Manny Pacquiao will definitely fight as planned on 13 March, but whether it is the super-bout with Floyd ‘Money’ Mayweather is still not clear.
Pacquiao flies from his Philippines base to a training camp in California this week not sure if the contest with Mayweather will still go ahead in two months.
Consensus is that there is too much money at stake for it not to happen. Both fighters are guaranteed at least $40 million each in the richest fight in history.
The Nevada boxing commission ordered Pacquiao and Mayweather last week to submit to urine tests to break the impasse that has jeopardized their contest.
But another potential fight breaker is that Pacquiao is suing Mayweather, along with the American’s father Floyd Sr, his uncle Roger and Golden Boy Promotions in a Las Vegas federal court for accusing him of using performance-enhancing drugs.
Fighthype.com has reported that Pacquiao’s promoter Bob Arum has lined up newly crowned WBA junior-middleweight champion Yuri Foreman as the likely replacement for Mayweather.
Arum has also targeted Italian-American Paul Malignaggi, a flashy but light-hitting boxer.
But Pacman’s trainer Freddie Roach isn’t keen on Pacquiao (50-3-2) fighting Foreman and has even suggested that the Filipino legend faces Mexican hardman Juan Manuel Marquez a third time.
Pacquiao, 31, captured an unprecedented seventh title in seven weight classes following his 12th-round stoppage of welterweight champion Miguel Cotto in Las Vegas in November.
That sparked a public clamour for a bout between the pound-for-pound king and the unbeaten Mayweather (40-0).
But the lucrative bout hit a snag when Mayweather, 32, demanded Olympic-style dope testing, a request rejected by Pacquiao.
Mayweather later backed off on his demand for the tests to be conducted by the US Anti-Doping Agency, but insisted that tests be done randomly and include blood tests within 30 days before the fight.