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Mayweather-Mosley: Setting the Record Straight

Floyd Mayweather Jr Shane MosleyBy Alexander Fugate: When Mayweather and Mosley were first reported to be in negotiations, there were many that said Floyd is a ducker and will never face anyone as dangerous as Mosley. Once the contracts were signed, it became, Floyd won’t follow through, he will fake an injury or something. Now, that some time has passed since Mayweather-Mosley first came to light, there are many that claim Mayweather never wanted this fight and was forced into it by public pressure.

The first fact that should be brought up is that in 1999 Mayweather challenged Mosley. At the time, Floyd was a 22 year old junior lightweight champion. After dominating wins over Genaro Hernandez and highly regarded Angel Manfredy, who hadn’t lost since his fifth professional fight over 4 ½ years earlier. Mosley was a 27 or 28 year old lightweight champion. They were both regarded as the best in their respective divisions. “The Ring” magazine was excited by the idea and featured both fighters on the same cover. However, Mosley had different ideas. Shortly after, Mosley jumped two weight divisions to fight at 147 and set-up a fight with Oscar De La Hoya in 2000, in Mosley’s third fight at that weight.

It would be years before a Mayweather-Mosley fight was again a real possibility and something the public wanted to see. It was anticipated again in 2006 after Mosley knocked out Fernando Vargas in their second match. After the fight Mayweather seemed eager to fight “Sugar” Shane. The New York Times caught up with “Money May” and captured Floyd’s buoyant and brash demeanor with some characteristic quotes from the superstar. “I would love to fight Mosley. He makes too many mistakes.” And “Mosley’s been ducking me for 10 years now. I’ve been chasing Shane Mosley forever. I can’t keep chasing the guy.” He went on to say “I’ve got to talk to Jin, she runs the show.” Jin was Mosley’s wife at the time. Floyd was hoping to face Mosley later that year.

Prior to that fight with Vargas, Mosley heard of Mayweather hoping to face him later in the year. Badlefthook has quoted Mosley as saying “They can stop thinking about that because it won’t happen.”However, his devastating knockout of Vargas left fans clamoring for a superfight with Floyd. In his post-fight interview HBO’s Larry Merchant asked about this possibility. Shane said, “I had planned to go on trips and stuff like that.” He went on to say that he knew Floyd had a date in November reserved and that after that they could meet up in 2007. The only problem with this is that Oscar De La Hoya was already planning on fighting Mayweather in May of 07. This was already known. A fight with De La Hoya would bring a much bigger payday for Floyd and eventually did set records for most revenue and most PPV buys for any fight in boxing history. Merchant questioned Mosley on why he wouldn’t fight Mayweather later in 2006 when the opportunity was there and when it could bring him his biggest payday yet. Shane answered, “….um, my tooth is a little loose right now.” Shane never would agree to fight Mayweather that year. Mayweather went on to win three more fights, before retiring at the end of 2007.

In January 2009, Mosley knocked out Antonio Margarito. In the weeks following that, Mosley finally expressed some interest in fighting Mayweather. But Mayweather was still retired at this time. In May of that year, Mayweather announced he was coming back against Juan Manuel Marquez in July. Admittedly, fans would have rather seen Mayweather face Mosley, but for whatever reason Floyd decided against it. It may have been he wanted an easier opponent that he saw as a tune-up for a bout with Pacquiao. It could have been that now that Mosley needed him, he decided to give Mosley a taste of his own medicine. It may have been he viewed Mosley as too dangerous, but considering his previous overtures towards a fight with Mosley, that seems like a stretch.

Anyways, a rib injury suffered during training forced Floyd to postpone the fight to September. After Mayweather dominated all 12 rounds against Marquez, Max Kellerman was interviewing Mayweather in the ring. Apparently, Mosley couldn’t stand that the man he had refused to fight for 8 years was enjoying the moment after his victory. In an uncharacteristic and classless act, Mosley stormed into the ring interrupting the interview. Mosley challenged Mayweather there in the ring. Mayweather had wanted to fight Mosley for years. Mosley had numerous fights and victories in that time. Yet, Mayweather never once disrespected Mosley by interrupting one of his post-fight interviews. In fact, I don’t know of any other instance of such an act ever.

Mayweather dismissed Shane at that moment, wanting a fight with Manny Pacquiao. However, Mayweather found it as difficult as Mosley did in getting Pacquiao to fight him. So, Mayweather turned his attention back to Mosley. At the time “Sugar” Shane was still scheduled to fight Andre Berto on January 30th.

Now, it seems the fashionable thing to say is that Mayweather never wanted to fight Mosley, but was forced into it by public pressure after Berto pulled out. However, that is nothing other than a complete falsehood.

Lem Satterfield of boxing.fanhouse.com was one of the first to break the Mayweather-Mosley match; prior to Berto cancelling his date with “Sugar” Shane. Following is a list of other sources stating the same thing; that Mayweather and Mosley were already deep in talks for a bout against each other, while Mosley-Berto was still scheduled.

Mannypacquiaovs.com reported that Mosley was Mayweather’s plan B the whole time. It also reported Mosley still had to get past Berto. Ben Thomas of fighthype wrote “…it looks like Mayweather will forego fighting on the March 13th date in hopes of a potential big money showdown with “Sugar” Shane Mosley, provided Mosley does his job and gets past the undefeated Andre Berto on January 30th.” Spreadreport.com ran a similar article: “…he [Mayweather] will fight Shane Mosley (46-5, 39 Kos) on May 1likely in Las Vegas.” It continued, “Mosley, however, has a fight next week.” They quoted Lou Dibella, Berto’s promoter as saying, “He knows if he beats Shane Mosley and becomes an international boxing superstar, he will be in position to help the people of Haiti.” That doesn’t sound like Berto pulled out before negotiations between Mayweather and Mosley began.

It is also popular to dismiss the idea of Pacquiao fighting Mosley instead of Clottey since Berto had yet to pull out when Manny signed to fight Clottey. It seems Mayweather wasn’t the only one that considered fighting Mosley though. Pacquiao’s trainer Freddie Roach had considered having Manny face the winner of Mosley-Berto when it started to look doubtful that they would strike a deal with Mayweather, according to 8countnews.com. That article was quite favourable to that idea. But it appears, Roach decided the same as he did previously, when Mosley was lobbying for a fight with Pacquiao last summer. Roach then stated there wasn’t enough money involved and that Mosley was too good. It’s hard to imagine anyone believes Clottey will generate more revenue than Mosley. Although few would argue Mosley isn’t still a talented and dangerous opponent.

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