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Blood test demands jeopardize Pacquiao-Mayweather fight

HBO Sports president Ken Hershman told a group

HBO Sports president Ken Hershman told a group of boxing writers during his introductory news conference at HBO's Manhattan office that the back-and-forth between Manny Pacquiao and Floyd Mayweather has become an obstacle to making other bouts. Credit: Getty Images

Freddie Roach saw this coming. As excited as he was that Manny Pacquiao would meet Floyd Mayweather Jr. in the ring, Roach ultimately expected Mayweather Jr. to "sneak out the back door."

"Mayweather is looking for a way out of the fight," said Roach, who trains Pacquiao. "He's so deathly afraid of losing, that this doesn't surprise me. He really doesn't want to fight Manny."

The fight, scheduled for March 13 in Las Vegas, was expected to be one of the largest grossing fights in history. It now appears to be off.

Mayweather's manager, Leonard Ellerbe, wrote in a news release that there would be no fight if Pacquiao did not submit to random Olympic-style blood testing. Floyd Mayweather Sr. has maintained that Pacquiao, who has climbed seven weight classes over his career, uses performance-enhancing drugs.

"We don't work for Floyd Mayweather, we're not kissing his -- ," Roach said. "I refuse to give blood to him. I'll give it to the commission, I'll give it to the sanctioning bodies. Let the commission, let the sanctioning bodies do their jobs."

Bob Arum, who promotes Pacquiao, said Wednesday the fight was off, but it's salvageable. "If what's good enough for the NBA or the NFL is good enough for Floyd Mayweather, then it's salvaged," Arum said. "We want a professional organization that tests professional athletes. Because we know that a professional organization is not going to draw blood from [Giants running back] Brandon Jacobs five minutes before he carries the football."

Arum said the primary issue is not being tested, but who does the testing. According to Arum, Pacquiao has agreed to three blood tests on these terms: in January during the week the fight is announced, again thirty days from the fight, no later than February 13, and a final one immediately after the fight.

"We agreed to urine analysis any time, any day, any hour up until he's walking to the ring," Arum said.

On Tuesday night, the Mayweather camp insisted upon random blood tests - with no time stipulations - administered by the U.S. Anti-Doping Agency. Mayweather Jr. also would be tested.

Jeff Mayweather, Floyd's uncle, said, "Basically, the fight is pretty much off. The only one stopping this fight is Manny Pacquiao. He's in a position to step up, take the test, and say 'I have nothing to hide.' "

New York Sports