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Nothing happens in mediation : Pacquiao-Mayweather fight still `breathing?


PhilBoxing.com


After nine hours of mediation Tuesday (Wednesday in Manila), representatives of Manny Pacquiao and Floyd Mayweather Jr. emerged from the meeting room of former United States Federal Judge Daniel Weinstein mum on what happened.

Top Rank's Bob Arum and Todd duBoef and their legal team, and Golden Boy's Richard Schaefer, Oscar De La Hoya and their own battery of lawyers, as well as Mayweather?s manager Al Haymon, spent the day with mediator Weinstein at offices in Santa Monica, California, hoping to save the potential richest fight in boxing history.

It turned out a gag order for both parties has been issued by Weinstein in what could only mean that hearing will continue until a decision favorable to both parties is reached.
"Mediation is still ongoing," one of Top Rank lawyers was reported to have told media men as the parties went separate ways to the exit.

It wasn?t clear whether the talks will resume and when and where if it would although Arum was heard to have murmured Wednesday.
When reached on his cell phone later, Arum said he had no comment because of the mediator's gag order. DuBoef said the same thing in an e-mail to ESPN.com. Schaefer did not respond to a message.

?No comment, no comment,? was all De La Hoya could say when he surfaced from the meeting room, obviously referring to the gag order.

The development, according to grapevine though, meant talks will resume in the hope that proposed the fight between the two best fighters in the world today will push through. If a deal is reached, the welterweight title bout is supposed to take place March 13 at the MGM Grand in Las Vegas, Nevada.

And that what caused the snag was the manner the drug-testing will be carried out -- Olympic-style -- as what Mayweather?s team is demanding, which Pacquiao and his group oppose.
Weinstein, a retired federal judge, knows the parties well. He mediated a June 2007 settlement when Top Rank and Golden Boy were embroiled in a series of lawsuits, including a brutal battle over ownership of the promotional rights to Pacquiao, who had signed contracts with both companies before eventually pledging his loyalty to Top Rank.

Under that agreement three years ago, the various lawsuits were dropped and Top Rank retained Pacquiao's promotional rights, with Golden Boy receiving a percentage of Top Rank's profits from his bouts.

The agreement worked well for the past two years as the companies co-promoted several major bouts, including Pacquiao-Ricky Hatton, Pacquiao-Juan Manuel Marquez II, Pacquiao-Marco Antonio Barrera II, Bernard Hopkins-Kelly Pavlik and Miguel Cotto-Shane Mosley.
But the bad blood boiled again during the final stages of negotiations for the fight where both parties had agreed to everything in the deal except for the method of drug testing for the boxers.

Although the Nevada State Athletic Commission, which would oversee the bout, requires only urine testing, Mayweather has insisted on random blood testing. Both sides have already agreed to unlimited random urine testing.
Another issue that could have been left undecided in mediation is whether the defamation lawsuit Pacquiao filed against Mayweather, his father Floyd Sr., uncle Roger and GBP?s De La Hoya and Shaefer.

Pacquiao alleges that they made false and defamatory statements and sullied his reputation by accusing him of taking performance-enhancing drugs. Pacquiao denies he has ever used PEDs and has never failed a drug test.

At issue is also Golden Boy's continued involvement in Pacquaio's contract. With Golden Boy representing Mayweather and allegedly accusing Pacquiao of using performance enhancing drugs, Arum believes it has diminished Pacquiao and that Golden Boy should no longer be entitled to share in the money his bouts generate, especially when it also is making money off Mayweather.

If the mediation fails, Arum has repeatedly said he will match Pacquiao with junior middleweight titlist Yuri Foreman, whom he also promotes, on March 20 at the Thomas & Mack Center in Las Vegas in an encounter where Pacquiao will have a chance to could win a title in a record-extending eighth weight divisions.
Mayweather, on the other hand, could still fight on March 13 at the MGM Grand and potentially face former junior welterweight titlist Paulie Malignaggi.

(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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