Tuesday, February 2, 2010
Money-Sugar match gets helping hand
We've been down this road before with Floyd "Money" Mayweather, but this time should be different.
Mayweather (40-0, 25 KOs) has agreed to all conditions to fight Pomona's Sugar Shane Mosley (46-5, 39 KOs) in a megafight on May 1 at the MGM Grand Hotel and Casino in Las Vegas. They are considered two of the best fighters pound for pound, and Mosley's WBA welterweight title will be at stake.
Fate seemed to have a part in this long-awaited match that only came to fruition because Mayweather would not agree to fight Manny Pacquiao unless he took a blood test to detect human growth hormone. Another factor was Mosley's fight against WBC titleholder Andre Berto that fell apart due to the earthquake in Haiti. Berto withdrew to fly to Haiti, where he lost family members.
One major reason this fight will definitely take place is both fighters are contracted by Golden Boy Promotions.
"I'm confident this fight will take place," said Oscar De La Hoya, the president of Golden Boy. "Everything is agreed upon."
Last Friday, in Las Vegas, Mosley was present at a fight card and told the media that he had signed the contract that could net him $20 million. Also present was Mayweather's advisor, Leonard Ellerbe, who said that all of the major issues are acceptable and that their attorneys are looking over the items.
Mosley, 38, and Mayweather, 32, have a long history of wanting to fight each other. I was at a post-fight victory party in 1999 for Mosley when Las Vegas resident Mayweather approached him and asked for a fight. Mosley told him to sign a contract.
That was 11 years ago. It's finally going to happen.
With Pacquiao set to fight Joshua Clottey on March 13 in Dallas, it's conceivable that the winner of that fight will meet the winner of Mayweather and Mosley.
Mosley's journey to this point has been a cluttered road. The speedster had one of his greatest moments a year ago in upsetting Mexico's feared Antonio Margarito for the WBA welterweight title. That win was clouded by the fact that Margarito's hand wraps were deemed illegal by the California State Athletic Commission and he was ultimately suspended for one year along with his trainer Javier Capetillo. It seems Mosley was punished, too, as he was unable to secure a fight until now.
"I almost wish they hadn't found anything in his gloves," said Mosley, who knocked out Margarito in the 10th round. "He never touched me anyway."
Mosley's offer to fight Pacquiao last autumn was ignored, with promoter Top Rank preferring its superstar fight its own Miguel Cotto. Even Pacquiao wanted Mosley but was given Cotto, whom he soundly beat last November.
The stars never seemed aligned for Mosley until fate reached in and set the table for the Southern Californian who lives in Big Bear. But the road to success has always been difficult for Mosley.
It was back in 1999 that Mosley was trying everything possible to get a match with budding superstar De La Hoya. His father, Jack Mosley, asked the publication I worked with at the time if we could help. We set up a photo shoot for a feature story that we guaranteed would reach De La Hoya.
Soon after Mosley and De La Hoya agreed to meet at the fight that took place in June 2000 at Staples Center. Mosley won in a riveting 12-round rumble for the WBC welterweight world title. Now, 10 years later, he's still considered one of the best fighters in the world.
As for Mayweather, I remember sitting down with him about eight years ago in an arena filled with mostly Latino fans screaming for a Mexican fighter, and he muttered "I wish I was Mexican so I could have these fans." But after signing to fight De La Hoya in 2007, he discovered he could bring millions of fight fans to watch him by using tried-and-true pro wrestling antics. Now he sits as one of the most marketable fighters in a matchup that has taken 10 years to finally nail down.
Author: David A. Avila