[PHOTO AT LEFT - Floyd Mayweather Jr.]

MANILA, MAY 22, 2010 (STAR) By Abac Cordero - Manny Pacquiao’s willingness to undergo blood tests 14 days before the fight is no assurance that his megabuck showdown with Floyd Mayweather Jr. is going to happen in November.

The fight between the two pound-for-pound champions was supposed to take place last March, but disagreements on the random blood testing came up, and they ended up facing separate foes.

Mayweather demanded random blood testing Olympic style, and that means drawing blood from both fighters in the months, weeks, days or hours before the fight, during the day or in the middle of the night.

Pacquiao agreed to have it done 24 days before the fight, but Mayweather insisted on 14. The other day, however, the Filipino superstar agreed to do it 14 days or even closer, but not on the day of the fight itself.

Pacquiao bending backwards just to make the fight happen was welcomed as a sign that the fight, which could earn the fighters around $40 million each, would take place on Nov. 13 either in Las Vegas or Texas.

But an article came out of The Examiner yesterday reminding everyone that Mayweather, the flamboyant, undefeated American, wants the blood tests done as he had always wanted, on the days closer to the fight.

“I gave him (Pacquiao) a chance, up to 14 days out. But my new terms are all the way up to the fight. They can come get us whenever, all the way up to the fight, random drug test. That’s what it is,” Mayweather was quoted as saying.

Now, unless Mayweather changes his mind, the fight is not likely to happen because Pacquiao said a couple of days ago that he’s willing to undergo blood tests as long as they’re not done so close to the fight.

“Huwag lang sa day ng fight (Never on the day of the fight),” Pacquiao said.

The entire Pacquiao camp, from promoter Bob Arum, trainer Freddie Roach, adviser Mike Koncz to the boxer himself, believes that Mayweather’s demand for random blood tests is his only way out of the fight.

“We’ve already agreed to all the terms, from the venue to the purse and to other concessions like Manny Pacquiao climbing the ring first, when Mayweather started making demands for random blood testing,” said Koncz.

Ronnie Nathanielsz of www.insidesports.ph reported yesterday that when Mayweather fought Shane Mosley last May 1, the last ounce of blood (testing) from both fighters were drawn 18 and 19 days before the fight.

“Arum noted, ‘by saying 14 days were required by USADA, if this fight doesn’t happen clearly there is only one person to blame and that’s Mayweather. These are all excuses made by him to avoid fighting Pacquiao,’” Nathanielsz wrote.

Arum said a week ago he’d try his best to “make the fight happen” and that sooner or later he would try to sit down with the Mayweather people. However, he said negotiations would be done away from the prying media.

Koncz said Mayweather knew that Pacquiao wouldn’t allow blood to be drawn from him days before the fight that’s why the fighter from Michigan asked for it.

And now that Pacquiao has agreed on the 14-day cutoff, the article comes out reminding everyone that Mayweather wants the tests done “all the way up to the fight,” even on the eve of the fight or the day of the fight itself.

“I’m afraid that once all these blood testing issue is settled, Mayweather will come up with another excuse. Maybe he’d start asking for a bigger share of the purse, which of course, again, Manny Pacquiao will not agree on,” said Koncz.

Manny agrees to blood test; megafight on? By Abac Cordero (The Philippine Star) Updated May 21, 2010 12:00 AM

[Photo is loading... Manny Pacquiao is willing to take the blood test as long as they’re not done close to the fight.]

MANILA, Philippines - Manny Pacquiao is willing to take the blood test to fight Floyd Mayweather Jr.

The 31-year-old Filipino, who just became the first boxer in history ever to be elected to Congress, said he’s willing to take the blood test as long as they’re not done close to the fight.

“Huwag lang sa day ng fight (Never on fight day),” the reigning WBO welterweight champion said Tuesday evening during a visit to President-elect Benigno “Noynoy” Aquino III.

Pacquiao was quoted by Philip Ella Juico, who had the chance to promote a couple of Pacquiao fights in the Philippines years back, as saying that the fight with Mayweather might soon happen.

“Malamang tuloy na (It might push through now),” Pacquiao had said to that effect.

In a separate report, Pacquiao said he had agreed to take the test 14 days before the fight but depending on the amount.

The Congressman from Sarangani said he doesn’t need any tuneup match heading to the superfight with Mayweather, who himself may need no other fight before taking on the reigning pound-for-pound champion.

Pacquiao’s promoter, Bob Arum of Top Rank, has penciled Nov. 13 for Pacquiao’s next fight, and it could be against Mayweather or anyone else.

Arum was in General Santos City during the May 10 elections, and flew back home saying he’s ready to reopen negotiations with the Mayweather camp regarding the fight that almost took place last March.

But it went down the drain when Mayweather started demanding for a random blood-testing, Olympic style. Pacquiao was not amenable to it because he felt drawing blood close to the fight weakens him.

Under Mayweather’s demand, blood testing could be done months, weeks,days or even hours before the fight. But the Filipino icon said he wouldn’t let anyone taken from him 24 days before the fight.

Mayweather lowered his demand to 14 days before the fight. And now he might get what he wants.

Pacquiao’s business manager, Michael Koncz, however, said he fears that once Pacquiao agrees to the random blood tests, the undefeated American might come up with new demands, just to keep the fight from happening.

Chief News Editor: Sol Jose Vanzi

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