What was billed as the “Fight of the Century” between two finest pound-for-pound fighters on earth – Filipino Manny Pacquiao and unbeaten American Floyd Mayweather Jr.-- is not going to happen.
This was revealed by Bob Arum himself, head man of Top Rank Promotions and Pacquiao’s promoter, Wednesday night (Thursday in Manila)
The epic encounter, which, undoubtedly would have brought the sports of sweet science back to its popularity of years ago, according to Arum, quoting federal judge Daniel Weinstein, whom both the Pacquiao and Mayweather camps chose to mediate to save the multi-million fight.
"The mediator called me [before 8 p.m.] and told me the fight was off," Arum said as told to the Los Angeles Times. "The fight's off, Mayweather never wanted it. Manny wanted the fight. He was agreeable to terms."
A source who requested anonymity because he was not authorized to speak publicly about the mediation proceedings said Pacquiao had agreed to submit to a blood test 24 days before the fight -- a concession from his prior stance of no closer than 30 days -- and to another blood draw immediately after the bout.
Pacquiao’s concession was to Mayweather, who reportedly declined to accept those terms.
One other source said though that all’s not over yet and that both camps could still strike a deal before what he termed a "business deadline," adding that the press conference where Pacquiao and Mayweather will appear is scheduled next week yet in New York and Los Angeles.
Arum has said he'll work to arrange an alternate fight for Pacquiao against newly crowned super-welterweight champion Yuri Foreman in March, which would allow the Filipino ring icon to further etch his name in the annals of professional boxing by claiming a record eight world titles in as many weight divisions. .
"I am disappointed in the sense this fight will not happen," Arum said. "I'm not surprised. I always knew Mayweather would kill it because he didn't want it. He didn't want to lose."
Arum traced the history of Floyd Mayweather Jr's mental state, which he said is coward's mental state, adding Mayweather will never agree to take a tough fight where he stands any chance of losing reason many of best fights in the welterweight division never took place.
He points out how Mayweather walked away from a very lucrative rematch with Oscar De La Hoya in 2008. De La Hoya gave Mayweather a very tough fight in 2007.
"Floyd Mayweather walked away," Arum said to USA Today. "Our guy was agreeable, Mayweather wasn't. It's not surprising. I always felt that he wasn't going to do the fight. He knows Manny will beat him. Mayweather's never stepped into the ring with a guy he had any question but that he was going to beat."
"That's why there's never been a (Shane) Mosley, there's never been a (Antonio) Margarito, there never was a (Miguel) Cotto, and there's no Pacquiao. Floyd Mayweather is a coward. He will never fight anyone that will remotely give him a tough fight. Here's a guy who, the rematch with (Oscar) De La Hoya was a huge fight, it would've made millions and millions, and he walked away from it.. .. I'm not disappointed in the sense that I always knew it was going to be this way."