LOS ANGELES — Representatives for
Manny Pacquiao and Floyd Mayweather Jr. wrapped up a lengthy mediation
session on Tuesday with no word on any progress on the drug-testing
issues endangering the boxers' prospective March 13 bout.
Pacquiao promoter Bob Arum and
Mayweather's promotional team all said they had been told to make no
public comments after their meeting in Santa Monica. The mediation
finished nearly nine hours after it began in front of Daniel Weinstein,
a retired federal judge.
Arum's Top Rank and Mayweather's
representatives at Golden Boy Promotions agreed to the mediation in an
effort to resolve their dispute over the methods and frequency of drug
testing for the bout, which will be held at the MGM Grand Garden in Las
Vegas if a compromise is reached.
Although both fighters have agreed to
extensive urine testing, Mayweather has demanded random blood testing
as well. Pacquiao has balked at unlimited blood testing, instead
proposing two blood tests before the fight and another immediately
Pacquiao also complicated the
negotiations by filing a lawsuit last week alleging Mayweather and most
of his camp's key players defamed him by falsely accusing him of using
Neither side would say whether more
mediation will be held on Wednesday, but the length of Tuesday's
meeting appeared to be a positive development for the potential fight.
If little progress could be made, the session likely would have been
scrapped early, with the sport's top two fighters moving on to
replacement bouts instead of meeting in what's expected to be the
richest fight in boxing history.
After impressive pay-per-view numbers
in their most recent bouts last year, both fighters stand to make more
than $25 million in their welterweight meeting. Except for drug
testing, the camps have settled every significant detail of the fight,
according to Arum and Golden Boy CEO Richard Schaefer.
If the fight falls through, Pacquiao
is expected to attempt to win a title in a record eighth weight
division with a bout against 154-pound champion Yuri
Foreman in Las Vegas on March 20, while Mayweather could fight former
140-pound champion Paulie Malignaggi at the MGM Grand
on March 13.
Boxing's two most prominent
promotional companies have appeared before Weinstein in the past,
including a session in 2007 in which they resolved the promotional
rights to Pacquiao, who had deals with both companies at one point.
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