Boxing: Pacquiao agrees to blood tests for fight with Mayweather

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The Independent Online

Manny Pacquiao said yesterday he would be willing to take a blood test 14 days prior to a bout with Floyd Mayweather Jnr, edging the two men regarded as the world's best pound-for-pound boxers closer to a contest.

Talks between the fighters' camps stalled earlier this year over Pacquiao's refusal to agree to Mayweather's demands for Olympic-style random drug testing, with the Filipino saying he did not want blood drawn from him too close to a fight.

"Fourteen days is OK with me, as long as [the blood test] isn't done on the day of the fight, and only the right amount of blood will be drawn from me," Pacquiao told Filipino media.

Pacquiao's compromise could bring the two camps back to the negotiating table for a fight many feel would have the potential to be the sport's richest ever. Since talks broke down, Mayweather eased to a decisive points victory over his fellow American Shane Mosley earlier this month in a welterweight non-title bout that drew 1.4 million pay-per-view buyers.

That followed Pacquiao's mauling of Ghana's Joshua Clottey in March. The seven-weight champion has since been elected to congress in the Philippines and will need to fit his training regime in with parliamentary sessions after being sworn in on 30 June. However, Pacquiao believes he is perfectly capable of being able to pursue both a boxing and political career. "I will attend [congress] sessions in the morning until afternoon, then I go to the gym around 4 or 5 pm," he said.

Emanuel Steward has turned training sessions with Miguel Cotto into a big salsa party as the famed trainer is using music to get the Puerto Rican to move with greater agility during his title shot in New York next month. The former champion Cotto is taking on the WBA light middleweight champion Yuri Foreman on 5 June in the first boxing card held at the new Yankee Stadium and Steward said he is getting dramatic results with the off-beat training approach.

"Training sessions are a lot of fun and we're operating off of one of his natural talents – he loves to salsa," Steward said. "So I've now got him operating with music, working on his rhythm much like I did with Evander Holyfield when he was fighting for the rematch with Riddick Bowe.

"The magic weapon we found out was his beautiful footwork and timing and coordination. It's working good."