RETIRED  JUDGE  TO  MEDIATE  PACMAN-MAYWEATHER  ROW

[PHOTO AT LEFT - Manny Pacquiao and Floyd Mayweather Jr.]

MANILA, JANUARY 5, 2010 (STAR) By Abac Cordero - A retired federal judge once voted as Bay Area’s most popular mediator will sit down with representatives of Manny Pacquiao and Floyd Mayweather on Tuesday (tomorrow in Manila) in a determined effort to save the March 13 showdown between the two boxing superstars.

Daniel Weinstein will receive Top Rank’s Bob Arum and Todd duBoef, for Pacquiao, and most likely Golden Boy CEO Richard Schaefer and Mayweather Promotions CEO Leonad Ellerbe, for Mayweather, at his Judicial Arbitration and Mediation Services or JAMS office in Santa Monica.

Negotiations for the fight that could break all existing records in boxing came to a screeching halt following disagreements on drug-testing procedures. Mayweather wants a random Olympic style procedure, while Pacquiao likes it the way it’s always been done, Nevada style, mostly based on urine.

But there’s this ray of hope that the fight, which assures both fighters of paychecks probably no less than $25 million, could still happen despite a court case filed by Pacquiao against the Mayweathers, Schaefer and Golden Boy chief Oscar dela Hoya, for raising the issue that Pacquiao is into performance-enhancing drugs.

Through the LA-based law firm O’Melveny and Myers, and attorney Daniel Petrocelli, Pacquiao is seeking damages in excess of $75,000.

Weinstein, a cum laude at both the Harvard Law School (1965) and Stanford University (1962) said in his online profile that, “I especially enjoy taking on large, difficult and complex cases and designing a resolution process tailored specifically to that dispute, then sticking with it tirelessly until it settles.”

In an article that came out of fanhouse.com, Ellerbe said, “We’re still trying to make a deal. We feel that this is the biggest fight in the history of boxing. We want to give this fight to the fans.”

The dropping of the case could be part of a new deal even as Arum said that for the fight to move on as planned, as scheduled, the Mayweathers, and those included in the charge, would have to issue a public apology to Pacquiao, and “drop” their demand for random blood testing.

“What they have to do – and what I know the option is going to be – is that they have to apologize. All of them. They have to make a meaningful apology,” Arum told fanhouse.com

“If they want random blood-testing, they would have to go before the Nevada Commission and petition the commission for that. They have to agree that the Nevada Commission is regulating this fight – period. No outside agency, no nothing. They have to go with the Nevada Commission – period,” said the Top Rank big boss.

Pacquiao enjoys a couple of options if the Mayweather fight goes down the drain. Being the hottest boxer out there, he could face a line of possible opponents, choose anyone among them and still make millions. Arum is looking at Yuri Foreman, the junior middleweight champion, while trainer Freddie Roach wants Juan Manuel Marquez.

Then there’s Paulie Malignaggi, and Shane Mosley or Edwin Valero who should gladly face Pacquiao, with or without any blood tests. Mayweather, on his part, is looking at Matthew Hatton, younger brother of Ricky Hatton, just in case the fight with Pacquiao gets knocked out.

Predictions for 2010 SPORTING CHANCE By Joaquin Henson (The Philippine Star) Updated January 05, 2010 12:00 AM

As we look forward to events unravelling in the new year, here’s a list of what could happen, courtesy of our crystal ball.

• Manny Pacquiao battles Floyd Mayweather Jr. on March 13 in Las Vegas as scheduled. The Filipino ring icon floors Pretty Boy once in the second round but isn’t able to finish him off. Mayweather dances all night long and loses a unanimous decision. His father Floyd Sr. suffers a heart attack at ringside and is rushed to the hospital where doctors find out he’s a drug addict. Pretty Boy demands a rematch but promoter Bob Arum says don’t call him, he’ll call you. Pacquiao agrees to fight once more this year – as a congressman – and wins his eighth title by knocking out WBA superwelterweight champion Yuri Foreman of Israel.

• The Year of the Tiger won’t be kind to Tiger Woods, the UST Growling Tigers, the Cincinnati Bengals of the National Football League, the Detroit Tigers of US baseball, the Melbourne Tigers of Australian basketball, the Sri Lanka cricket team Tamil Tigers, the PBA Coca Cola Tigers and the US schools whose varsities are nicknamed the Tigers like Grambling State, Auburn and Clemson. More and more sponsors are terminating Woods’ endorsement contracts as reports of his indiscretions flood the media. Woods returns to the pro tour, hoping his game will salvage his deteriorating image, but can’t survive the rough. It will take a major makeover for Tiger to make it out of the woods.

• Alaska and San Miguel Beer slug it out in the finals of the PBA Philippine Cup with the series going the full route. Surprisingly, neither team makes it to the title playoffs in the Fiesta Conference where Talk ‘N’ Text, Barangay Ginebra and Sta. Lucia Realty will play a basketball version of Russian Roulette to advance to the Last Dance. Arwind Santos is crowned MVP for the season.

