Bob Arum to Floyd Mayweather: 'Stop Being a Coward'
Arum made his statements in reaction to a press release on Tuesday during which Golden Boy Promotions' Richard Schaefer, negotiating on behalf of Mayweather (40-0, 25 knockouts), indicated that his March 13 megabout with Manny Pacquiao (50-3-2, 38 KOs) might be in jeopardy.
Pacquiao "is refusing to comply with Olympic style drug testing as outlined and mandated by the United States Anti-Doping Agency and as requested by Mayweather's management to ensure fair play and sportsmanship by both fighters," the release stated.
The USADA's sampling method would mean both fighters would have to provide blood and urine samples randomly.
Arum said the 31-year-old Pacquiao has no problem with boxing's standard procedure of urinalysis, but that he does take issue with randomly testing his blood.
"Manny says that taking blood from him really weakens him. And he doesn't want to do it when he's in training, but he'll do it prior to going into training, and after the fight," said Arum, who is not willing to allow Pacquiao to have blood drawn fewer than 30 days before the fight.
"Every major doctor will tell you that blood testing shows absolutely nothing. Everybody is using sophisticated urine analysis to test now," said Arum. "Mayweather knows Manny's phobia for giving blood, and he's using that to get out of the fight. Too bad."
Mayweather-Pacquiao is slated for the MGM Grand in Las Vegas, whose Nevada State Athletic Commission licenses fighters for a year.
While the NSAC does not require blood testing for illegal drugs, it does test urine, and it does require blood testing for AIDS and other blood-related diseases.
"Now they want to bring in another agency, the [United States Anti-Doping Agency]. When in professional boxing has this ever been done?" said Arum. "To bring in another agency to drug test when you have the Nevada Commission is a slap in the face to the commission in Nevada."
Nevada commission testing cleared Pacquiao to fight this year in Las Vegas prior to stopping Ricky Hatton in the second round in May, and before his 12th-round knockout of Miguel Cotto on Nov. 14.
"Now that the fight was going to Nevada, it's the best athletic commission in the world. They do drug-testing, and that's been the case for the last 40 years. Now, Mayweather, being a wise guy, says that that's not sufficient, and he wants other drug-testing," said Arum of a system that has found fighters such as Fernando Vargas, Roy Jones, James Toney, and, most recently, Julio Cesar Chavez Jr. test positive for banned substances.
"Now, Manny says, 'That's fine, I'll do a random urinalysis any time anybody wants. Doesn't matter.' And Manny says, 'I'll do a blood test prior to the first press conference and a drug test after the fight,'" said Arum. "But Mayweather, who really is trying to get out of the fight, says, 'No, I want blood testing any time during training -- and up to and including and past the weigh-in.'"
Mayweather's adviser, Leonard Ellerbe, told FanHouse, "It's our understanding that the [United States Anti-Doping Agency] will not be drawing blood 24 hours before the fight, so there shouldn't be a problem."
In a statement released by his publicists, Mayweather (40-0, 25 KOs) justified his stance on the random blood testing.
"I understand Pacquiao not liking having his blood taken, because frankly I don't know anyone who really does. But in a fight of this magnitude, I think it is our responsibility to subject ourselves to sportsmanship at the highest level," said Mayweather.
"I have already agreed to the testing, and it is a shame that he is not willing to do the same. It leaves me with great doubt as to the level of fairness I would be facing in the ring that night," said Mayweather. "I hope that this is either some mis-communication or that Manny will change his mind, and step up and allow these tests, which were good enough for all these other great athletes, to be performed by USADA."
New York-based athletic physician, Dr. Keith Pyne, is a private injury consultant for NFL athletes and those who participate in running and combat sports.
"I have more than 800 guys who are special athletes who are all drug-tested. And the urine testing is sufficient that you won't miss anything, especially with performance-enhancing drugs," said Pyne.
"So, yes, I believe that the urine testing is more than sufficient for boxing. If you're using steroids, it's going to come up for sure in urine," said Pyne. "There's no way it's going to get through the liver and the kidney without being detected."
Asked if the fight still was going to happen, Arum said, "I don't know."
"I wanted to tell them to screw it and to go take a walk. [Pacquiao's trainer] Freddie Roach isn't going to let Manny be compromised, and I'm not going to let Manny be compromised, and Manny is not going to let himself be compromised. So this is nonsense," said Arum.
"But we're willing to do full urinalysis with an independent agency, and we're willing to do blood testing before he goes into training and after the fight," said Arum. "Nothing can possibly [be] done in the interim period that wouldn't be detected and shown by urinalysis."