Boxing Roundtable: With fight off, what's next for Manny, Floyd?
It's always tempting in boxing to look for the angle, to assume that this is all just part of the plan. But it really does feel as if this debacle is something that got out of control -- to the dismay of most of the parties involved. The fight's too big not to happen eventually, however. The question is how much risk and how much damage is going to result from pushing it back to later this year.
Meanwhile, Pacquiao (who, for what it's worth, remember, has never failed a drug test) agreed to testing procedures that exceeded the standards set by the Nevada athletic commission. It's hard to know what more he should be expected to do. Athletes in other sports don't have to submit to extra tests just because they're accused by an opponent.
In fact, not to be too flip about it, but say -- just hypothetically -- that Manny's career-long weight gains
Personally, I wish Pacquiao called Mayweather's bluff and accepted those unprecedented terms. But I understand why he didn't. He's never failed a drug test, so why should he shoulder the burden of proof? Instead, Pacquiao's camp offered a number of reasonable alternatives, including a series of scheduled blood tests during the kickoff press conference, one month before the fight and shortly after the final bell. They even dialed up a retired federal judge to mediate between the parties in a last-ditch salvage effort.
Arum says Floyd never wanted the fight. I don't know. I think Mayweather's reputation as a ducker who avoids the toughest fights is a tad overblown. But it's out there and there's evidence to support it. And in the other corner you've got Pacquiao, who's built a legacy on taking the most difficult opponents available in any division within driving distance. Fair or otherwise, Mayweather risks a permanent stain of his legacy if the Pacquiao fight never happens.
As for Mayweather, if he is intending to bore us all to death he should definitely fight Malignaggi, a skilled boxer with zero power and the killer instinct of a bunny. If Mayweather takes that fight, which seems to be the way he is leaning, he better be prepared to see his pay-per-view numbers plummet as an unforgiving public refuses to stomach another meaningless exhibition by the so called "best fighter in the world."
All in all, it's hard to imagine these two bouts doing anything but hacking off fight fans and making them actually less interested in an eventual Pacquiao-Mayweather showdown.