Pac-Man refuses blood test, threatening big fight

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Pac-Man refuses blood test, threatening big fight

LAS VEGAS, Nevada - Manny Pacquiao remained steadfast on his demand not to be blood tested within 30 days of fighting Floyd Mayweather in a Web site statement Saturday while rival promoters tried to save the fight.

The Filipino hero was set to meet unbeaten U.S. star Mayweather on March 13 in Las Vegas but the only remaining roadblock, a doping test format, threatens to kill a long-awaited showdown that could be the richest fight in boxing history.

“I’m still willing to fight Floyd Mayweather. I never said the fight was off or I do not want to fight him,” Pacquiao said in a blog posting on his official Web site. “I’ll fight anyone at anytime and my record and past fights proves that. I have never and will never dodge anyone.”

Mayweather wanted U.S. Anti-Doping Agency (USADA) protocols, including random blood tests at any point before the March 13 fight, which was a deal breaker to Pacquiao, who said such tests too near the bout would weaken him.

“The truth is taking blood out of my body does not seem natural to me and mentally I feel it will weaken me if blood is taken from me just days before the fight,” Pacquiao said. “That does not make sense to me, why anyone would do that.”

Richard Schaefer, Golden Boy Promotions chief executive, told ESPN Saturday that he had backed off USADA rules but would insist upon testing within 30 days of the fight as representatives of rival promoters negotiated terms Saturday.

“We know that 30 days before is not effective. At 30 days, we might as well not even do it,” Schaefer said. “It is a matter of the two sides working out the specifics of the cut off date to assure it will still be effective.”

Pacquiao, who like Mayweather has never failed a doping test, outlined his requirements for blood tests Saturday and left no room for compromise, however. “Pac-Man” said he would give a blood sample at the fight launch news conference tentatively set for Jan. 6, another 30 days before the fight and a third after the fight in his dressing room, plus random urine tests anytime.

“If Floyd Mayweather Jr. does not accept these terms, then my promoter will find me another fight for March 13,” Pacquiao said. AFP
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