Manny Pacquiao v Floyd Mayweather: fighters clash over drugs testing

Floyd Mayweather

Floyd Mayweather has refused to agree to a penalty over drug use in his upcoming title fight, according to Manny Pacquiao’s adviser.

Pacquiao and Mayweather are due to fight on 2 May in Las Vegas and the proposed deal would see either fighter fined $5m if they failed a drugs test.

“Today we were informed that Mayweather turned down the request,” Michael Koncz told ESPN. “Manny had requested that there would be a reciprocal fine of $5m for a failed drug test.”

Koncz said the contracts for the fight have been signed by both parties but Mayweather’s attorney had sent a letter saying his client would not agree to any further penalties for failed drug tests. The United States Anti-Doping Agency is already overseeing its own drug testing for the fight.

“Michael Koncz is an idiot, and Manny Pacquiao should be ashamed to have him as his representative, in my opinion,” Leonard Ellerbe, the CEO of Mayweather Promotions, told ESPN. “It’s obvious he didn’t read the contract. Why would he have his fighter sign something he was not happy with? The deal was negotiated up and down by his promoter [Bob Arum of Top Rank] on behalf of Manny with Floyd and Mayweather Promotions, and it’s been well documented in the media for quite some time.

“If this moron didn’t convey his fighter’s wishes when the negotiation was going on, that’s their problem. This is a lame-ass attempt to generate publicity.”

This is the not the first time the fighters have clashed over drug testing. An earlier fight fell through when Pacquiao refused to agree to Mayweather’s proposal for random drug testing. Pacquiao then sued Mayweather for defamation after the American suggested he used performance-enhancing drugs. The case was settled out of court for a seven-figure sum.

“They have made derogatory statements for years about Manny [supposedly using PEDs], and now we challenged them by asking for the $5m fine, and they refused to do it. It’s disheartening,” Koncz said.

Koncz was asked why the fines hadn’t been negotiated into the original agreement.

“We were still discussing the penalty,” he said. “We’ve been going back and forth about it for the past three or four weeks. We hoped that we could sign that agreement around the same time as the agreement with Usada. [The Mayweather camp] is saying, ‘Why wasn’t it brought up for the main contract?’ Why does it have to be brought up for the main contract? Everything in the main contract pertains to the co-promotion and the promoters. You can argue all day if [an agreement over fines] should be with the Usada contract or the main contract.

“What do you have to lose or gain in that argument? It’s a simple thing – if you fail, you pay the other guy $5m. The issue is simple: are you willing to agree to a penalty of $5m? The drug-testing terms and any penalty, that’s between the fighters not the promoters.

“We have no recourse. We can’t force Floyd into something. But we gave them an opportunity to put their money where their mouth is and they wouldn’t. I won’t speculate why. To me there is no legitimate argument. We know we’re clean. That’s why Manny said he would pay $5m if he tested dirty. Manny was surprised. He can’t figure out why they wouldn’t agree to it when Floyd is always talking about cleaning up the sport of boxing.”

Powered by Guardian.co.ukThis article was written by Tom Lutz, for theguardian.com on Friday 20th March 2015 14.46 Europe/Londonguardian.co.uk © Guardian News and Media Limited 2010