The megafight between Manny Pacquiao and Floyd Mayweather Jr. won’t take place in March, Top Rank chairman Bob Arum said Wednesday.
Mayweather refused to accept a compromise agreement struck during Tuesday’s marathon mediation session in Santa Monica, Calif., according to an anonymous source with knowledge of those talks. At issue was Pacquiao’s refusal to submit to random blood tests as part of prefight drug testing for the bout that had been tentatively scheduled for March 13.
Arum said he is still under a gag order from the mediator, retired judge Daniel Weinstein, regarding the situation. But Arum said he expects to announce today plans for a March 13 or 20 fight in Las Vegas between Pacquiao and WBA junior middleweight champion Yuri Foreman.
When asked if the Pacquiao-Mayweather fight is indeed off, Golden Boy Promotions chief executive Richard Schaefer said: ''I’m not going to confirm or deny anything. At this point, we have no comment.’’
The sides met with Weinstein for nine hours Tuesday but did not meet with him Wednesday.
Instead, the fighters were given the revised proposal, the contents of which remain unknown. Pacquiao apparently agreed to the deal, but Mayweather did not.
If Pacquiao fights Foreman, he would be going for an unprecedented eighth title in eight weight classes. Pacquiao fought at 147 pounds, the heaviest of his career, when he stopped Miguel Cotto on Nov. 14 in his most recent fight.
The loss of the March 13 date does not necessarily mean Pacquiao-Mayweather is dead forever. They could meet in the fall, perhaps in September.
In the meantime, Mayweather could take another tuneup fight for an eventual meeting with Pacquiao. It has been rumored Mayweather might keep the March 13 date at the MGM and fight Paulie Malignaggi. But Schaefer would not comment about that possibility.
Attempts to reach Leonard Ellerbe, Mayweather’s co-manager, were unsuccessful Wednesday.
Tne possible reason the fight was scuttled is Pacquiao’s pending lawsuit against Mayweather. Pacquiao filed a defamation suit in U.S. District Court in Las Vegas last week against Mayweather, his father, Floyd Mayweather Sr., his uncle Roger Mayweather, Golden Boy president Oscar De La Hoya and Schaefer.