A new plot twist has been introduced to the Manny Pacquiao-Floyd Mayweather Jr. fight saga.
Las Vegas promoter Bob Arum has issued a deadline for Mayweather to agree to fight Pacquiao. According to Arum, if Mayweather does not accept Pacquiao’s latest terms for the “fight of the century” by Friday night, the fight offer will be pulled and the two camps will engage in no further negotiations.
Keep in mind, Mayweather Jr. has already expressed a desire to hold the fight next year, so Arum’s latest statement comes off as yet another attempt to undermine his long-time nemesis.
Mayweather Jr. for his part has been very reluctant to fight Pacquiao after the Filipino refused his requests for random drug testing. Mayweather initially asked Pacquiao to submit to blood tests up to 14 days before the fight. Pacquiao refused, and negotiations broke off. Then, for whatever reason, Pacquiao came back and agreed to the 14-day request but, by this point, Mayweather Jr. wanted blood testing all the way to the night of the fight.
You have to wonder if the reason Mayweather Jr. is so adamant about drug testing, is because Pacquiao’s initial refusal for 14-day testing set off some red flags regarding PEDs.
While Mayweather is taking his sweet time to decide if he wants to accept the offer from Pacquiao’s camp, Antonio Margarito is being set up as a substitute fighter for a Nov. 13 bout. The fight between Pacquiao and Margarito would be for the now-vacant WBC super-welterweight title. If this fight were to occur, it would have to happen outside the U.S. because Margarito had his license pulled for using plaster-loaded gloves in a 2009 fight against Shane Mosley in Los Angeles.
As far as the deadline, Arum says it’s because “we’ve got to get moving.” You know, because Pacquiao has so many other fights of the Pacquiao-Mayweather Jr. caliber lined up.
Either way, the deadline really means nothing. If Mayweather Jr. chooses to accept this fight next Friday, two Fridays from now or at this point next year, the money will be far too much for Arum or his boy Pacquiao to turn down.
For now, though, we get to sit back and mark this down as yet another chapter in the greatest fight to never happen.