By Sean McDaniel: In a last ditch effort to save the March 13th mega fight between Floyd Mayweather Jr. and Manny Pacquiao, an outside mediator, retired judge Daniel Weinstein, will meet with Top Rank, and Mayweather’s management team to try and overcome the stalemate in the negotiations for the fight. Weinstein, who previously helped work out a problem between Top Rank and Golden Boy Promotions in 2007, has to find a way to solve the dispute over the drug testing.
Mayweather, 32, wants random blood tests during the training period before the fight, but Pacquiao only wants three separate blood tests – one at the kickoff for the fight this month, another 30 days before the fight and a final one after the bout.
Mayweather asked for blood testing to be done for the fight despite the Nevada Athletic Commission, who oversees the bout, only asking for urine tests. Pacquiao and Top Rank feel as if they’re being pushed around by Mayweather with the extra blood tests, and don’t want to take more than the three blood tests that Pacquiao has already agreed upon. Unfortunately, this is the sticking point.
Mayweather hasn’t shown any signs of backing down on his request for blood tests inside the 30 day window, and Pacquiao is just as firm not to take any more than those three. Both fighters agree to the random urine tests. At stake for the fight is a possible $40 million for each fighter if they can come to an agreement.
In addition to the problems with the blood testing methods, Pacquiao has filed a lawsuit filed against Floyd Mayweather Jr., Floyd Sr., Roger Mayweather, Oscar De La Hoya and Golden Boy Promotions CEO Richard Schaefer for defamation. If this fight is to go forward, the mediator will likely have to work on getting this suit dropped, because it might make it difficult for the two fighters to come to an agreement if this lawsuit is still pending.
Top Rank promoter Bob Arum has a back-up plan of matching Pacquiao against World Boxing Association light middleweight champion Yuri Foreman if the mediation process fails. This obviously would be a huge letdown for boxing fans who were hoping that Pacquiao would face Mayweather or at the very least a better known fighter like Shane Mosley. However, Pacquiao wants to try and collect an 8th world title, and if he can beat Foreman, this would give Pacquiao’s his 8th title. Many boxing fans on the internet have been less than thrilled with the prospect of seeing this fight, because many of them see Foreman as the weaker of the light middleweight champions. They also wonder whether Foreman, the champion, would have to fight Pacquiao at a catch weight while still having his title on the line for the bout.
As for Mayweather, there has been talk about him facing British fringe welterweight contender Matthew Hatton, the younger brother of Ricky Hatton. That, too, hasn’t been a fight that boxing fans have been thrilled about.