• The Los Angeles Lakers defeat the Cleveland Cavaliers in a thrilling series for the NBA crown. TV ratings hit the roof as Kobe Bryant and LeBron James duke it out for all the marbles. Boston falls short of arranging a return to the finals and coach Doc Rivers is fired. The Lakers barely make it to the finals after surviving a strong push by the Houston Rockets. For only the second time in NBA history, a player from the losing team is named the Finals MVP – the King takes the throne. Jerry West was the first to do it in 1969.

• Freddie Roach gets engaged before he turns 50 on March 5. Who’s the lucky girl? The queue starts at the Wild Card Gym on 1123 Vine Street in Hollywood. Roach, however, has no one in mind at the moment or so he says. Pro boxing’s most eligible bachelor once dated Olympic track star Sheila Hudson. “I can’t find the girl who will take a back seat to boxing,” said Roach quoted by Elliott Spagat of the Associated Press. “Girlfriends, they can’t see what I do. I work too hard but it’s what I like.” Hudson , 42, set a new world record in triple jump in 1987. Her father is African-American and mother a Korean.

• POC president Jose Cojuangco Jr. and PSC chairman Harry Angping agree to work together in peace for Philippine sports. Their unity is essential if the Philippines hopes to make waves at the Asian Games in Guangzhou this November. But there’s a hitch. Angping’s tenure is dependent on whom Filipino voters choose as president in May. If Sen. Noynoy Aquino wins, it’s expected that his uncle – the POC president – will have a hand in picking the next PSC chairman. One of the drawbacks in Philippine sports is the lack of continuity in the PSC because the chairman is a political appointee who serves at the Chief Executive’s pleasure.

• The Philippines breaks through and captures at least 10 gold medals at the Asian Games. In Doha four years ago, the Philippines collected four gold, six silver and nine bronze medals to rank No. 18 in the country standings. Only China, South Korea, Japan, Kazakhstan, Thailand, Iran, Uzbekistan and India brought home at least 10 gold medals. There are 42 sports listed in the Guangzhou calendar and 28 are Olympic events. Dancesport and dragon boat are included with the Philippines tipped to figure prominently in both sports. Chess, billiards, bowling, golf, boxing, taekwondo, wushu, archery and shooting are among the sports where the Philippines has a legitimate crack at hitting paydirt.

• The Philippine tennis team whips Japan, 3-2, in the first round of the Asia-Pacific Group 1 Davis Cup eliminations in Tokyo this March. Cecil Mamiit, 33, and Treat Huey, 24, lead the attack that avenges the country’s 5-0 setback to Japan two years ago. According to Philippine Tennis Association vice president Randy Villanueva, the national team has to win two straight Asia-Oceania Group 1 ties to clinch a playoff for the World Group. If the Philippines loses to Japan, it has to win at least one of two more Asia-Pacific ties to stay in Group 1 next year. If the Philippines wins, its next opponent is the winner of the Australia-Chinese-Taipei tie in May.

• La Salle returns to the UAAP Final Four in men’s senior basketball as coach Dindo Pumaren makes a successful debut on the Archers bench but the Taft Avenue varsity isn’t able to barge into the finals. FEU captures the title and UE settles for the runner-up trophy. Ateneo misses the services of Jai Reyes, Nonoy Baclao and Rabeh Al-Hussaini who’ve all graduated but Norman Black remains the dean of varsity coaches. In the NCAA, San Beda College regains the championship.

• The Philippines makes more world headlines in taekwondo, bowling, boxing, billiards and chess. Filipinos will continue to claim titles in pro boxing with Nonito Donaire Jr., Marvin Sonsona, Johnriel Casimero, A. J. Banal and Bernabe Concepcion bagging championships to join Pacquiao, Donnie Nietes, Brian Viloria and Rodel Mayol on top of the world.

• The Smart-Gilas national basketball team bags the Jones Cup title in Taipei in July. It’s the Philippines’ fourth Jones Cup crown in history since 1981. Coach Rajko Toroman’s squad is led by naturalized player Jamal Sampson, Marcio Lassiter, Chris Lutz, Japeth Aguilar, Chris Tiu, Mark Barroca, Dylan Ababou, Rabeh Al-Hussaini, Jayvee Casio and Kelly Williams. In November, Gilas makes it to the semifinals at the Asian Games and winds up with the bronze medal – a major step in its crusade for a ticket to the 2012 London Olympics.

• The Philippine Basketball League (PBL) and Liga Pilipinas merge to guarantee a future for players in transition from college to the pros. The PBL’s strong cast of franchises provides a foundation of quality competition while Liga’s provincial reach assures a nationwide audience. It’s a match made in heaven. PBL commissioner Chino Trinidad is given a free hand to finalize the merger and a vote of confidence by the SBP to run the new league.


Chief News Editor: Sol Jose Vanzi

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