A balanced attack led the Rockets to their first Mac’s Fun Ball championship over a good Celtics team, 72-67. Sal Corcione led the way with 20 points in the final, played at Walloo Park in Middletown, followed by Chris Evaristto’s 18 points, Randy Kirk’s 16 and John Shultz’s 12. Coach Dick McDevitt put his best defender, James Reutter, on high-scoring Brian Triggianno of the Celtics to try to slow him down. Although Triggianno finished with 25 points for the game, he fouled out on a crucial charge call late in the game. Don Piasecki led both teams in rebounding with 12. Both teams displayed great sportsmanship throughout the contest, according to the league’s commissioner, John McDermott. The All-MFB team for the summer season consists of Randy Kirk (Rockets), Brian Triggianno (Celtics), Cody Chalmers (Lions), Mike Niesz (Lions) and Jason Miller (Colts). Earning honorable mention were Ray Locicero (Titans), Tom McDermott (eagles), Bob Miller (Rockets) and Dan Piasecki (Celtics). Anyone interested in playing in the fall MFB league at Walloo Park (September through October on Saturdays and Sundays), can contact McDermott at (732) 671-9319 or (732) 687-7746. The fee is $70 per player, with a 10-game (plus playoffs) schedule. The games are refereed by college officials. The league will start on Sept. 13.
OCEANPORT — With just three days left before Monmouth’s biggest program of the year, racing secretary Mike Dempsey has 10 horses on his possibles list for the $1 million Haskell Invitational (G1) on Sunday. In order of weights, Dempsey lists Lion Heart (121), Rock Hard Ten (120), Courageous Act (117), Royal Assault (117), My Snookie’s Boy (116) and Wimplestiltskin (116). Listed as possible for the $1 million event are Eddington, Tap Day, Courageous Act, Pollard’s Vision and Swingforthefences. The Haskell lost a pair of expected starters in the last two weeks. First, Boomzeeboom, trained by Vladimir Cerin, broke down during training hours at Del Mar and was euthanized. Wood Memorial (G1) winner Tapit, who was on target to make the Haskell Invitational Sunday, will not start in the Grade 1 race either. “He worked super this morning, but he needs minor throat surgery,” said Michael Dickinson, who conditions the colt by Pulpit for Winchell Thoroughbreds LLC. “He’ll walk for a week after the surgery, so the Haskell is out.” A winner of three of five lifetime starts, Tapit has earned $549,800 for his connections. With Saturday’s defection of Tapit, trainer Nick Zito may be enticed to start another of his charges, Pie’s Prospect or Sir Shackleton in the million-dollar Haskell. Lion Heart, trained by Patrick Biancone at Saratoga, has not breezed since he won the Long Branch Breeders’ Cup Stakes here July 17. Monmouth’s leading jockey, Joe Bravo, was aboard for the Long Branch. Rock Hard Ten drilled five furlongs on July 25 in 1:02 1/5 at Del Mar for trainer Jason Orman. The Kris S. colt, winner of the Grade 1 Swaps Stakes at Hollywood Park last out, was scheduled to breeze again Sunday at the Southern California track. Courageous Act, second in the July 2 Iowa Derby for trainer Bob Baffert, has been training at Churchill Downs. In his most recent drill, the son of Exploit breezed five furlongs in 1:00 2/5 July 24. Royal Assault, who’s with the Nick Zito string at Saratoga, and My Snookie’s Boy, trained by Allen Iwinski, have not breezed since running third and second, respectively, in the Long Branch. Wimplestiltskin had a sharp five-furlong breeze last week at Del Mar, getting the distance in :59 flat. The Petionville colt, third behind Boomzeeboom in the June 19 Affirmed Stakes, is trained by Marcelo Polanco. Haskell Day is Monmouth’s biggest program of the year. The 14-race card will include seven stakes races, topped by the Haskell. The other graded events scheduled for Aug. 8 are the Matchmaker Stakes and Oceanport Handicap, both Grade 3. Four overnight stakes will also be run — the Regret, Ocean Place Resort, Lady’s Secret and Teddy Drone. All carry purses of $100,000. My Snookie’s Boy the home horse in Haskell My Snookie’s Boy, who ran himself into the $1 million Haskell Invitational (G1) with a monster effort in the Long Branch Breeders’ Cup Stakes, has the distinction of being the only Haskell horse stabled on the grounds at Monmouth. The Crafty Friend colt, owned by Preferred Pals Stable, is part of trainer Allen Iwinski’s local division, and he’s had two starts over the track, and gallops over it every day. But he won’t have a breeze before the mile and an eighth Haskell Aug. 8. “He’s doing great,” Iwinski said. “I’m just going to gallop him up to the Haskell. He doesn’t need to breeze before the race because he’s fit enough right now. “He had a pretty tough race last time, so galloping him up to the race should be enough.” My Snookie’s Boy won an allowance race here by seven and a half lengths on June 27 in his first Monmouth start. In the Long Branch on