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Pacquiao-Mayweather fight getting closer

Arum heads to Philippines to discuss the bout with Pacquiao amid reports that Mayweather has already agreed to terms.

December 02, 2009|Staff And Wire Reports

Manny Pacquiao's promoter, Bob Arum, was flying to the Philippines on Tuesday to discuss the boxer's possible megafight against Floyd Mayweather Jr.

Arum said he also would discuss Pacquiao's participation in a congressional election in that country.

A source familiar with the process who declined to be identified because he's not authorized to speak about the negotiations said there are strong indications that Mayweather has agreed in principle to some contractual details.

A report by Yahoo Sports on Tuesday night said that a Pacquiao-Mayweather fight was nearly finalized for March 13 and that Mayweather had agreed to terms.

Contacted late Tuesday night, the lead matchmaker for Arum's promotion company, Top Rank, was more cautious about where negotiations stand.

"This trip was planned," matchmaker Bruce Trampler said. "Manny's got to fight in the first half of the year and Bob has to make the match so he was going to discuss that with Manny -- dates, opponents and Manny's thoughts on his political career."

"I'm going over there to figure it out," Arum told The Times just before departing. "Everything."

Arum said Tuesday that an opponent will run against Pacquiao in the May 10 Philippines election, which will force the boxer to campaign extensively in the weeks preceding the election. Arum and several others who are attempting to negotiate a Pacquiao-Mayweather fight would ideally like the bout to occur on May 1.

-- Lance Pugmire BASEBALL

Drug approvals rise slightly

The number of major leaguers approved to take drugs for attention deficit disorder rose to 108 last season, up from 106 in the 2008 season and 103 in the 2007 season.

The significant use of ADD drugs, perceived as a way to skirt baseball's amphetamine ban, emerged as an issue in congressional hearings after the release of the Mitchell Report. Baseball responded by toughening the requirements to obtain approval for ADD drugs, but the number of players authorized to use them has yet to decline.

The annual report on baseball's drug policy, released Tuesday by the commissioner's office, also revealed 11 players tested positive for the ADD drug Adderall, without an exemption permitting its use. Under the policy, players testing positive for stimulants the first time are not suspended.

-- Bill Shaikin New York Yankees outfielder Johnny Damon and Houston Astros shortstop Miguel Tejada were among the free agents who weren't offered salary arbitration, moves that enable new teams to sign them without losing draft picks.

With about two hours left until the deadline, 18 players had received arbitration offers, including St. Louis outfielder Matt Holliday, Boston outfielder Jason Bay, Seattle third baseman Adrian Beltre, Texas catcher Ivan Rodriguez, Boston reliever Billy Wagner and St. Louis pitcher Joel Pineiro, and Yankees Hideki Matsui and pitcher Andy Pettitte.

The Dodgers have confirmed broadcaster Vin Scully will return to the booth for his 61st season in 2010.

HOCKEY

Ovechkin is suspended

Alex Ovechkin has been suspended for two games for his latest on-ice indiscretion.

The NHL disciplined the Washington Capitals star, a day after his knee-to-knee hit on Tim Gleason in a 3-2 win over the Carolina Hurricanes.

The league's reigning two-time most valuable player hurt his right knee in the collision. He was in obvious pain on the ice for several minutes.

He said Tuesday the knee was merely sore and the injury is "not that serious."

Carolina Hurricanes defenseman Joe Corvo is expected to be sidelined for at least eight weeks after his right leg was cut by a skate and required surgery.

The Bruins have signed forward Marc Savard to a seven-year contract extension that would keep him in Boston through the 2017 season.

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