clock menu more-arrow no yes mobile

Filed under:

Mayweather-Pacquiao Update: Arum, Schaefer holding their ground

The Floyd Mayweather Jr.-Manny Pacquiao situation is moving around, but saying it's improving would be a bit of a stretch. Right now, the fight is still "off," or at least that's the story we're getting. I'm having a genuinely hard time believing that this entire process isn't just a bunch of hype B.S., which is why I haven't said very much about any of it. I can't bring myself to take this all that seriously. It just reeks of crap to talk about on "24/7."

But regardless, Dan Rafael of reports that the Mayweather side has agreed that the USADA doesn't have to be the drug testing agency used. Freddie Roach considers their tactics to be a form of harassment, and Pacquiao steadfastly refuses to deal with them.

Richard Schaefer had this to say about that situation:

"We are OK to move off USADA. What we're saying, and what is important to us, is four things -- that the tests be random, that they include blood and urine and the time frame, meaning when do you stop the tests before the fight but know they will still be effective. Three of them we have agreed on -- random, blood and urine. So now it is a matter of the two sides working out the specifics of the cutoff date to assure it will still be effective."

You know, there was once a time in sports when the word "urine" didn't pop up quite so frequently.

Speaking with Michael Marley of the Examiner, Bob Arum calls Schaefer a liar:

"It is not true, it is just not true. He is making this up now because he looks bad. He is making this up because he is trying to justify it to Mayweather. Let’s see if he can justify it to Mayweather why this fight is now dead."

* * * * * * * *

83791883_medium Pretty much everyone is in agreement that Paulie Malignaggi would be a rather bizarre choice for replacement opponent on March 13, if Pacquiao does keep the date and Floyd isn't his opponent.

After all, Malignaggi said just after Pacquiao's win over Miguel Cotto that he felt Pacquiao was doing something illegal. Keep in mind that Floyd Jr. has never said anything of the sort about Pacquiao. He's listening to his father and his uncles, Roger and Jeff, and maybe to a few other folks he trusts.

Malignaggi said it himself. It's also an odd choice given that Malignaggi is a 140-pound fighter, and with all due respect to Malignaggi, he's no welterweight and he probably knows that. I'd feel good for Paulie getting the payday, but other than that, whatever. I've got an incredibly little amount of interest in that fight, or in Pacquiao taking on Yuri Foreman.

I have even less interest in the (lightly) rekindled Mayweather-Matthew Hatton discussions. Talk about your all-time crocks of dung.

I'd make a joke about Floyd forcing Matthew Hatton to undergo Olympic-level drug testing, but I really mean it when I say that I just cannot take this whole thing seriously yet. I know it's being treated like a funeral and everyone is losing their wigs over it, but for whatever reason it's just not convincing to me. Maybe I'm so stuck on the gigantic stacks of money they'd be leaving on the table, and the knowledge that Floyd and Manny both love their money, and that Arum and Schaefer are both quality businessmen who know this is not an opportunity to let pass you over.

But for the sake of argument, say this whole deal is really in serious jeopardy. Then I can offer only one thought. Boxing has built up a lot of goodwill in the last couple of years. Folks have come back to the sport, and have come to it for the first time, and business has picked up. While still a niche sport (which will always be the case), boxing has gotten itself back up near the level of where UFC is at in America, and for the biggest fights, boxing still seems to capture the general public's interest a bit more than even Dana White's machine.

But if Pacquiao-Mayweather truly falls apart, boxing pisses that goodwill away in America. If they offer farces like Pacquiao-Foreman, Pacquiao-Malignaggi or Mayweather-Matthew Hatton, a lot of people are going to see right through this crap, declare boxing corrupt again, ruled by men that don't care a lick for the sport's best interests.

And frankly, they'll probably be right. Letting this fight dissolve would be an enormous blow to boxing's present and future. There is NO suitable substitute fight, nothing that will get the watercooler talk going anywhere near this level. Mayweather-Marquez and Cotto-Pacquiao were big, big fights. Huge fights. Mayweather-Pacquiao is quite literally a combination of the buzz those two fights generated. We're talking about a fight that is potentially going to threaten the all-time PPV record and likely break the records in Vegas, too.

It can't not happen. And that's why I don't think there's a very good chance it gets called off for real.

(Malignaggi photo by John Gichigi / Getty Images)

Sign up for the newsletter Sign up for the Bad Left Hook Daily Roundup newsletter!

A daily roundup of all your global boxing news from Bad Left Hook