July 17, he gave favored Lion Heart all he wanted before falling just a head short at the wire. Stewart Elliott, who was aboard in the Long Branch, has the mount for the Haskell. Lion Heart will be the starting highweight in the Haskell at 121 pounds. The son of Tale of the Cat, stabled at Saratoga with Patrick Biancone’s string, got his final tune-up for the race on Friday morning, working five furlongs in :58 2/5, the fastest work of the morning. Biancone said the Kentucky Derby runner-up will gallop up to the race before shipping to Monmouth on Haskell Day. Royal Assault, who was third in the Long Branch, is also at the Spa. The Nick Zito-trained colt also will be vanned down day of the race. Two Haskell prospects — Rock Hard Ten and Wimplestilskin — are based in California and are scheduled to arrive the middle of the week. “He’ll ship out on Wednesday for the flight there,” said Rock Hard Ten’s trainer Jason Orman, who conditions the colt for Mercedes Stables LLC and Madeline Paulson. “I’m running a horse here (Del Mar) on Wednesday so I’ve got a late night flight out of here and should be there Thursday morning.” The son of Kris S. from the Mr. Prospector mare Tersa had his final work for the race on Saturday morning at Del Mar. “He worked great, :58 and two,” said Orman. “Everything is going great with him. He’s ready to go.” Rock Hard Ten debuted on Feb. 7 of this year, breaking his maiden by just over a length at Santa Anita. He followed that up with an allowance score by nearly two lengths on March 3 over the same course. On April 3, he finished second in the Santa Anita Derby, beaten a head by Castledale, only to be disqualified and placed third for interference in the stretch. That disqualification cost the colt enough earnings to earn a berth in the Kentucky Derby; however he did start in the Preakness, finishing second to Smarty Jones, and the Belmont Stakes, fifth, beaten by 12 lengths. His last start was an impressive score in the Swaps Breeders’ Cup at Hollywood, drawing off to nearly a four length score under Corey Nakatani, who has the return call in the Grade 1 Haskell. This year’s 37th renewal of the Haskell will mark the jockeys fourth mount in the race. He finished fifth in 2001 with Jamaican Rum, second in 2000 with Captain Steve and sixth in 1992 aboard Binalong. Rock Hard Ten will carry second highweight of 120 pounds. Wimplestiltskin, third in Hollywood’s Affirmed Stakes last out, is training at Del Mar with Marcelo Polanco’s stable.
BY WARREN RAPPLEYEAStaff Writer SCOTT PILLING staff Slotback Mike Yetka is among the players who will look to lead the Hornets’ offense this year as they take on a tough Liberty Division schedule. The Holmdel High School football team heads into its season-opener Friday against an improved St. John Vianney (SJV) with a sizable line on both sides of scrimmage and plenty of senior leadership. Two years ago, the Hornets went 1-9 before improving to 5-5 last fall, and coach Joe O’Connor is looking for more improvement this time around. The coach is handing the reigns to strong-armed sophomore quarterback Ryan Haslett, and O’Connor indicated that his team may throw the ball from time to time. Like most options teams, Holmdel’s bread and butter will be the running game. Senior Joe Mussillo returns at fullback where he gained more than 600 yards a year ago. Senior Chase Misiura and junior Mike Yetka are the slotbacks. James Haslett, who caught five passes for 121 yards, and Zack Apicella are the wideouts. Apicella also handles the place-kicking duties. “We have a new quarterback, so we really want to help him succeed and put him in good situations,” O’Connor said. “Fortunately, we have a lot of experienced seniors and that will help everyone.” Leading the Hornets ground game is an offensive line that includes three of those seniors, Drew Demaio (6-2, 210), Jason Frommer (5-11, 190) and Kyle Quinn (6-4, 295), junior Mike Troop (6-0, 260) and sophomore Kevin Demaio (6-2, 260) round out the line. Defensively, seniors Derek Badichek (6-3, 250) and James Li (5-11, 240) line up at the tackles in the Hornets 4-4 set, with the Demaio brothers at the end positions. Misiura and Adam Vurchio, a junior, are the inside linebackers, with Chris Laico and Cyrus Peyrovian on the outside. James Haslett and Mike Infantino are the corners and Apicella is the safety. Misiura is the punter. “We have a pretty quick defense, particularly at the linebacker position,” O’Connor said. “If we can contain the opposition and not give up long plays, we should be all right.” Following the SJV game, Holmdel will be home Sept. 16 against Manchester. 2005 Holmdel H.S. football schedule 9/9 SJV A 7 p.m. 9/16 Manchester H 7 p.m. 9/23 Pinelands H 7 p.m. 10/8 Matawan A 2 p.m. 10/14 Raritan A 7 p.m. 10/21 RBC A 7 p.m. 10/28 Manasquan H 7 p.m. 11/5 Colts Neck A 1:30 p.m. 11/24 Keyport H 10 a.m. BY WARREN RAPPLEYEA Staff Writer
