Instead of squaring off inside the ring in arguably the most anticipated encounter in the history of boxing, Manny Pacquiao and Floyd Mayweather Jr. instead seem to be heading for a legal battle.
Pound for pound king Pacquiao, the Filipino fighter who made history as the first boxer to win seven world titles in seven weight classes, has said his legal team is preparing to sue Mayweather and his camp for performance enhancement drug allegations.
Here’s an excerpt from the Philippine Star article.
“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,” said Pacquiao in a statement.
“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 also said.
Pacquiao said they’ve got proof that Mayweather Jr. directly accused him of performance enhancement drugs (PED) use.
Meanwhile, Pacquiao promoter Bob Arum is now reportedly trying to set up a fight between the pound for pound king and superwelterweight champion Yuri Foreman.
For their part, the Mayweather camp has re-opened negotiations with the younger brother of Ricky Hatton, Matthew, who may get a crack at the American in England next year if the Pacquiao-Mayweather megafight is officially called off, according to this article by The Sun.
Over at Yahoo! Sports, Kevin Iole has an interesting column on the hypocrisy of all the parties involved in this looming boxing fiasco:
Things are not always as they seem in boxing, which is par for the course. You’ll understand the confounding events that threaten the hotly anticipated fight between Floyd Mayweather Jr. and Manny Pacquiao a lot better if you understand that in boxing, what one says publicly isn’t always what one means.
So, will it no longer be Manny vs Money in 2010? Personally, I think both camps will eventually find a way to compromise and salvage this fight, because it’s just too historic and too profitable for either fighter to walk away from, despite what they might be saying now. Maybe it won’t happen in March, but I have a strong feeling Pacquiao-Mayweather will still push through next year.