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Thursday, February 4, 2010

Golden Boy CEO: Mayweather-Mosley 'one of the most anticipated fights of this generation'

For weeks, Richard Schaefer honored a self-imposed gag order and refused to talk in depth about the failed Floyd Mayweather-Manny Pacquiao negotiations.

In a matter of days, the boxing promoter struck a compromise plan for a Mayweather-Shane Mosley megafight in a negotiation he called “an absolute pleasure” with Mayweather’s advisers, Al Haymon and Leonard Ellerbe.

"We know each other well, we respect each other, and that is a great start for any negotiation,” Schaefer, chief executive of Golden Boy Promotions, said Wednesday. “It is a fight Floyd really wanted and it is a fight Shane really wanted. That provided the necessary ingredients to get this negotiation going and signed.

"It's exciting to be part of a historic event where you have two of the best fighters of this generation, two of the best pound-for-pound fighters, two Americans, fighting each other -- and two guys who are at the top of their craft. We have seen what Shane did to Antonio Margarito and what Floyd did to Juan Manuel Marquez."

The May 1 fight at MGM Grand Garden Arena in Las Vegas became official after Mayweather’s signed contract arrived at Golden Boy’s Los Angeles office Wednesday, five days after Mosley signed.

Mosley agreed to the Olympic-style random blood and urine testing at which Pacquiao balked during the failed Mayweather-Pacquiao negotiations.

Mayweather also will be subject to random testing.

AP File Photo
Richard Schaefer said a future fight with Manny Pacquiao isn't a certainty because neither Pacquiao nor Floyd Mayweather appear to be willing to budge on their stances on drug testing.

Ellerbe has said Olympic-style random testing will be a negotiating mandate for any future Mayweather fight, which means a future matchup against Pacquiao is anything but a certainty, even if both fighters win their upcoming bouts.

Pacquiao scheduled a March 13 fight against Joshua Clottey after Mayweather talks fell apart.

"I don't really know if it’s possible and I don't really want to think about it because, the fact is, both parties felt rather strongly about their position, as it relates to Olympic-style drug testing,” Schaefer said. “I can not speak for Pacquiao because I'm not his promoter. But I can tell you that I would be surprised if Floyd was going to change his position as it relates to that. For this fight, he obviously hasn't.

“Floyd feels strongly that the time has come for boxing to introduce Olympic-style blood testing. Given the fact that I don't think Floyd is going to change course, and I think, with regret, that Pacquiao may not change his position, it basically just is what it is."

Schaefer confirmed that Mayweather-Mosley will be conducted at the 147-pound welterweight limit but said it is uncertain whether Mosley’s World Boxing Association title will be at stake.

That could hinge on what percentage of each fighter’s purse the WBA is willing to accept to sanction the fight. Sanctioning fees typically run about 2-3 percent of each fighter’s purse, although WBA by-laws allow for that amount to be “modified to the discretion” of its Board of Directors, and such downward negotiation is common practice when fighters earn enormous purses for a title fight.

Ellerbe said in December that Mosley was Mayweather’s backup plan if Pacquiao negotiations failed.

Shane Mosley
At that time, Mosley was scheduled for a Jan. 30 fight against Andre Berto.

But Berto withdrew from that bout two weeks ago -- only days after the Mayweather-Pacquiao talks officially ended after a failed mediation attempt -- which paved the way for Mayweather-Mosley.

“In a way, the promotion for Mayweather and Mosley started right in the ring after Mayweather's victory against Juan Manuel Marquez, when Shane Mosley grabbed the microphone and started things going,” Schaefer said, referring to Mosley’s forced interference with Mayweather’s post-fight interview following his comeback fight after a 21 1/2-month layoff. “Then, of course, the Pacquiao discussions started and Shane's position was that he didn't want to sit around and wait, so he moved on to fight another undefeated fighter in Andre Berto.

“Then, when the Pacquiao talks collapsed and the fight didn't happen, we didn't really think Mosley, because Shane had a very tough fight against Andre Berto, who is a great champion, he's undefeated. He had a very tough fight ahead of him. I think it would have been a very big mistake to underestimate Andre Berto and start thinking about, or even discussing, a later fight between Mayweather and Mosley."

Other potential fights were discussed for Mayweather, but when Mosley became available, those were dropped.

"With these megafights, they sort of have dynamics of their own in place,” Schaefer said. “Sometimes, they fall apart. And sometimes, they come together unexpectedly.

"The fact is, at the end of the day, it is up to the fighters if they want to fight. Floyd Mayweather made it clear to me he wanted the big fight. After the Pacquiao negotiations fell out, there weren't that many big names out there that warranted a super fight. When Andre Berto had to withdraw because of the Haiti situation, that opened the window, opened the door, and Floyd was immediately interested in that. And Shane was very much on the same page."

Schaefer said he did not view Mayweather-Mosley as a method of trumping Pacquiao-Clottey with pay-per-view buyers who might not be inclined to spend $50 or more for both fights, saying his philosophy is strictly to focus on his own business and his own fight.


Follow David Mayo at twitter.com/David_Mayo
He acknowledged, however, that some customers in a depressed economy might have to choose.

"If you are a consumer like that, and you have to pick which one is the bigger show, and which one is the more historic event, and which one has all the ingredients, then you're going to have to pick,” he said.

It was clear Schaefer is enamored of the Mayweather-Mosley fight, as are many boxing fans.

"It's certainly one of the most anticipated fights of this generation,” he said

Author: David Mayo

Source: mlive.com

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