Bill Hoffman With three of the five races already contested, Bill Hoffman, 26, of Eatontown, and Madelyn Noe-Schlentz, 45, of Freehold, are the overall men’s and women’s point leaders in the SBLI Jersey Shore Golden Grand Prix Running Series. Hoffman, the 2004 and 2005 Golden Grand Prix Champion, starred at Christian Brothers Academy in Lincroft. Noe-Schlentz is a top masters runner, having qualified for Olympic Trials in the marathon in 2004, and setting American Masters Indoor records for the mile and 3,000 meters, and the American Masters Outdoor record for 10,000 meters. Hoffman again leads open men in the series with 285 accumulated points, followed by Robert Cavanaugh, 28, West Long Branch, in second place with 272. Michael Rolek, of Maplewood, Jay McGovern, of Atlantic Highlands, and Larry Levy, of Reading, Pa., fill out the top five spots. Diane Petruzelli, Lincroft, 39, closely follows Noe-Schlentz’s 277 points with 273 points. Ali Belicose, Red Bank (third place), Amber Hart, Colts Neck (fourth place), and Christine Gaeta, Lincroft, round out the top women’s standings. Madelyn Noe-Schlentz Leading in their respective age groups are David Demonico, 38, South River; Larry Levy, 40, Reading, Pa; Rick Pingitore, 47, Fair Lawn; Michael Mooney, 50, Jackson; Thomas Hall, 56, Lincroft; Ron Cohen, 60, Staten Island, N.Y.; James Leitz, 66, Bayonne; Tom Cangialosi, 71, Rumson; George Evanovich, 76, South River; and Clarence Lurch, 85, Wall. Women’s age group leaders are Diane Petruzelli, 39, Lincroft; Christine Gaeta, 40, Lincroft; Madelyn Noe-Schlentz, 45, Freehold; Jan Farnung Krause, 52, Dunnellen; Paula Crane, 58, Montclair; Linda Thurston, 64, Doylestown, Pa.; Gloria Jenkins, 69, Mount Holly; Elizabeth Thomas, 73, Lincoln Park; and Nancy Dontzin, 76, Farmington, N.Y. The series began on Memorial Day weekend with the 9,000-person Spring Lake 5, followed by the Sheehan Classic in Red Bank, and the Belmar 5 Mile Run, held on July 8. Remaining on the grand prix circuit is the Asbury Park 5K this Saturday, and the third annual Pier Village 5K in Long Branch on Labor Day, Monday, Sept. 4. In its third year, the SBLI Jersey Shore Golden Grand Prix has attracted runners from across the tri-state area competing for prize money in the individual races, as well as the overall series. Once again, prize money is awarded in the open and age group divisions in each of the SBLI Jersey Shore Golden Grand Prix races, as well as for the top point winners in the open and age group divisions at the series end. At stake this year is $33,000 in total prize money, with $4,000 up for grabs at each of the Spring Lake, Belmar, Asbury Park and Pier Village races, and $7,000 money at the Sheehan Classic. In addition, $10,000 in prize money will be awarded to the SBLI Jersey Shore Golden Grand Prix series winners. Organizers and sponsors hope to inspire runners of all abilities to participate in the SBLI Jersey Shore Golden Grand Prix events. Organized by Shore-area running enthusiasts, Tim McLoone and Phil Hinck are excited to partner with SBLI on the Grand Prix. The hope is that the SBLI Jersey Shore Golden Grand Prix will inspire front-runners, middle-of-the-packers, and also beginners to participate annually in the Shore events, contributing to an already great legacy of Shore running. “We are excited at the opportunity to be the title sponsor of the SBLI Jersey Shore Golden Grand Prix,” said SBLI President and CEO Robert K. Sheridan. “The Grand Prix has quickly become one of the most well-known and respected series of races in New Jersey, offering a first-class running experience for recreational runners and elite competitors alike. For nearly a century, SBLI has been known for encouraging and rewarding healthy lifestyles among its policyholders, and we view our sponsorship of the SBLI Jersey Shore Golden Grand Prix as an excellent fit with our corporate philosophy of promoting activities that help people to live longer, healthier lives.” Runners who complete all five SBLI Jersey Shore Golden Grand Prix races will receive a commemorative gift at the final race, the Pier Village 5K in Long Branch on Labor Day, and are entered into a special drawing for prizes. Kelly Conneen, Point Pleasant, won the Grand Prize last year, a flat-screen TV/DVD combination. This year’s Grand Prix prize promises to be even more worth the challenge of running all those miles. For complete SBLI Jersey Shore Golden Grand Prix results or to enter the Asbury Park 5K or the Pier Village 5K Long Branch race, go to www.SBLIgrandprix.com or call (732) 571-2162.
