Pacquiao hits back at Team Mayweather
MANILA, Philippines – Pound-for-pound king Manny Pacquiao lashed out at Floyd Mayweather, Jr. and his camp, calling them liars for tainting his reputation by hurling false allegations against him.
“They claimed that I threatened to walk away from the largest fight in history. That's their first lie! Last week, I told Floyd Jr. to shut his big, pretty mouth and that we should fight so that the world will get to see who is the best fighter in the planet,” Pacquiao said in a statement posted on PhilBoxing.com.
The 7-division champion responded to a statement from Mayweather Promotions and Golden Boy Promotions which claimed that Pacquiao’s refusal to undergo drug testing ahead of the slated March 13 bout showed that he was walking away from the super fight.
“Their ‘take it or leave it’ approach where blood testing would stop 30 days prior to the fight unless the Nevada State Athletic Commission (NSAC) approved differently is another indication that they may not want this fight,” the joint statement read.
Pacquiao replied in his statement: “I can’t believe these guys can lie without batting an eyelash and they would even make it appear that I am the culprit for the delay of the fight and saying that I don’t want it to happen.”
Never tested positive
The reigning World Boxing Organization (WBO) welterweight champion, who has never tested positive for any performance-enhancing drugs (PEDs), stressed his stand on the drug testing matter.
“I want to put this on record again, that I will abide by the NSAC [Nevada State Athletic Commission] requirements like in all of the fights in boxing history, including all of my fights.”
He also clarified reports that he was against blood testing. He was only particular about the time of the blood tests because according to him, he feels weakened when blood is taken from him.
“I will provide any specimen, whether it be blood or urine samples, just right after the fight but not a day or two before, for obvious reasons. That should stop these clowns from asking for other drug testing procedures other than the ones already required by the NSAC.”
‘Liars go to hell’
Pacquiao said another lie from the Mayweather camp that got him fuming was the allegation that he was taking PEDs.
“Liars go to hell. They should be man enough and own up to their words,” Pacquiao remarked. The Filipino boxing superstar is set to file a complaint against Mayweather, his father Floyd Sr., and representative Golden Boy CEO Richard Schaefer.
“It’s all over the internet. They all went on record and there is no denying as to who is lying or not,” added Pacquiao.
“For including my country in the picture, claiming that we are producers of the best performance enhancing drugs, Mayweather and those who are guilty need to get punished. The sooner, the better, whether it be in the courts or in the ring,” he said of Floyd Jr.’s interview in October.
Mayweather Promotions and Golden Boy, for their part, stated that they are not accusing Pacquiao of anything.
“But the reality seems to be that for whatever reason Pacquiao does not want to participate in random blood testing, which has already been deemed a harmless procedure that many current athletes are subjected to prior to and during competition,” they noted.
Pacquiao retaliated: “Again, all we need to see are the other recorded transcripts of what they said in websites and blogs. It is a pity that Oscar ‘Golden Boy’ Dela Hoya’s Golden Boy Promotions should have been supporting me, too, because his company has a promotional stake in my career. They all say they got my back, but yes, they stab me, too, when I turn my back.”
The NSAC already ordered Pacquiao and Mayweather to submit to urine tests within 48 hours or else they would face fines or suspension.
Dr. Alex Pineda of the Philippine Olympic Committee was set to go to Pacquiao’s hometown in General Santos City to take urine sample from the boxing champion as required by the NSAC.
Mayweather’s camp called for an Olympic-style drug testing procedure, which involves random blood and urine tests, to ensure fairness in the fight.
Pacquiao agreed to go through a blood test at least 30 days before the bout. Top Rank Promotions head honcho Bob Arum made a “final offer” to the Mayweather camp, offering to have the drug testing decided by the NSAC.
Schaefer, however, said that tests conducted 30 days before the fight would make the blood test program useless. Team Mayweather had reportedly rejected Arum’s offer.
Arum said that if Team Mayweather rejected his final offer, he would arrange a fight with former International Boxing Federation light welterweight champion Paul “Paulie” Malignaggi.
The Top Rank big boss added that he might ask Pacquiao to tighten the drug testing window after Mayweather’s camp claimed that Pacquiao went through a blood test 14 days before his May 2 fight against Briton Ricky Hatton.
“I will transmit it [word of Pacquiao's '24/7' test] to Manny once [HBO Sports president] Ross Greenburg establishes the actual date of the test in ‘24/7' and [the Mayweather camp] makes a proposal based on what Ross has come up with," Arum told ESPN.com.
The Mayweather camp asserted: “The fact is that he did have blood taken just 14 days prior to his fight with Ricky Hatton, an event which was documented on HBO's 24/7 reality show.” – With reports from PhilBoxing.com and ESPN.com