Promoter: Pacquiao is "all in," waiting to hear from Mayweather
Manny Pacquiao's promoter, Bob Arum, said Tuesday that the Filipino fighter has made a significant concession on a pre-fight drug screening plan with Floyd Mayweather Jr.'s camp, adding Pacquiao is "all in. He's agreed to what they're demanding."
Arum declined to discuss purse-split negotiations but he said Pacquiao has agreed to submit to random pre-fight blood tests up to 14 days before a fight with Mayweather. The bout is tentatively scheduled for Nov. 13, most likely in Las Vegas.
In negotiations that extended into early this year and ultimately crumbled over the drug-testing dispute, Pacquiao declined to give a blood sample closer than 24 days before the fight, a stance affirmed by an independent mediator but rejected by Mayweather.
Pacquiao went on to defeat Joshua Clottey by a lopsided decision in March, and Mayweather easily defeated Shane Mosley in May. A fight between the 2008-09 fighter of the year Pacquiao and unbeaten Mayweather could emerge as the most lucrative in the sport's history.
"We don't care who's doing the test," Arum said. "They stopped taking blood 18 days before [Mayweather-Mosley], so that shows they can do it and be fine."
However, Mayweather's camp has not signed off on Pacquiao's concession.
Arum says Mayweather is still deciding whether or not he wants to fight this year. The sticking point could be the legal situation of Floyd Jr.'s uncle and trainer, Roger Mayweather, who faces a coming trial date for allegedly attacking a female boxer last year. Arum said he believes "we'll have to fish or cut bait by the end of next week."
"It's imminent," Arum said. "I don't think Manny would fight without [his trainer] Freddie [Roach]."
One alternative could be Mayweather employing the training services of his father, Floyd Sr., who has trained Oscar De La Hoya and Ricky Hatton, among others.
Regarding the drug testing, Travis Tygart, the head of the U.S. Anti-Doping Agency whose organization oversaw independent drug testing of Mayweather and Mosley's blood and urine samples, said an important distinction in the Mayweather-Mosley testing is that both fighters had agreed to be subjected to blood draws up until fight night.
"There was no restriction on when or how we could test," Tygart told The Times on Tuesday. "We did not need to draw blood two weeks before the fight for several reasons, including the number of blood samples we'd already taken, the samples we were able to save, and the fact that no other information had been given to us that would lead us to test again.
"We always consider an athlete's training when we test."
That last point is an important consideration for the Pacquiao camp, who have said the fighter feels weakened after giving blood.
Tygart declined to discuss his involvement in the Mayweather-Pacquiao talks, but he highlighted why he believes it's important for fighters to let the testers set the ground rules of who gets tested when.
"We didn't need to test [Mayweather or Mosley for blood in the two weeks before their fight], but we could have, and that's an important deterrent," Tygart said.
Arum said, "We're saying the same thing, that if there's information that emerges in the final 14 days, we can go to the [state boxing] commission and ask for more tests. We can work it out. No one's looking to pull any fast ones."