When John Kaye met with Matawan Regional High School’s football players as their new football coach after school on March 1, there wasn’t much of an introduction needed.Along with being the school’s varsity baseball coach for the past 15 years, Kaye was an assistant football coach for the past 18 years under Joe Martucci.Martucci resigned after his 28th season after the Huskies won their second NJSIAA Central Jersey Group II playoff championship in the last three seasons, all three seasons ending in trips to the championship game. Martucci, who had a 197- 81-1 record and five state titles, has agreed to coach the offensive backs at Kean University this fall.Not only did Martucci know Kaye well as colleagues on the sidelines, Martucci also has been the athletic director and will step down from that post in June.Will Kaye be able to remain as baseball coach for a program that has developed 13 players who went on to college and last year was a co-champion in the Shore Conference A Central Division?“That program is in a good position, and I’ll visit that decision at the end of the [baseball] season,” Kaye said.Two former players were the other finalists for the position of head football coach— Dave Monro, a former offensive coordinator at Raritan, and Charlie Marsh, who had worked as a defensive coordinator at Monmouth Regional before returning to Matawan’s staff last season.“I didn’t recommend anybody — that was the board’s decision — but I felt John Kaye was the best applicant because he has head coaching experience and has coached every position in this program except quarterback and receivers,” Martucci said.For now, Kaye is organizing a staff and maintaining an offseason program for the many returning players. He could not speculate at this time how much of a change will be made on the schemes on either side of the ball. “A lot of the staff will stay together, the same faces in different roles,” Kaye said. “What matters is the ones wearing the uniforms out there, the [jersey] numbers and colors.”Kaye was a head coach at Hillside from 1989 to 1995. He started his coaching career with two years as an assistant at Matawan and four years after that as a defensive coordinator at Scotch Plains before going to Hillside as head coach and then returning to Matawan.“I had other possibilities for head coaching jobs elsewhere since I came back, but felt it did not fit the right way, and I stayed here,” said Kaye. “When the position opened, I talked to my family about it and decided to apply.” Kaye chose to coach the freshman team this past season to allow him more time to follow the efforts in the same fall season of his daughter, Nicole, a defender on Matawan’s soccer team who is embarking after her graduation this spring on a college career at Ramapo.“I’mhonored to be mentioned in the same sentence as [former coaches] Joe Martucci and Barry Rizzo, legendary coaches not only in New Jersey but nationally,” Kaye said.Kaye is eager to take over a program that has further embedded itself in the community with the establishment of a Hall of Fame monument area at James C. Dwyer Sr. Memorial Alumni Park off the stadium entrance, a testament to the program’s tradition of success and development of players who went on to college and NFL careers, such as Jay Bellamy, who has served as special teams coach at Matawan and played in the NFL for the Seattle Seahawks and New Orleans Saints. BY WAYNE WITKOWSKI Correspondent
Middletown High School South’s girls basketball team showed its resilience in its first state championship game appearance when it won NJSIAA Group III, 50-42, over North Valley Regional High School at Old Tappan despite playing the final two minutes without star player Stephanie Karcz, who fouled out.The Eagles led by 10 points at the time, and it never got closer than six as their whirlwind record improved to 26-5 on March 15. Karcz finished with 16 points and, typical of the well-balanced season, two other players scored in double figures: Angela DeBartolome with 11 points and Haley Dalonzo with 10.“When Steph fouled out, everyone was looking at each other and saying, ‘Here it is.’ But this team has been resilient all year long and has faced a lot of adversity,” coach Tom Brennan said. “It’s like they’re saying, ‘What else can you throw at me?’ ”But the Eagles faced yet another challenge when they returned to the Pine Belt Arena Court in Toms River on March 17 to play in the Tournament of Champions against Franklin High School (23-5), a 54-48 winner over Shawnee High School in its Group IV championship game. Franklin is seeded No. 4 and Middletown South is No. 5.Brennan said before the game he would sit Julia Valkos, who broke the ring finger of her left hand in the Group III semifinals victory over Timber Creek Regional High School.“She was outstanding [against Old Tappan], but she was in so much excruciating pain afterward that the risk outweighs the rewards. It’s not worth it.”That means another big effort was needed off the bench from Madison Curtis, who came in when Karcz fouled out against Old Tappan and also capably stepped in for two weeks in late December through early January when Dalonzo was injured.