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Sunday, January 31, 2010

BORGES' SATURDAY SPECIAL: Mayweather 1, Pacquiao 0

Floyd Mayweather, Jr. is still undefeated.

Manny Pacquioa and Bob Arum may have thought they beat Mayweather at the negotiating table when they walked away from a possible $40 million payday after refusing to random drug testing administered by the U.S. Anti-Doping Agency but Mayweather KOd them both Friday when it was announced he and Shane Mosley would meet May 1 at the MGM Grand in Las Vegas in a welterweight title super fight that dwarfs Pacquiao’s March 13 sparring session with Joshua Clottey.

While Pacquiao will be well paid for appearing at Cowboys Stadium, who cares what he does there unless he’s facing either Mayweather or Mosley? His loyal fan base cares if he straightens his tie but as far as growing either the sport or his own celebrity Arum has failed him completely.

At some point Arum is likely to claim Dallas has the largest Filipino fan base this side of San Francisco but A) the fight won’t be in Dallas and B) who cares? The fight of the first half of 2010 now belongs to Mayweather and Mosley even though there is no question that the fight the world wanted was Mayweather-Pacquiao.

Mosley’s willingness to submit to random blood and urine testing administered by the U.S. Anti-Doping Agency, which it has been reported was one of the deal points the 38-year-old three-division champion signed off on, only serves to make Pacquiao look worse for rejecting a less stringent testing protocol.

Add to that the fact Mosley is a prior offender who has admitted not only using illegal steroids (the clear and the cream) but also injecting himself with EPO, the blood doping agent, prior to his 2003 rematch with Oscar De La Hoya and it makes his agreeing to Mayweather’s demands stand out in stark contrast to Pacquiao’s refusal of random blood testing for PEDs (performance enhancing drugs) up to the fight’s final days.

Mayweather has always said he would willingly submit to both random urine and blood testing so when he began negotiating with Mosley (46-5, 39 KO) one wondered how he could get himself out of that box he created by allowing the Pacquiao fight to implode. He did it by being what few people are in boxing. He remained consistent in his insistence that he and Mosley be tested openly and far in excess of what the Nevada State Athletic Commission demands.

The NSAC loves to say it is the best commission in the country and it is. The only problem with that statement is it’s a pretty low standard, as Texas will soon prove by allowing convicted glove-loader Antonio Margarito to return to the ring on the same Arum-promoted card Pacquiao headlines without having stood in front of the California Commission that first suspended him after finding illegal knuckle pads covered with what appeared to be a hardening agent before he was to fight Mosley a year ago.

Unlike Margarito, Mosley not only admitted what he had been party to under oath while testifying to a grand jury in the BALCO trial, but has now gone a welcomed step farther and agreed to random blood testing, which is the only way to catch any user of PEDs but an idiot.

For boxing that news itself is welcome but so, too, is the fact Mayweather (40-0, 25) will return to the ring May 1 in a major pay-per-view show that, while not as internationally intriguing as a Pacquiao fight, is the next best thing. Hopefully, it will stop the ludicrous talk that circulated on the internet after Pacquiao’s refusal to agree to what Mosley just did that the breakdown was Mayweather’s fault and an effort to duck Pacquiao.

Some even went so far as to claim Mayweather had never fought anyone, a laughable contention. Mayweather hasn’t ducked anybody and now is fighting a far more formidable opponent than Clottey (35-3, 20 KO). While Mosley remains one of the half dozen pound-for-pound best fighters in the world in the opinion of many boxing experts, Clottey has lost both title fights he’s been in and consistently seemed to be unable to push himself late in a big fight when the scoring is close, as was the case in his loss to Miguel Cotto in his last outing.

There is simply no comparison in either interest or value between Mayweather-Mosley with Pacquiao-Clottey. Although Floyd Mayweather, Jr. will never have his own career complete until he squares off with Pacquiao he won their first negotiating battle Friday by agreeing to face Mosley. He also did what he said he’d do when he returned to boxing last September after a self-imposed 21-month layoff and defeated Juan Manuel Marquez – he didn’t waste his time with a B side opponent like Clottey just because he could. He faced the next best available opponent, although admittedly it took some good fortune because Mosley was only available after Andre Berto was forced to withdraw from their scheduled Jan. 30 welterweight title fight.

Mosley, by the way, deserves immense credit himself not for agreeing to the fight but for agreeing to be party to the first real effort to clean up one of the dirty sides of the sport – the growing use of PEDs in boxing.

So Floyd Mayweather and his chief advisor, Leonard Ellerbee, get the win over Pacquiao and Arum but so too does Shane Mosley, a guy who did the wrong thing once and lied about it for years but stood up this week and agreed to something Manny Pacquiao was afraid to do – prove to the public that he doesn’t cheat.

Author: Ron Borges

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