LAS VEGAS - NOVEMBER 11: Boxer Manny Pacquiao attends the final news conference for his bout against WBO welterweight champion Miguel Cotto at the MGM Grand Hotel/Casino November 11, 2009 in Las Vegas, Nevada. Pacquiao and Cotto will meet in a WBO welterweight title fight at the MGM on November 14. (Photo by Ethan Miller/Getty Images) *** Local Caption *** Manny Pacquiao
In a statement posted Friday on his Web site, Pacquiao claims that his character has been damaged and tarnished by accusations he says are untrue.
"Enough is enough," Pacquiao said in the statement. "These people, Mayweather Sr., Jr., and Golden Boy Promotions, think it is a joke and a right to accuse someone wrongly of using steroids or other performance-enhancing drugs. I have tried to just brush it off as a mere pre-fight ploy but I think they have gone overboard."
The proposed megafight between Pacquiao and Mayweather is in danger because the sides have failed to find a compromise to a dispute over blood testing. Promoter Bob Arum declared the bout dead Thursday.
Arum had set a Thursday deadline for an agreement on testing, the only issue not resolved for the planned March 13 fight. But with the Mayweather camp still insisting on using the U.S. Anti-Doping Agency to conduct the tests, Arum said there wasn't much left to discuss.
"These people think they are doing the sport a great service. They are not," Pacquiao added. "To Floyd, despite all these accusations, may your Christmas be merry and I will see you in court, soon, too."
At the core of the dispute is the insistence of the Mayweather camp of using Olympic-style drug testing for the fight, even though both fighters have never been linked to any performance-enhancing substances. Under Nevada regulations, boxers are generally only tested just before the fight and in the dressing room afterward, and only urine is given.
"I have instructed my promoter, Bob Arum, head of Top Rank Inc., to help me out in the filing of the case as soon as possible because I have had people coming over to me now asking if I really take performance-enhancing drugs and I have cheated my way into becoming the No. 1 boxer in the world," Pacquiao said.
Mayweather's camp wants blood tests that can find things urine tests can't, such as use of human growth hormone, and they want them done by USADA from the time the fight is signed until the fight is held. Pacquiao's side has agreed to both urine and blood testing, but doesn't want testing immediately before the fight because Pacquiao believes giving blood so soon before a fight will weaken him.
Pacquiao's Web site states that Mayweather's camp is "asking too many unrealistic and unprecedented items on the bargaining table, including that of an Olympic-style drug testing."
"I maintain and assure everyone that I have not used any form or kind of steroids and that my way to the top is a result of hard work, hard work, hard work and a lot of blood spilled from my past battles in the ring, not outside of it," Pacquiao's statement said. "I have no idea what steroids look like, and my fear in God has kept me safe and victorious through all these years.
"Now, I say to Floyd Mayweather Jr., don't be a coward, and face me in the ring, mano-a-mano, and shut your big, pretty mouth, so we can show the world who is the true king of the ring."