“Somebody’s got to step in and Madison said, ‘Put me in. I’m ready,’ ” Brennan said. “Julia is a big loss because she has great length and is electric offensively in getting to the rim and shooting the three. She’s been better than advertised. But Madison filled in fine for Haley when she was out there.”Middletown South has dealt with adversity from the start of the season, when highly touted Jill Falvey was sidelined with a season-ending injury. Curtis got a field goal down the stretch and was fouled on the play against Old Tappan. Alexandra Balsamo and DeBartolome hit both ends of their two free throws, and Valkos had a big basket to protect the lead. On March 17, the Eagles went up against a similarly well-balanced Franklin team, which has three starters averaging about 10 points a game. But they needed to be strong off the boards, as Franklin rebounds well. If Middletown South won, it would come back on March 19 at the Pine Belt Arena against No. 1-seed Manasquan High School, which it lost to on Dec. 30, 62-27.“[Franklin has] three lightning-quick guards — two who are more shooter than slasher and the other a slasher who sometimes is a shooter,” Brennan said. “They put on intensive pressure and work the ball down low for positioning and patience. But they also swing the ball and get it to the other side of the floor for a good shot.”Coming into the week, the Eagles savored the sweet taste of a championship that was fitting for a team that showed class in victory and defeat, earning the Board 194 Shore Officials Sportsmanship award.Win or lose on March 17, or at any point in the Tournament of Champions, Brennan agreed with many coaches whose teams get there that it’s more of a showcase for teams that reached their primary goal of a group title.“I hear people say that we did what we set out to do,” Brennan said. “They say, ‘Whatever happens from here is gravy.’ I just hope my players go out and play, understanding what was accomplished and just enjoy the game.” By WAYNE WITKOWSKI Correspondent
By Andreas VouAPOEL travel to Amsterdam to take on Dutch champions Ajax on Wednesday (9.45pm) knowing that only a win will do in order to remain in European competition beyond the new year. Giorgos Donis’ side are bottom of Champions League Group F, one point behind their Dutch counterparts. A win for APOEL will see them leapfrog their opponents into third place which will hand them progression to the knockout phase of the Europa League.Despite their valiant performances, APOEL have amassed just one point so far in the competition and have lost three games in a row without scoring a goal since their only draw this campaign – that point came against Ajax in Nicosia, where the two sides played out a 1-1 draw.Gustavo Manduca’s penalty, APOEL’s only goal so far in the competition this season, leveled the game just four minutes after Lucas Andersen had put the visitors ahead.Two defeats against Paris Saint-Germain as well as a heavy 4-0 home loss at the hands of Barcelona have left APOEL with the tough task of defeating Ajax on their own patch – the Cypriots have never won a Champions League match away from home.Club captain Constantinos Charalambidis continues his road to recovery while Argentine midfielder Tomas De Vincenti is undergoing individual physiotherapy and gym exercises but both will not make the squad for Wednesday’s game. John Arne Riise will also remain in Cyprus after coming down with symptoms of gastroenteritis.Brazilian centre-back Carlao has been one of APOEL’s top performers in this year’s competition and his return to training is a major boost for the Cypriots, especially as his defensive partner Guilherme misses out through suspension following his red card against Barcelona.Ajax will be without Kolbeinn Sigthórsson after the Icelandic international suffered an ankle injury in his side’s 5-0 drubbing of Willem II over the weekend. The striker managed to bag Ajax’s opening goal on 14 minutes but was forced off just five minutes later.Ajax will qualify for the knockout stage of the Europa League as long as they avoid defeat but Dutch legend Johan Cruyff has warned his former club that playing for a draw could bring negative consequences.“Against APOEL, there could be unfortunate surprises. It is true that, for Ajax, a point is enough but if they play for a draw they may have a problem.“Therefore I suggest they play attacking and intelligently. APOEL defend very well and the best way of approaching them is to be clinical,” Cruyff concluded, speaking to De Telegraaf. APOEL go into their do-or-die match in high spirits following a 0-1 away win against Anorthosis which, coupled with Apollon’s 3-1 defeat against AEK Larnaca, gives them a five-point lead at the top of the Cyprus standings.The scorer of that vital goal was Rafik Djebbour who expressed his delight via his personal Twitter account and also stated his intention for the upcoming European match.“Victory time for APOEL. I’m so glad for giving a goal to my team. Let’s win again against Ajax! Go APOEL.”
