Done Deal: Pacquiao to take on Mosley on 7 May 2011

December 22, 2010 in Boxing by pacejmiller

[Update: for my prediction of this bout, click here.]

What a shame.  Manny Pacquiao has spoken and his next opponent will be the 39 year-old Shane Mosley on 7 May 2011 at the welterweight limit of 147 pounds in Las Vegas.

Pacquiao had a choice of Mosley, Juan Manuel Marquez (against whom Pacquiao is up 1-0-1 in two previous fights many thought Marquez had won) and Andre Berto (the undefeated albeit untested young challenger).

The decision was not a surprise, but boxing fans had hoped Pacquiao (52-3-2, 38 KOs) would not be persuaded by his greedy promoter Bob Arum (of Top Rank) into picking the old and out of form Mosley (46-6-1, 39 KOs), whose previous two fights were a one-sided decision loss to Mosley and a boring, pathetic draw to The Contender winner Sergio Mora.

Even though Arum presented three term sheets to Pacquiao and said it would ultimately be Pacquiao’s choice, Arum had openly pushed hard for Mosley (who is breaking up with his promoter Golden Boy to become a ‘free agent’) because Top Rank would be able to scoop up all the money from the fight for itself (as opposed to sharing it with Golden Boy, who promotes Marquez, or Lou DiBella, who promotes Berto).

I’m very disappointed in Pacquiao’s decision, as I had hoped that he would either put to bed those arguments that Marquez is better than him, or at least fight someone who isn’t 0-1-1 in his last two fights and pushing 40.  For whatever reason, Team Pacquiao apparently thinks Mosley is the toughest opponent out of the three.

When the announcement was made, Arum already began spinning why this would be a good fight.

“We came to a meeting of the minds.  [Top Rank matchmaker] Bruce Trample says it’s a very difficult fight.  I believe it will be an exciting fight.  Shane knows how to fight and how to deal with the speed.  Manny is in for a hellacious fight.  I really believe styles make fights.”

Bull.  Crap.

Arum has already dissed Mosley as an over the hill fighter in the past, and now all of a sudden Mosley is a worthy challenge for the pound-for-pound king?

Even Freddie Roach, Pacquiao’s trainer, had difficulty masking his complete lack of interest in this fight.

“I think it’s a good fight,” he said [lied].  “I feel that Shane is one of the toughest guys left out there right now.  He didn’t get up for The Contender guy [Mora], but he will get up for Manny Pacquiao.  It’s a difficult fight because Shane has speed and power.  He’s getting a little older, which is in our favor, but I expect Shane to be at his best because he’s wanted this fight for a long time.  I will get Pacquiao well-prepared for this one.”

Yeah whatever.

Roach did say, however, that he believes Pacquiao will eventually take on Marquez again, provided both continue to win and Floyd Mayweather Jr can’t or won’t fight.

“I’m not too worried,” Roach said.  “After Mosley, the Marquez fight will still be there.  He’ll be there after this fight.  I don’t see Marquez going anywhere.  We just have to keep winning and I think that fight will happen.”

But why not fight him now, especially when both guys are on a high and the fight would be on a big Mexican holiday?  According to Roach and Arum, it’s because Marquez doesn’t really want the fight and is pricing himself out of it by asking for too much money.  They said Marquez is asking for $5 million.  Considering Marquez got $3.2 million guaranteed for the Mayweather fight and that Top Rank would have to buy out Golden Boy to be the sole promoter for this fight, how is $5 million too much?

When everything’s said and done, a Pacquiao fight will still be a Pacquiao fight — ie an action-packed, thrilling spectacle.  Unfortunately, it will be the least exciting fight out of the three possibilities (excluding Mayweather of course).