new foe lined up for pacman

MIAMI - World champion Manny Pacquiao's promoter Bob Arum will choose another opponent for the Filipino fighter after failing to reach a deal for the WBO welterweight title bout with American Floyd Mayweather Jnr.

Talks between Arum's Top Rank and Mayweather's Golden Boy promoters have stalled over the issue of random blood testing, demanded by Mayweather's team and rejected by Pacquiao.

Arum set a Monday deadline for Golden Boy to accept a "final offer" in which both sides would have allowed the Nevada State Athletic Commission make the final decision on testing.

Mayweather Promotions' chief executive Leonard Ellerbe said that there was no question of accepting that proposal.

"Random is random. We are not backing off and the ball is in their court," he said.

Arum said if that was the stance of the Mayweather team then he would announce another opponent for March.

Arum has previously identified former junior welterweight champion Paulie Malignaggi as the likely replacement for Mayweather but said it would be a blow to the sport not to have the bout take place. Arum said that Pacquiao had no objection to blood testing up to 30 days before or after a fight and random urine testing at any time.

"This is a false issue that is being raised for maybe three reasons. One, an attempt to smear Pacquiao and those people who have done that will pay the price because litigation is going to proceed.

"Number two, because it is a convenient way for Mayweather to not fight Pacquiao, who he knows he cannot beat.

"Number three, there is the possibility it is a way to disconcert Pacquiao, who they know doesn't like to give blood in the weeks immediately prior to a fight when he is in training because he believes - rightly or wrongly - that it saps his strength.

"The reason they know this is that Pacquiao's last defeat was to Erik Morales and he had been directed to give a blood test that the state commission requires - that he needed for a licence, for HIV and hepatitis.

"They took his blood 10 days before the fight. He claims that the test sapped his strength and (made him) lose to Morales."

Pacquiao said on Christmas Day that he intended to sue the Mayweather camp, claiming they had insinuated he had been using performance-enhancing drugs. He denies ever using drugs. - Reuters