Dec 24, 2009, 1:30 PM EDT
So this is either the greatest media run-up to a fight in the history of boxing, or one (or both) of these guys really don’t want to tangle with each other. What happened to the good old days of Ali-Foreman, when you could get a nice African dictator to arrange all the details? Anyway, Floyd Mayweather Jr.-Manny Pacquiao in Vegas seems to be off — unless it isn’t — and the accusations continue to fly. You’re going to have to settle for those instead of fists, for now.
AOL Fanhouse talked with Pacquiao promoter Bob Arum, who had some choice things to say about the Mayweathers.
FanHouse: So Bob, what’s going on with the Floyd Mayweather-Manny Pacquiao fight?
Bob Arum: As far as I can see, nothing is going on with the fight. I really believe that this exposes the fact that Mayweather never had any intentions to do the fight.
I don’t think that I can salvage this fight because Mayweather — the fighter on the other side — does not want to fight, he never wanted to fight Manny Pacquiao, and he’s afraid to lose.
FH: Is it your understanding that the Mayweather camp, starting with his father, Floyd Sr., has accused Manny Pacquiao of steroid usage due to the fact that he’s carried his power from the lowest weight class in boxing to a seventh weight class — 147 pounds?
Arum: This whole issue has been brought up by a completley, illiterate idiot, Floyd Mayweather Sr. — the father of a kid who doesn’t want to get into the ring with Manny Pacquiao.
FH: So is the fight off, officially?
Arum: In my mind, it’s dead as a door-nail, and we’re starting to look, today, for other opponents. The three guys that come to mind are Yuri Foreman, Paulie Malignaggi and Juan Manuel Marquez.
However, Floyd Mayweather’s adviser, Leonard Ellerbe, asks what Pacquiao and Arum could possibly have to hide.
“I’m not accusing Manny Pacquiao of anything. However, if he doesn’t have anything to hide, then what is the problem?” asked Ellerbe, adding that Pacquiao’s refusal to adhere to USADA standards is “a deal-breaker.”
“If Pacquiao is representing that he is superstitious of needles,” said Ellerbe, “then how does he have tatoos all over his body?”
Pacquiao’s conditioning coach, Alex Ariza, also questioned Mayweather Jr.’s understanding of the issues in an article in a Philippine newspaper in late Nov.
“We use supplements, not steroids,” said Ariza. “Someone who never finished high school, like Mayweather, wouldn’t understand the difference and that’s why they make dumb comments.”
Meanwhile, Pacquiao’s nutritionist, Teri Tom, offered a glimpse into his fighter’s longer-range plans.
Asked how much longer Pacquiao could fight at a high level given his age, Tom said “while he just keeps getting stronger and faster, a couple of more fights and he’ll probably move on to politics.”
Of course. Should have known.
UPDATE: Arum, in an interview with Tony Bruno last night, said that Mayweather has until Friday to drop his random drug testing demands or Pacquiao is moving on to another fight.
Bob Arum ‘Sorry’ for Mayweather-Pacquiao Fiasco [AOL Fanhouse]
Floyd Mayweather’s Adviser Wonders What Manny Pacquiao Has to Hide [AOL Fanhouse]
Cashing in on late stoppage [PhilStar]
Arum: Mayweather, Jr. an “ignorant, illiterate kid” [SportsbyBrooks]
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