Today (Tuesday in the U.S.), Top Rank and Golden Boy Promotions big bosses will be sitting down with a retired federal judge, who will act as arbiter, in the hope of finally finalizing a fight between Filipino Manny Pacquiao and undefeated American Floyd Mayweather Jr.
Though millions of boxing fans across the globe hope that a bout will be sign, sealed, and delivered for March 13, I know a few people who will cross their fingers and toes hoping the bout completely falls apart.
There will be key issues to be discussed but the most central of which will be the manner the drug testing will be conducted with former juror Daniel Weinstein trying to resolve them in the presence of Top Rank’s Bob Arum and Golden Boy Promotions Richard Schaefer in the opposite sites of the table in his Sta. Monica office at the suburban Los Angeles.
Millions of boxing fans all over the world will be crossing their fingers that the arbitration will turn positive that the fight, originally agreed upon on March 13 in Las Vegas will push through to the consternation, of course of two individuals.
Paulie Malignaggi and Yuri Foreman have both been mentioned as possible opponents to replace Floyd and make the highest payday of their careers so that they will be praying that negotiations go astray.
First and foremost, arbiter Weinstein will have to resolve whether there is sufficient reason to suggest drug testing beyond that typically administered by the Nevada Athletic Commission for fights in that state.
The Mayweather camp's demand for random, Olympic-style drug testing, via blood sampling, and opposed by the Filipino camp stalled a negotiation that had earlier looked to have taken s smooth road to completion by year 2009 end.
All other key issues -- money, weight, venue – had been agreed upon quickly.
Also to be resolved is Arum’s, seeking an apology from the Mayweather side before going forward. He said the Filipino fighter's reputation has been irreparably tarnished by the cmp's insinuation -- and in at least one case, an outright accusation -- that Pacquaio uses performance-enhancing drugs.
If Pacquiao gets some bend from the Mayweather camp on the drug-testing issue and the apology demand, it follows that the former pound-for-pound king will be asking in return that the defamation suit Pacquiao filed be dropped.
The action was brought last Wednesday, in a Nevada federal court, seeking unspecified damages in excess of $75,000 (the minimum amount required in such a filing), with defendants Mayweather, Mayweather Sr., Roger Mayweather, Mayweather Promotions, and Golden Boy Promotions honchos Oscar De La Hoya and Schaefer.
The now pound-for-pound best succeeded in making Mayweather agree to $10 million contractual penalty for any pound, or fraction thereof, more than 147 pounds that the Grand Rapids native might weigh.
But this could also be dispensed with in Mayweather agreeing to the drug-testing concession.