LAS VEGAS, December 27 – Manny Pacquiao's promoter, Bob Arum, gave Floyd Mayweather's camp a take-it-or-leave-it final offer Sunday and set a Monday deadline to settle a blood test feud and salvage a boxing extravaganza.The final stumbling block to a March 13 showdown in Las Vegas that could be the biggest moneymaker in boxing history are demands for blood doping tests, something Mayweather says are vital to ensuring a fair fight.
Unbeaten US star Mayweather has backed off demands for random blood tests at any time before the fight while Pacquiao, concerned blood tests will weaken him, wants none within 30 days of the fight until just after the bout.
Richard Schaefer, chief executive of Mayweather-backers Golden Boy Promotions, said no tests within 30 days of the fight would make the entire blood test program useless.
Arum’s latest pitch is to have the matter decided by Nevada State Athletic Commission officials, with Sports Illustrated reporting Arum wants a special January 19 hearing on the matter.
With the commission standards and state law mandating urine testing only and no protocols for blood tests established, the panel could throw out any blood testing, a deal-breaking possibility Mayweather’s side knows all too well.
"We’ll go along with what the Nevada commission decides," Arum said. "We want this fight to go forward."
Arum said that if Mayweather’s camp does not agree to allow Nevada officials to decide when and how to conduct blood tests, he will sign a deal for Filipino hero Pacquiao to face Paulie Malignaggi on March 13.
Pacquiao has said he will file a defamation lawsuit against Mayweather for accusing him of taking performance-enhancing drugs.
Each side has pegged the other as trying to avoid the fight so they do not have to face the other.
Arum had already declared the fight was off but talks continued and no one wants to be the one to pull the plug on what could be a major moneymaker for all involved.
If the blood feud does scuttle the bout in March, there is a chance it could be staged later this year, but likely not until after each fighter has met another opponent in the ring.