Beyond The Surface

By Tom Donelson, BASN Staff Reporter
Updated: January 11, 2010

IOWA CITY (BASN) — In the Byzantine world of boxing politics, everything is not what it appears and the various plots and subplots of the Pacquaio-Mayweather fight presents boxing at its worst with no end yet in sight.

And no one can be certain of what the truth is or what is pure hype?

The negotiations between Pacquaio and Mayweather have broken off over drug testing, but this drama has more to it. For one, the rivalry between Bob Arum and Oscar De La Hoya can’t be overlooked.

Golden Boy Promotions and Bob Arum are the joint promoters but there is little love lost between Oscar De La Hoya and his former promoter.

Arum promoted Oscar De La Hoya early in his career as Arum viewed Hispanic demographics as a growing market for his own empire and Oscar was one of his pillars.

De La Hoya formed his own promotional company as he became more popular and decided to take control of his own career.

Golden Boy Promotions signed former opponents and other Superstars along with young stars including many Hispanic fighters.

Shane Mosley and Bernard Hopkins became part of Golden Boy and another former De La Hoya conqueror, Floyd Mayweather allowed De La Hoya to join the promotion of Pacquaio-Mayweather.

If nothing else, De La Hoya never held a grudge against a past victorious opponent and Golden Boy directly competed with Bob Arum.

One pundit theorizes that Golden Boy used the drug angle to undercut the fight and set up a Mosley-Mayweather fight but this can only work if Mosley defeats Andre Berto later this month.

But in boxing, this sound plausible for Golden Boy could promote a Mosley-Mayweather and cut out Arum.

But there is a fly in this ointment; a Pacquaio-Mayweather would be worth more to Golden Boy even if it is split with Arum.

And Mosley can always to fight the winner; if Mosley does beat Berto.

There is another aspect; Mayweather may have hoped to get into Pacquaio head by pushing the idea that Pacquaio is dirty.

And forcing the PacMan to have blood drawn close to fight time may be just a psyche game played by Mayweather.

Mayweather may actually believe that Pacquaio is using performance enhancing drug. From Mayweather viewpoint how does a fighter who began his career as a 112-pound fighter ends up being a powerful puncher at welterweight?

Mayweather and his camp are suspicious that Pacquaio ability has been pharmacology enhanced, so they want insurance that they fight a clean Pacquaio.

ESPN’s Ted Atlas has reported that Mayweather’s camp received e-mails asking what would happen if Pacquaio test turned up positive.

One e-mail supposedly asked, would Mayweather be willing to allow the fight go on and keep quiet for the sake of boxing?

Of course, no e-mails have yet to be made public and Atlas only mentioned that he heard about the e-mails from a trusted source but there is no indication that he actually read the e-mails.

Pacquaio has already passed earlier tests but Mayweather may actually believe that Pacquaio is not a clean fighter, and this is not just a way to get into Pacquaio’s head.

Pacquaio’s camp is perfectly willing to allow Nevada boxing commission rules to pervade when it came to drug testing.

Some Pacquaio critics are asking, what is Pacquaio hiding if he is not willing to further testing?

As Atlas noted, any blood test would apply to both camps.

In fairness to Pacquaio, there is no evidence that he has engaged in any illegal activity and as mentioned earlier, he has never tested positive. And he is willing to be tested post fight, which should pick up any illegal activity.

Pacquaio has sued Mayweather’s camp, so he is willing to go to court to protect his name and one would have to assume that if his camp sent the emails that Atlas claimed, these emails would be part of any discovery.

So why threaten a lawsuit if you have already sent incriminating e-mails that would destroy your case?

The negotiations are now as following, Pacquaio are willing to have blood drawn at 24 days before the fight whereas Mayweather want blood drawn 14 days before, and both camps are willing to be tested post fight.

So we are talking a 10-day difference.

Pacquaio’s camp feel that they have the advantages in negotiations for their fighter have more options when finding back up fights and Pacquaio is a more popular PPV fighter whereas Mayweather has always been the other guy in the ring for his PPV paydays.

Pacquaio has already threaten to fight Joshua Clotty but this could be a ploy telling the Mayweather camp that they will move on.

Most pundits and boxing fans view Mayweather as the bad guy in this deal but some like Ted Atlas ask the question, why would Pacquaio not be tested if he is clean?

Pacquaio is winning the PR battle as some just as ESPN’s Dan Rafael view Mayweather trying to be bigger than the sport and trying to circumvent the Nevada rules, which Rafael and others believe are sufficient to ensure that both fighters are clean.

The final bottom line is that Boxing is about money and when both can make $40 million dollars plus somehow one feels that this fight will get done.

It is game of chicken to see which camp blinks first for neither side will want to be blamed for allowing a mega fight go down the drain nor for that matter walk away from eight-nine figure pay day.

Often big fights are preceded by some form of controversy.

Somehow, this fight will eventually come off for there is way too much money involved and neither fighter will ever see a bigger payday.

Clottey will not produce any way near the money and there are no other fighters for Pacquaio to fight that will guarantee an eight figure pay day.

As for Mayweather, this is a fight about his legacy and besides who is going to pay him big bucks to fight Shane Mosley or even Andre Berto, his other alternative.

If the fight doesn’t happen March 13th, it will eventually happen. A fight that is guaranteed to gross $100-200 million will not be derailed.

Not even boxing hierarchy is that stupid.