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Mayweather batters Mosley

Fans wonder: Is Pacquiao next?

By Tim Dahlberg
Associated Press / May 3, 2010

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LAS VEGAS — Floyd Mayweather Jr. wanted to put on a show and he did, giving Shane Mosley a beating Saturday night.

Manny Pacquiao took a break from campaigning for congress in the Philippines to watch, and was impressed. So, too, was most everyone at Mayweather’s postfight press conference, though there was some concern over the right hand from Mosley that almost knocked him down in the second round.

Those are the risks you take in boxing, though, and Mayweather knows as well as anyone that it is a hurt business. It can also be a rich business, as evidenced by the paycheck of at least $22.5 million Mayweather will cash for winning his 41st straight fight.

But it wasn’t the fight boxing fans yearn for. Even worse, the more Mayweather talked after the fight, the less likely it seemed fans will finally get the fight they really want.

Pacman and Money. Will they ever share a ring for real?

“If the fight happens, it happens,’’ Mayweather said. “I’m not out chasing fighters.’’

Fortunately for Mayweather he doesn’t have to chase Pacquiao. Boxing’s most exciting fighter may be thousands of miles away, but he seems as eager to fight as he does to win a seat in congress next week.

In a perfect world they meet in November in the sport’s richest fight ever, a showdown that may forever destroy the myth that boxing is dead. The money is so big it seems like it almost has to happen, and both fighters months ago agreed to what is usually the major stumbling block in negotiations with a deal to split the proceeds evenly.

Unfortunately, boxing is a very imperfect world.

Mayweather, it seems, is not only on a mission to make more money than any other fighter before him, but to clean up the sport along the way. His demand for Olympic-style blood testing derailed the proposed March 13 fight with Pacquiao, and his dominating win over Mosley seemed to do nothing but harden his stance for the Pacquiao fight.

“If Manny Pacquiao can take a blood and urine test then we have a fight,’’ Mayweather said. “If not, no fight.’’

The problem, as anyone who has followed this strange saga knows, isn’t that Pacquiao won’t take blood tests. He will, but not too close to the fight because he believes having his blood taken might somehow weaken him.

It won’t, of course, but that doesn’t mean Pacquiao has something to hide. Boxing is as much a mental sport as it is a physical one, and Pacquiao isn’t about to go into the ring thinking he is not at full strength.

“For me, as long as the drug test is not done close to the match, I’ll agree because if they’ll get blood from me close to the match, it will be a disadvantage for me because I’m smaller and he’s big,’’ Pacquiao told a Manilla radio station after the Mayweather fight.

Pacquiao wants blood testing cut off 24 days before the fight, and his promoter, Bob Arum, didn’t seem in any mood to negotiate, either.

“I’m not going to lose any sleep over it,’’ Arum said yesterday. “If the fight doesn’t happen, it doesn’t happen. We’re not going to be dictated to.’’