LAS VEGAS — Top Rank Promotions CEO Bob Arum told RingTV.com earlier this week that he was willing to negotiate with Golden Boy Promotions CEO Richard Schaefer regarding a bout between THE RING’s No. 1-rated pound-for-pound, Manny Pacquiao, and RING No. 2-ranked pound-for-pound, Floyd Mayweather Jr.
Pacquiao, he told The New York Daily News, would agree to Olympic style testing conducted by the United States Anti-Doping Agency to satisfy Mayweather’s request that he do so before a fight can be made.
“We don’t want to make an issue with anything for drug testing. We’ll do the drug testing with the outside agency even though, personally, I believe it to be stupid. We’re calling his bluff. He keeps running around screaming, ‘Take the tests.’ Okay, we’ll take the tests. Just to get the fight done,” said Arum.
“We have said it for the last year to Schaefer and to everybody. They know that. I’m sick and tired of that mantra when he knows that we accede to all the demands.”
Negotiations to make the Mayweather-Pacquiao fight have failed twice over Mayweather’s insistence on Olympic-style random drug testing.
Prior to his past two victories over Shane Mosley and Victor Ortiz in May of last year and in September, Mayweather required that his opponents undergo Olympic-style random drug testing of urine and blood that was conducted by United States Anti-Doping Agency.
Pacquiao has an ongoing lawsuit charging defamation of character against Mayweather, whom he believes has openly insinuated that the Filipino icon’s extraordinary success in the sport is due to the use of performance enhancing substances.
But Arum told RingTV.com that neither the lawsuit nor the drug testing would be an issue for Pacquiao to make a bout against Mayweather.
“Other issues will have to get ironed out because it’s a very big business deal. You have to sit down like adults and spend a few days and iron out all the issues. There are myriad of issues,” Arum told The Daily News.
“I’m guardedly optimistic. Do I know what craziness is going to happen? No. But it would be wrong for me not to anticipate any craziness. I’m not going to negotiate through the media. The only the place I’m going to negotiate is in a closed room.”
Pacquiao (53-3-2, 38 KOs) has Saturday night’s HBO Pay Per View televised defense of his WBO welterweight belt against Juan Manuel Marquez at the MGM Grand.
On the Pacquiao-Marquez undercard, RING No. 8-rated WBO junior welterweight beltholder Tim Bradley (27-0, 11 KOs) will make a defense of his belt against the former four-time titleholder and Cuban Olympic gold medalist Joel Casamayor (38-5-1, 22 KOs).
Arum told The Daily News that if the fight can’t be made with Mayweather he will move on to making a match for Pacquiao against Bradley.
Lem Satterfield can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org