Philippines, 24 Feb 2020
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PACQUIAO-MAYWEATHER FIGHT: Is it off or will it push through?


PhilBoxing.com




All the major details have been settled. The date of the fight, the weight, how the purse would be split, even the size of the gloves to be used.
The latest issue that was believed resolved, in fact, was the place where the fight will be held.

Yet the much-awaited super-fight between two pound-for-pound best in boxing --Manny Pacquiao and Floyd Mayweather Jr.-- that seemed to being so close to be realized, as it was set March 13 next year, continues to hit an unexpected snag.
Promoter Bob Arum, top man of Top Rank, in fact, has issued statement to the effect that he is calling off the fight altogether although those in the know said such announcement would pave the way to a more serious negotiations.

One problem that has not been expounded is Pacquiao?s seeking of the lone congressional seat in Sarangani, his wife Jinkee?s province. Ranged against one of the country?s most influential and powerful political clan, the Filipino ring idol simply needs more time to campaign than allowed by election laws, which is late March.

It is a problem no one has so far dared to touch because it involves the period Pacquiao can seriously prepare for the biggest fight of his career.

If trainer Freddie Roach will have his way, it should be early January or three months before the agreed date. The three-time ?Trainer of the Year? honoree even announced that preparations will start in Baguio City, the place where he also begun his training for his last fight against Puerto Rican Miguel Cotto from whom he snared the world welterweight crown.
Roach?s earlier plan was a month in Baguio from where Pacquiao moves to Hollywood?s Wild Card Gym and wind up to the place where the fight will be held, Las Vegas, according to latest reports.

Lately, however, Roach, again was quoted as saying he prefers Los Angeles, presumably to free his ward from the campaign distractions that are abundant in the country? summer capital.

The latest problem has further stalled talks and led Arum to announce the cancellation of the fight was Mayweather?s requerst that both he and Pacquaio must undergo Olympic style drug testing as outlined and mandated by the United States Anti Doping Agency.

The request, unprecedented in boxing, was made on the strength Mayweather?s reasoning as a ?responsibility to subject ourselves to sportsmanship at the highest level? because of the significance of the encounter that would finally decide which of them can lay official claim to the pound-for-pound king honor.

But while Pacquiao?s camp agreed, Roach, for one would not want his ward to be subjected to blood sampling, especially before the fight.

Olympic style drug testing involves random sampling of the athlete's blood and urine prior to and after the fight. The USADA procedure includes both blood and urine sampling so that all banned substances, some of which do not show up in urine alone, are tested for thoroughly.

Promoter Bob Arum said Mayweather?s demand was a mere ploy to hide the fact that the American, who spent the first nine-plus years of his career with Top Rank, doesn?t really want to fight Pacquiao, and is merely trying to paint the Filipino as the bad guy, should this event hit the scrap heap.

Which, to many, has a semblance of truth since it was Mayweather who first hurled the challenge for Pacquiao to fight him and when the Filipino called the bluff, he now is considering backing out.

With less than three months before the agreed date, the whole of boxing world is waiting, with baited breath, whether if the fight will even push through.
And if it will, when?

(Eddie G. Alinea?s articles also appear in the Philippine Gazette)


Click here to view a list of other articles written by Eddie Alinea.


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