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Mayweather-Pacquaio in jeopardy over drug testing

Mayweather's insisting on something that, deep down inside, he knows could only be bad news for him.
Mayweather's insisting on something that, deep down inside, he knows could only be bad news for him.

Per Kevin Iole, the final item to be negotiated in a potential megafight between Manny Pacquiao and Floyd Mayweather is whether the fighters will submit to Olympic-style drug testing before the fight.  While there had been prior unsubstantiated reports that Mayweather requested blood testing and that Pacquiao was refusing, the sources he names are as high as they can get, Bob Arum and Leonard Ellerbe themselves.

Both sides agreed that the drug testing issue is the only hurdle preventing the fight from being finished. Earlier Tuesday, Golden Boy Promotions officially requested March 13 from the Nevada State Athletic Commission to host the show.

"As Floyd’s management, we are insistent that there be a level playing field," Ellerbe said. "This is in the best interests of the fighters, the fans and the sport. If you want a level playing field, the best way to do it is to have Olympic-style, random drug testing administered by the premier agency in the world, the [United States Anti-Doping Agency]."

Pacquiao promoter Bob Arum said the demand is "absolutely crazy," done simply to harass Pacquiao, who is squeamish about needles, and is proof that Mayweather doesn’t really want the fight.

Frankly, this sounds pretty bad on both sides.  Even if Mayweather eventually acquiesces and the fight goes on without blood testing, It allows people to plausibly infer that there's a reason why Pacquaio wouldn't go along with blood testing.  On the other hand, why should Mayweather request something special for this fight?  Other than hunches by his dad and uncles, there isn't any legitimate evidence that  Pacquiao has used any performance enhancing drugs that aren't of the GNC variety. And as noted by Freddie Roach, most of the drugs that would be a concern aren't any more easily testable by blood than by urine.  Blood tests are generally useful after the fact, not before the fact.  The way that blood tests catch people is that the samples stay on file and then can be tested long after the event for illegal substances that weren't testable at the time of the event.

With both fighters rumored to be guaranteed $25 million, the fight will happen, whether or not Manny agrees to the invasion of privacy.  What this does is create a possible excuse, in the case that the fight goes on and Mayweather loses.  It may also create a platform to get rid of certain other concessions Mayweather had made earlier in the negotiations.  And while Mayweather's requests seem fairly unreasonable once you look behind them, the court of public opinion will be on Mayweather's side on this one.  Everyone knows steroids are bad, while very few seem to actually focus on what they do and how they can actually be tested. 

Pacquiao won't change is mind on this issue.  If Manny is doping, there's no way his camp lets him get his blood tested.  And if Manny isn't doping, there's no way they should want to let him get his blood tested. Deep down, Mayweather shouldn't want the testing either.  If Pacquiao does take the test and he comes out clean, then it's a non-event.  But if he takes the test and it doesn't, then EVERYONE loses a lot of money.  Mayweather's taking a calculated risk here, but it's really one big, massive bluff.

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