old superstar doesn’t want to make any further comment on the matter.

The other day, Schaefer said Mayweather can do away with the USADA, and it’s just a matter of both camps agreeing on the dates of the blood tests just to make sure that they’re still effective.

But that was the other day.

“We are prepared to have this handled in a way that is not us deciding or them deciding,” said Arum. “The commission meets on Jan. 19. Mayweather’s people can say why they believe additional testing above what we agreed to as necessary and we can give our viewpoint.

“Let the commission decide. If they come away and decide Manny needs to be blood tested every single [expletive] day, then we will go with that. This is the way to go to give this thing legitimacy. I hope they [Team Mayweather] see reason.” - By Abac Cordero (Philstar News Service,