MANILA, Philippines - He chose to sleep rather than watch the fight.
Manny Pacquiao’s personal assistant yesterday said the reigning pound-for-pound champion, who’s in the homestretch of a congressional campaign in his home province, skipped watching yesterday’s fight between Floyd Mayweather Jr. and Shane Mosley.
The whole world must have watched the 12-round contest, either on screen or at the packed MGM Grand in Las Vegas, but Pacquiao, according to Bren Evangelio, was so tired campaigning the night before that as of 3 p.m. yesterday he was still in bed.
“Tulog pa po (Still sleeping),” Evangelio texted The STAR.
Pacquiao staged a big rally Saturday evening in Sarangani where he is seeking a congressional seat in the May 10 elections. The rally lasted until past midnight but the 31-year-old boxing icon had a couple more meetings set with his political supporters.
It was past five in the morning when Pacquiao got it all done.
Pacquiao was supposed to fly to Manila in the morning to serve as commentator for the GMA-7/Solar Sports coverage of the fight. His presence would have added more luster to the coverage, considering that everybody wants to see him fight Mayweather.
“We were informed this morning that he wouldn’t make it. I think something came up with his already busy schedule,” was the response of Solar Sports marketing manager Vitto Lazatin when the coverage started before noon with no sign of Pacquiao.
Pacquiao would have watched the fight with great interest.
Mayweather stretched his unbeaten record to 41-0 following a unanimous victory over the 38-year-old Mosley who was only good in the first two rounds of the fight.
Mayweather showed blinding hand speed but not great power in beating Mosley. Up on the ring, after the fight, he told HBO analyst Larry Merchant he’s willing to face Pacquiao as long as the Pinoy superstar undergoes the drug tests.
The superfight between Mayweather and Pacquiao was supposed to happen last March, but disagreements on how the blood and urine tests would be taken led to the fallout. Instead, Pacquiao ended up facing Joshua Clottey in Dallas.
Pacquiao, according to boxing man Hermie Rivera who is in General Santos City, said the fight with Mayweather will depend on a couple of things, and none of it concerned the drug tests.
Rivera said Pacquiao will decide after the elections, and after he sits down with members of his family, including his wife, Jinkee, and mother, Dionesia, if he would fight Mayweather or anyone else out there or retire from boxing.
“Pag-uusapan pa daw nilang lahat bago siya mag-decide,” said Rivera.
Mayweather stood firm in his demand that Pacquiao agree to random blood testing, which could have blood drawn from both fighters in the months, weeks, days or even hours before the fight, a system that was unacceptable for the Filipino.
“If Manny Pacquiao wants to fight it’s not hard to find me,” Mayweather told Merchant.
“I take my hat off to Mosley. He’s a warrior and he took the test. All I want to do is to even the playing field. If you’re clean, take the test. I’m willing to take the test. Manny Pacquiao, take the blood and urine test and we can make the fight happen for all the fans.”
“And if he doesn’t?” Merchant asked.
“We ain’t got no fight,” was Mayweather’s reply.
“I want to fight the best out there. If it’s Shane Mosley, I’ll fight Shane Mosley. If it’s Pacquiao, I’ll fight Pacquiao. All I’m saying is I want to fight all these fighters on an even playing field. That’s all I ask. I want to be treated fair.”
Pacquiao never said he’s against the tests, and in fact has agreed to the blood tests 24 days before the fight and immediately after the fight, not in the days leading to it because he said he feels weak after blood is drawn from him.
After the negotiations for the March fight with Mayweather bogged down, Pacquiao said it was time to move on, and fight the best fights possible, adding firmly that if negotiations with Maywearther ever resume, he won’t change his stand on the testing issue.
Bob Arum said Mayweather’s demand for random blood testing, the way it’s done in the Olympics and instead of the traditional way it’s been administered by the boxing commission, is his way of dodging a fight with Pacquiao.
And it seems that nothing has changed.