Saturday, June 12, 2010

Kerrzy’s Notebook: “Fight of the Century” back on?

The “Fight of the Century” may be back on after all…

The past two weeks have seen some new developments in the potential super-fight between Filipino politician Manny Pacquiao (51-3-2) and undefeated American Floyd Mayweather Jr. (41-0) – but we’re still no closer to finding out if it’ll actually happen.

Talks broke down earlier this year when the Mayweather camp refused to back down on their demands for random Olympic-style blood and urine tests right up to the weeks leading up to the fight (which goes above and beyond the normal tests done). Mayweather even went so far as to claim that Pacquiao was taking some form of performance enhancing drugs, a thought echoed recently by British boxer Ricky Hatton.

Part of the issue was Pacquiao’s refusal to have blood drawn 14 days prior to the fight, however that changed in late May when he backed down on that point. He told ABS-CBN News that he made his decision after realizing this was a fight the fans really want to see, adding he wanted to see “if the drug test was the reason why Mayweather backed out from negotiations.”

That’ll prove to be a moot point if the fight happens in Las Vegas though, as the Nevada State Athletic Commission sided with Pacquiao this week and said testing will be limited to urine – a win for the only boxer to capture titles in seven different weight classes.

The NSAC says blood testing isn’t needed in the fight against PEDs and would subject boxers to unnecessary risks, including a hematoma, blood clot, or even the risk of contracting HIV or Hepatitis C.

If you think these latest developments mean the fight is back on though, think again.

In a YouTube video posted in early June, Mayweather said he was “taking a couple of years off” to devote time to his gym.

So “Money” Mayweather backs away from a fight that would line his pockets to the extreme because of Pacquiao’s refusal to give in to his over-the-top drug testing demands…then when he finally caves in, Mayweather announces his semi-retirement?

Sounds to me like he’s avoiding Pacman, who has said a fight against Mayweather would likely be his last (so he can turn his focus to politics).

Will we ever see this fight? It’s probably the only thing that could bring boxing back to the forefront of professional sports, if only for a night, like back in the days of old…

What do you think? Is Mayweather ‘ducking’ Pacquiao?

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