Thursday, February 11, 2010

Inside Boxing: Floyd Mayweather-Shane Mosley bout makes quite the statement

My apologies to Floyd Mayweather.

You may recall I took him to task a few weeks ago for ducking Manny Pacquiao and seeking a soft opponent in his place. At the time, the names being mentioned were Paulie Malignaggi, Matthew Hatton (brother of Ricky), Kermit Cintron and Paul Williams. I immediately threw out the 6-2 Williams because no one wants to fight him, at least not in the welterweight division.

I had not seen or heard any mention of Shane Mosley as a possible opponent for Mayweather. Not until my column ran did I see a report on that a Mosley-Mayweather fight was in the works. Oh well, I thought, it's still only a rumor. Probably another smoke screen by the Mayweather camp.

But lo and behold, Mayweather signed the contract last week after Mosley agreed to the same Olympic-style random blood testing that Mayweather had insisted on for Pacquiao. The fight will be May 1 at the MGM Grand in Las Vegas.

With one stroke of his pen, Mayweather proved all of us who doubted his integrity wrong. Of course, it could be Mayweather felt he had to fight someone good to quiet the critics and regain their respect, but that's neither here or there. The important thing is he took the fight.

"This one is definitely for the fans," Mayweather said. "I have said ever since I came back to the sport that I only wanted to fight the best. I think Shane is one of the best, but come May 1, he still won't be great enough to beat me."

How big is Mayweather-Mosley? If Mayweather-Pacquiao is the best fight out there, this is the next best. Check out Ring Magazine's pound-for-pound rankings — the three fighters are Pacquiao, Mayweather and Mosley.

Mosley (46-5, 39 KOs) has undergone a resurgence of sorts since dropping back down to the welterweight division after a fling at junior middleweight. He has won seven of his last eight fights and never looked better than in his last outing, regaining the WBA welterweight title with a devastating ninth-round TKO of Antonio Margarito, once one of the most feared fighters in the welterweight division.

Mosley's only loss in that stretch was a narrow decision to Miguel Cotto in what was probably Cotto's best fight. Sugar Shane has also won world titles at lightweight and junior middleweight.

The undefeated Mayweather (40-0, 25 KOs), meanwhile, looked as sharp as ever in his first bout back after a two-year "retirement," a one-sided decision against lightweight champ Juan Manuel Marquez, though Marquez was fighting out of his division.

"I have always wanted to fight Floyd and now it's finally coming true," Mosley said. "I am already in great shape and ready to show everyone on May 1 that I am stronger, faster and better than he is. I will have no problem beating him."

Oh yes, this is going to be a good one.


On the Providence fight scene, Peter Manfredo Jr. (34-6) won the vacant NABF middleweight belt with an impressive 10-round shutout of Matt "The Predator" Vanda (42-10) two weeks ago at Mohegan Sun.

Providence heavyweight Jason Estrada (16-3), however, was not at all happy with his 12-round decision loss to former light heavyweight and cruiserweight champion Tomasz Adamek (40-1) on Saturday night in Newark, N.J.

"If everyone in this room were completely honest with themselves, you would all admit that I got robbed," said Estrada in the post-fight press conference. "Yeah, I'm angry. I fought my [expletive] off. I trained harder than I ever have. I was in the best shape I've ever been in."

The scoring was 115-113, 116-112 and 118-110.

Demetrius Andrade (9-0, 7 KOs), the 2008 Olympian out of Providence, will share the spotlight atop an April 2 ESPN2 card at Madison Square Garden in New York with welterweight contender Delvin Rodrigues. The latter will face Mike Arnuoutis, while Andrade's opponent has yet to be determined.


Undefeated WBC lightweight champion Edwin Valero (27-0) scored his 27th straight knockout, a ninth-round TKO of WBC interim lightweight champion Antonio DeMarco (23-2-1) in Monterrey, Mexico, on Saturday night. Valero was in charge throughout the bout despite bad cuts below his left eye and on his forehead.


The aforementioned Cotto, a two-time welterweight champion, will go after his third world title against WBA junior middleweight champion Yuri Foreman on June 12 at Madison Square Garden. ... Look for Kelly Pavlik (36-1) to defend his WBC and WBO middleweight belts against WBC junior middleweight interim champion Sergio Martinez (44-3-2) April 17 or 24 on HBO. ... Erik Morales will return to the ring after a two-year retirement on March 27 against Jose Alfonso in Monterrey, Mexico. ... Despite Roy Jones' first-round knockout at the hands of Danny Green, Jones will still face Bernard Hopkins on April 3 at the Mandalay Resort and Casino in Las Vegas, 17 years after he won a decision over Hopkins. It's on PPV; lots of luck selling that one.



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