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Freddie Roach: Pacquiao to fight Clottey; Mayweather to fight Paulie Malignaggi?

It looks as if Manny Pacquiao will fall back to "Plan B".

Instead of fighting Floyd Mayweather Jr., Pacquiao's trainer Freddie Roach told ESPN's Brian Kenny on Friday that the seven-division champion will take on Joshua Clottey on March 13.

Clottey (35-3, 20 KOs) lost a split decision to Miguel Cotto on June 13.

The decision to fight Clottey represents an about face on the part of Top Rank boss Bob Arum, who had said earlier that Pacquiao would fight WBA 154-pound champion Yuri Foreman.  

Negotiations between Pacquiao and Mayweather broke down over a disagreement about blood testing. Mayweather wanted random blood testing, while Pacquiao didn't.

Pacquiao relented a little and agreed to be tested three times. Once during fight kickoff week, 24 days before the fight and after the fight in his dressing room. Mayweather wouldn't agree to it, but said he offered a consession of blood testing 14 days before the fight, but Pacquiao rejected it. 

With no sign of an agreement in sight, the two sides enlisted the help of a mediator, retired judge Daniel Weinstein. But Weinstein could get the sides to agree, which resulted in Top Rank boss Bob Arum to declare the fight officially dead on Wednesday. 

As for Mayweather, it's anyone's guess who he'll fight next. ESPN.com reported earlier this week that former IBF 140-pound champion Paulie Malignaggi could be Mayweather's next opponent if negotiations with Pacquiao can't be salvaged. 

Taking on Mayweather would represent the biggest challenge of Malignaggi's career. In Malignaggi's last fight, he scored a unanimous-decision victory over  Juan "Baby Bull" Diaz at the UIC Pavilion in Chicago.

A spokesman for DiBella Entertainment, which represents the Brooklyn native, said there is no agreement between Malignaggi and Mayweather and that everything is "up in the air" right now.

 

New York Sports