Floyd Mayweather Jr
. blamed Manny Pacquiao
for the collapse of their prospective bout yesterday, claiming the Filipino boxer refuses to accept a reasonable compromise on drug-testing concerns.
Mayweather also says he's still ready to sign a deal for the fight, which was slated for March 13 at the MGM Grand Garden in Las Vegas before Pacquiao promoter Top Rank declared it dead Wednesday night.
Mayweather (40-0, 25 KOs) made his first public comments about the negotiations in a written statement that began with Mayweather saying he's "thoroughly disgusted" by Pacquiao's representatives' attempts to blame him for the collapse of what's likely to be the richest bout in boxing history.
The sides went to mediation on Tuesday in Santa Monica in an attempt to resolve the drug testing issues that are the only remaining conflicts in the negotiation. Mayweather's demands for frequent blood testing beyond the Nevada Athletic Commission's requirements - and Pacquiao's reluctance to agree to those requests - have derailed the bout.
Pacquiao has filed a lawsuit alleging Mayweather and most of his representatives, including Golden Boy Promotions CEO
, defamed him by falsely accusing him of using performance-enhancing drugs.
Top Rank boss Bob Arum was brutally frank about his former fighter on Wednesday, telling the Associated Press that Mayweather is "a psychological coward who doesn't want to fight anybody who has a chance of beating him."
Pacquiao is widely considered boxing's pound-for-pound champion, an unofficial title held by Mayweather before his aborted retirement.
* San Mateo County, Calif., prosecutors have charged Barry Bonds' 20-year-old son, Nikolai, with five misdemeanors after he allegedly threw a doorknob at his mother Dec. 5. Bonds faces charges of battery, false imprisonment, vandalism, making threats to an officer and obstructing an officer. Sun Bonds, 45, the home-run king's ex-wife, wasn't injured.
* Adrian Beltre and the Red Sox have finalized a 1-year deal that guarantees the former Seattle third baseman $10 million.
* Atlanta reached preliminary agreement with Eric Hinske on a 1-year, $1 million contract, a source told the Associated Press. Hinske, 32, is expected to be a backup at first base and third.
* Kansas City agreed to a $7 million, 5-year contract with Cuban lefthander Noel Arguelles. Arguelles, who turns 20 on Jan. 20, defected with Red Sox shortstop Jose Iglesias at the 2008 World Junior Championships in Edmonton, Alberta. He likely will start in the lower minors.
* Free-agent DH Jack Cust agreed to a $2.65 million, 1-year contract to return to Oakland.
* Attorneys for fired coach Mike Leach want to take Texas Tech to trial in the next 6 weeks. The coach's legal team filed court documents asking a state judge to allow them to depose administrators and others in about 2 weeks.
* Notre Dame coach Brian Kelly will bring two assistants from his Cincinnati staff to be his defensive and offensive coordinators. Bob Diaco will run the defense, Charley Molnar offense.
* Mississippi quarterback Jevan Snead and Virginia Tech defensive end Jason Worilds each announced he will forgo his senior season to make himself available for the NFL draft.
* Southern California backup quarterback Aaron Corp is transferring to Richmond with 2 years of eligibility remaining.