(STAR) By Abac Cordero - On Christmas Eve, Bob Arum closed the door on Floyd Mayweather Jr. and opened new ones for Paul Malignaggi and practically anyone else drooling for a fight with Manny Pacquiao.

“Life goes on. We’re not going to let Manny get pushed around by Floyd. Floyd wants to play his games, let him play,” the Top Rank chief told USA Today Thursday, the day before Christmas.

“This all has to do with Mayweather being Mayweather. He never wanted to fight Manny. He wanted a way out. Well, he’s got his way out. Goodbye,” said Arum, adding he’s not about to lose sleep over the matter.

Arum, who represents Pacquiao, and Golden Boy CEO Richard Schaefer, for Mayweather, took very little time to get the negotiations going for what should have been a historic fight on March 13.

But because of certain issues regarding the blood testing, the fight came to a screeching halt and again, unless Mayweather sees the light shining on a $25 million paycheck, Arum is looking elsewhere.

Mayweather wanted an Olympic-style drug testing by the US Anti-Doping Agency, one that may require as many as five blood tests and a dozen urine tests, in the months, weeks or a day before and after the fight.

But Pacquiao would have none of it. He has agreed to do three blood tests, on the first week of January, the month before the fight and right after the fight, under the same agency that does the NBA or the NFL. But Mayweather would have none of it.

Pacquiao said it’s Mayweather’s way of running out of the fight.

Now, Arum is looking at Malignaggi as Pacquiao’s next opponent. It could happen on March 13, anywhere in the world, or past the May 2010 elections in the Philippines where Pacquiao is seeking a congressional seat.

There’s also Tim Bradley who wants a fight with Pacquiao, with or without the blood tests, or Yuri Foreman, Juan Manuel Marquez or Edwin Valero.

And Shane Mosley, too, if he beats Andre Berto on Jan. 30.

Whoever it may be, Arum said it’s going to be a big one.

Mayweather can go to England, face Matthew Hatton, earn a few millions and keep his unbeaten record without being touched at all, boxing sources said.

For the meantime, Pacquiao spent Christmas with his family in Gen. Santos City, and should be on the flight to the United States the first week of January, not for the Mayweather press tour, but a family vacation.

Malignaggi, under Lou DiBella, is a fighter, lasting the distance with Miguel Cotto in 2006 then losing to Ricky Hatton before bouncing back with a victory over Juan Diaz. Now, his next fight could be against Pacquiao.

“Manny would absolutely love to fight Mosley. Shane is a super, super young man. We’re not going to start all this crazy nonsense with drug testing given Shane’s background with that unfortunate incident,” Arum told USA Today.

Pacman, Top Rank to sue GBP, Mayweathers (The Philippine Star) Updated December 26, 2009 12:00 AM

SARANGANI , Philippines – Saying that his character and person has been questioned, maligned, damaged and tarnished by baseless and false accusations, pound-for-pound boxing king Manny Pacquiao and promoter Top Rank Inc. announced yesterday the filing of a lawsuit within the next few days against the Mayweathers, Floyd Sr. and Jr., et al, and Golden Boy Promotions.

“Enough is enough. These people, Mayweather Sr., Jr., and Golden Boy Promotions, think it is a joke and a right to accuse someone wrongly of using steroids or other performance-enhancing drugs. I have tried to just brush it off as a mere pre-fight ploy but I think they have gone overboard,” said Pacquiao in Filipino while celebrating Christmas with his family here.

“I have instructed my promoter, Bob Arum, head of Top Rank Inc., to help me out in the filing of the case as soon as possible because I have had people coming over to me now asking if I really take performance-enhancing drugs and I have cheated my way into becoming the No. 1 boxer in the world,” said Pacquiao.

Libel, slander and defamation suits are being readied against the Mayweathers to once and for all clear Pacquiao’s name and character.

This week, Mayweather and Golden Boy Promotions came out with a press release threatening to put a stop to the projected biggest fight in boxing history between the two top pound-for-pound fighters in the world, by asking too many unrealistic and unprecedented items on the bargaining table, including that of an Olympic-style drug testing.

“I maintain and assure everyone that I have not used any form or kind of steroids and that my way to the top is a result of hard work, hard work, hard work and a lot of blood spilled from my past battles in the ring, not outside of it,” added the Filipino champion who just turned 31 a week ago. “I have no idea what steroids look like and my fear in God has kept me safe and victorious through all these years.”

“Now, I say to Floyd Mayweather Jr., don’t be a coward and face me in the ring, mano-a-mano and shut your big, pretty mouth, so we can show the world who is the true king of the ring,” said Pacquiao, who has been contemplating on filing a case against Mayweather Sr. even before the start of his Nov. 14 fight with Miguel Angel Cotto.

“I did not sue because I did not want to get distracted during that time because I was preparing for one of the toughest fights in my career.”

“Pretty Boy Floyd, face me instead on March 13 in Las Vegas and not in some talk show forum or in press releases written for you by people who don’t even know me. Face me in a fight where I get to punch back. You and your cohorts have accused me of using performance-enhancing drugs. Now, I say, the burden of proof should now come from you, not me,” said Pacquiao, the only seven-time, seven-weight division champion in the history of the sport.

Pacquiao said he is not against any form of drug testing mandated by any state athletic sports commission whenever, wherever he fights. He just finds it funny and stupid to change a system that has been set for decades now.

Pacquiao undergoes drug testing and other medical examinations before and after every fight over the past 15 years and has never failed any of these tests.

“These people think they are doing the sport a great service. They are not,” added Pacquiao. “To Floyd, despite all these accusations, may your Christmas be merry and I will see you in court, soon, too.” – Abac Cordero

Chief News Editor: Sol Jose Vanzi

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