By Mark Lamport-StokesTHE long-awaited mega bout between Floyd Mayweather Jr. and Manny Pacquiao, which has been more than five years in the making, will take place in Las Vegas on May 2, Mayweather has announced.A duel between the defence-minded Mayweather and the aggressive Pacquiao, the biggest drawcards of their generation, has been savoured by boxing fans, if only to decide the mythical title of the world’s best pound-for-pound fighter.Showtime and HBO will jointly broadcast the bout, which is one of the most eagerly anticipated in boxing since the classic 1975 ‘Thrilla in Manila’ between Muhammad Ali and Joe Frazier.However, both Mayweather, 37, and Pacquiao, 36, are in the twilight of their respective careers and most pundits say they have lost some of their skills in the ring.“What the world has been waiting for has arrived,” American Mayweather, who has a perfect record of 47-0 with 26 knockouts, said on the social networking website Shots. “Mayweather vs. Pacquiao on May 2, 2015 is a done deal.“I promised the fans we would get this done, and we did. We will make history on May 2nd. Don’t miss it!”Mayweather made a late-night trip to Pacquiao’s hotel in Miami last month to discuss the possibility of a showdown, and the Filipino southpaw, an eight-division world champion, signed the contract for the bout on Thursday.“I am glad my decision to meet with Manny and discuss making this fight happen helped get the deal done,” Mayweather said in a statement. “Giving the fans what they want to see is always my main focus.“This will be the biggest event in the history of the sport. I am the best ever … and this fight will be another opportunity to showcase my skills and do what I do best, which is win.“Manny is going to try to do what 47 before him failed to do, but he won’t be successful. He will be number 48.”Pacquiao, who has a 57-5-2 record with 38 knockouts, said in a statement: “I am very happy that Floyd Mayweather and I can give the fans the fight they have wanted for so many years. They have waited long enough and they deserve it.“It is an honour to be part of this historic event. I dedicate this fight to all the fans who willed this fight to happen and, as always, to bring glory to the Philippines and my fellow Filipinos around the world.”The welterweight showdown in Vegas is projected to be the most lucrative ever in boxing with Mayweather expected to have a 60-40 split advantage on revenues, earning a minimum of $120 million and Pacquiao at least $80 million.“Everyone involved, including Floyd Mayweather and Manny Pacquiao, knows this fight simply had to happen,” Stephen Espinoza, general manager for Showtime Sports, said in a statement.“All of us are thrilled to be able to deliver this event to boxing fans around the world.”Pacquiao lost much of his appeal after successive defeats to American Timothy Bradley and Mexican Juan Manuel Marquez in 2012, prompting talk of his possible retirement, though he has since bounced back with three impressive wins.Five-division world champion Mayweather, who is known for his shrewd business acumen, had been expected to meet Pacquiao in 2010 until negotiations collapsed over the American’s demand for random drug testing.Mayweather has hinted at illegal methods by often questioning how Pacquiao could have won world titles in an unprecedented eight weight classes.Mayweather announced last September, after he scored a dominant win over Argentine Marcos Maidana in Las Vegas in his most recent bout, that he would retire in late 2015 when his Showtime contract ends, after two more fights.