If you believe flim-flam man Bob Arum, Manny Pacquiao and Floyd Mayweather Jr. squaring off sometime soon is all but a foregone conclusion.
While Pacquiao v. Mayweather has mostly been all hype and no action up to this point, things finally seem to be moving in the right direction for the duel that everyone wants to see. Recently, Arum did an interview with Michael Marley of the Examiner during which he pretty much explicitly said that there was nothing holding the “Dream Fight” back anymore.
When asked about the status of the Pacquiao v. Mayweather showdown, Arum’s response to Marley was short and sweet:
“There are no issues.”
That's obviouslymusic to the ears of boxing fans all over the world. In an era where the sport has been dominated by lies, cheating and more lies, though, you can see why Marley -- or any other reporter, for that matter -- would be dubious that the super fight could possibly be so in the bag after all of controversy we’ve seen thus far.
So Marley pushed a bit more. Digging beneath the surface, he asked if drug testing was still a concern for all parties involved.
"There are no issues on that," Arum said. "We accepted the drug testing. That is not a real issue of any kind.
"It is a non issue, I am telling you," Arum said. "Because USADA can only handle drug testing in the United States. The USADA can't go there--and that's where Manny will do the first part of his training--and that is that."
Interesting. Entirely inaccurate, but interesting nevertheless. Mayweather Jr., his father, and countless other people have repeatedly said that they want Pacquiao to submit his drug test in America. Manny, on the flip side, has repeatedly said that for whatever reason (he will never say why) he and Arum don’t trust the USADA. How these two completely opposing views lead into “no problems” is something that only Arum could rationalize in his mind.
Then again, it's boxing where deception is reality.
But fine, let’s assume that this huge, lawsuit-causing issue is a non-concern. What about money, though?
"There are no issues on that," Arum told Marley. "The split is 50-50 on everything.”
Early on, in the first negotiations for a potential showdown between Mayweather and Pacquiao, one of the underlying problems was the former’s insistence on securing a bigger payday than his Filipino counterpart. Be it because of ego, an inflated sense of self-worth, or just his infallible stubbornness, Mayweather truly seemed to believe he deserved a larger stake of the purse than Pacquiao.
Clearly, however, Mayweather is now ready to do whatever it takes to make this fight a reality. He’s decreasing his money demands. He’s agreeing to looser drug testing. Basically, he’s rolling out the red carpet and letting Top Rank walk all over him and his team for the simple reason that he wants to prove that he’s better than Pacquiao.
Time for Manny to show some similar humility. Agree to do the necessary drug tests in the U.S. like Mayweather wants and let’s stop the games. America is a good enough place for Pacquiao to earn millions, so why isn’t it a good enough place for him to submit to a simple drug evaluation? He has nothing to hide, and USADA has nothing to gain by messing with his drug test – meaning there should be no problems.
Mayweather has done his part. If Pacquiao truly wants this fight to occur, he knows what he needs to do.