In a highly unconventional move, representatives of Floyd Mayweather are demanding that both their fighter and Manny Pacquiao be subjected to random, Olympic-style drug testing in the weeks leading up to their proposed March 13 fight.
Leonard Ellerbe, Mayweather’s adviser, declined to comment whether the demand was based on suspicions, initially voiced by Floyd Mayweather Sr., and subsequently by others close to Mayweather, that Pacquiao uses performance-enhancing drugs.
“I’m not going to get into that,” Ellerbe said. “But people can read between the lines. Al and I made sure this will be implemented. It is going to be done.”
Ellerbe stressed that the decision was made solely by himself and fellow Mayweather adviser Al Hayman, without their fighter’s input.
“It’s not a one-way thing, it’s both fighters who are subject to testing,” Ellerbe said. “And this is not Floyd saying this. This is me and Al. This is one of the biggest fights in the history of the sport and the fans deserve it to be fair.
“Floyd’s got nothing to do with this. It’s our job to protect him and give him the best chance to be successful. Inside the ring, he’s got that. He’ll have no problem with Pacquiao, none whatsoever. Our job is to take care of things outside the ring.”
Ellerbe said the Olympic drug-testing agency would be empowered to administer random tests whenever it chose.
Such tests typically are administered by the World Anti-Doping Agency, although Ellerbe declined to specify which organization actually would be retained to oversee the testing.
“With the standard commission testing, they only test for specific things. The Olympic-style testing tests for everything. The commission testing is nowhere near as sophisticated.”
Ellerbe also fired back at recent claims by Freddie Roach, Pacquiao’s trainer, that Mayweather’s representatives wanted the fight contested at 154 pounds rather than the welterweight limit of 147, in an oversized ring, and with oversized gloves.
“That’s one of the most ridiculous comments I’ve heard in quite some time,” Ellerbe said. “That’s just Freddie attempting to play mind games with the public. His guy’s in a no-win situation. No matter what he attempts to convince the public of, there was no effort by Team Mayweather to have the fight at 154, to have a 22-foot ring, or to have 10-ounce gloves.”
Also, Cowboys Stadium reportedly has made a $25 million offer to host the fight, after Richard Schaefer, who is representing Mayweather in fight negotiations, was pulled out of a scheduled meeting last week with Dallas Cowboys owner Jerry Jones.
The offer seems to have had no impact on Team Mayweather's position that it doesn't want to have the fight in Texas.
MGM Grand, which has yet to make a formal offer, remains the likely frontrunner to host the fight.