When Floyd Mayweather and Manny Pacquiao announced last month that they would finally go toe to toe in the ring we all knew that the subsequent three months before the May 2nd bout were not going to be easy.
And it appears we have hit our first major hurdle today with ESPN reporting that Floyd Mayweather's team have rejected Team Pacquiao's proposal that each fighter face a $5 million penalty if they fail a drugs test before or after the MGM Grand showdown.
Issues over drug testing have been front and center of negotiations between the two superstar over the past five or six year and, as such, the news that the issue has again reared it's ugly head is sure to worry boxing fanatics the world over.
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Michael Koncz, Manny Pacquiao's adviser, explained to ESPN the current situation.
"Today we were informed that Mayweather turned down the request. Manny had requested that there would be a reciprical fine of $5 million for a failed drug test."
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Despite the US Anti-Doping Agency agreeing to oversee blood and urine tests for the fight, this hasn't stopped Pacquiao's team seeking further security over the drugs issue.
It is unclear why they didn't seek the $5 million clause in the original contract signed back in February though, and that was the main point raised by CEO of Mayweather Promotions Leonard Ellerbe when speaking on the subject today.
"Michael Koncz is an idiot, and Manny Pacquiao should be ashamed to have him as his representative," he explained.
"If this moron didn't convey his fighter's wishes when the negotiation was going on, that's their problem. This is a lame-ass attempt to generate publicity."
Tables have turned
This latest development, while hopefully something that will ultimately be overcome, does not follow the same routine Mayweather/Pacquiao drug debates have followed in the path.
In the past it has been the US fighter's team who had requested random Olympic style drug tests - something which Pacquiao rejected in 2009-10 negotiations - and had accused the Filipino boxer of using performance-enhancing drugs.
Now it appears that it is Manny Pacquiao's representatives who are on the offensive when it comes to banned substances.
The fact Floyd Mayweather has now seemingly gone on the defensive despite his clean record only adds to the confusion.
"We gave them an opportunity to put their money where their mouth is and they wouldn't. I won't speculate why. To me there is no legitimate argument. We know we're clean. That's why Manny said he would pay $5 million if he tested dirty."
What do you think boxing fans? Should Mayweather agree to the $5 million penalty, and is it suspicious if he doesn't? Let us know in the comments section below...
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