MONTREAL, (Reuters) – Manny Pacquiao should remove the chief stumbling block to a highly anticipated bout with Floyd Mayweather by agreeing to Olympic-style drug testing, World Anti-Doping Agency (WADA) chief John Fahey said yesterday.
Like millions of boxing fans, Fahey said he is among those hoping to see the undefeated Mayweather and Pacquiao fight for the mythical title of the world’s best pound-for-pound boxer.
But attempts to get the two fighters into the ring have been scuttled by Pacquiao’s refusal to submit to blood testing, something Mayweather says the Filipino will have to agree to if they are to meet.
“We say time-and-time again, that clean athletes have nothing to hide so why wouldn’t you assure that the integrity of the sport you are competing in is kept intact by virtue of undertaking this sort of scrutiny,” Fahey said on a conference call to discuss WADA executive board meetings at the weekend.
“I want to say Mr Mayweather in particular has been a strong advocate that we welcome and we applaud the statements about his sport being clean and doping free.
“We wish him every strength going forward as a result of that.”
Mayweather had been expected to meet Pacquiao earlier this year until negotiations collapsed over the American’s demand for random drug testing.
Shane Mosley then stepped in to take the Filipino’s place after agreeing to have the May 1 bout’s drug testing supervised by the United States Anti-Doping Agency.
Widely regarded as the best defensive fighter of his generation, Mayweather recorded a unanimous decision over Mosley, improving his career record to 41-0 with 25 knockouts.
“We were delighted that the Mayweather-Mosley fight agreed to work with the United States Anti-Doping Agency and undertake a series of advance testing of urine and blood in the lead up to that fight,” said Fahey.
“We hope that step encourages other boxers and promoters and the numerous organisations that control professional boxing worldwide to adopt a code compliant approach, a code compliant anti-doping programme.”