/ 7 January 2010

Pacquiao showdown with Mayweather called off

Talks over the hotly anticipated welterweight bout between Filipino Manny Pacquiao and American Floyd Mayweather Jr were aborted on Wednesday after promoters failed to reach an agreement.

“No deal was reached and Manny is moving on,” communications expert Fred Sternburg said on behalf of Pacquiao’s promoter Bob Arum.

Sternburg said the respective parties could not settle their differences after nine hours of mediation on Tuesday followed by further discussions on Wednesday.

The World Boxing Organisation welterweight title bout was thrown into doubt last month when Mayweather demanded Olympic-style dope testing, a request rejected by Pacquiao.

Mayweather’s camp had called for random blood and urine sampling prior to and after the proposed March 13 fight as mandated by the US Anti Doping Agency.

Pacquiao agreed to have blood taken for testing before the initial media conference and immediately after the fight but would not agree to have blood drawn within 30 days of the bout.

On December 28, Arum said he would announce a new opponent for the Filipino southpaw but just hours later he backtracked, saying he would ask the boxer to reconsider his objection to blood testing.

Pacquiao (50-3-2) had been scheduled to defend the WBO title he won in November by stopping holder Miguel Cotto in the 12th round in Las Vegas.

Pacquiao won an unprecedented seventh title in seven weight classes to set up the best pound-for-pound showdown against unbeaten Mayweather (40-0) in what was widely expected to be boxing’s biggest revenue-producing fight. – Reuters