Monday, February 1, 2010
Money Maweather to fight Mosley in May
Shane Mosley and Floyd Mayweather Jr. have agreed to terms for a welterweight super fight, Mayweather adviser Leonard Ellerbe said Friday. Later Friday, Mosley signed his contract in Las Vegas, Mosley's attorney Judd Burstein told ESPN.com.
"Shane has signed. I sat with him [Friday] and we went through every provision of the contract and he signed," Burstein said. "He is excited to move forward with the bout."
Mosley will defend his welterweight title against Mayweather on May 1 on HBO PPV at the MGM Grand in Las Vegas.
Mayweather's signature is a formality, according to Burstein and Ellerbe.
"I confirmed with Leonard [on Friday night] that there are no issues," Burstein said.
"All of the deal points have been agreed to," Ellerbe said. "We still have to put pen to paper, but everything is agreed to. It's with the lawyers. Shane is a great fighter, one of the best of his era, and so is Floyd. It's going to be a great fight. It's a fight fans have wanted to see for a long time."
Ellerbe said that he expected Mayweather's paperwork to be completed in the next few days with a formal announcement likely next week.
Financial terms were not disclosed, but Mayweather has the option for an immediate rematch in the event he loses.
The fight came together after an unexpected turn of events.
First, Mayweather became available for a fight three weeks ago when negotiations with pound-for-pound king Manny Pacquiao disintegrated. They had agreed to all terms for a March 13 fight that loomed as the biggest in boxing -- except for a drug testing protocol.
They had agreed to random urine testing, but Mayweather also wanted random blood testing, even though that is not required under the rules of the Nevada State Athletic Commission. Pacquiao agreed only to three blood tests, but none within 24 days of the fight, and the third one immediately after the bout.
Mayweather has alluded to Pacquiao using performance-enhancing drugs, even though he has never produced any evidence, and Floyd Mayweather Sr. has outright said he believes Pacquiao uses.
The rancor over the drug testing issue caused the fight to fall apart and Pacquiao moved on. He will defend his version of the 147-pound title against former titlist Joshua Clottey on March 13 at Cowboys Stadium in Arlington, Texas.
Then Mosley became available two weeks ago. He was scheduled to meet Andre Berto in a title unification bout at Mandalay Bay in Las Vegas on Saturday night. However, Berto, a Haitian-American, withdrew from the bout after eight members of his extended family were killed in the earthquake in Haiti.
Immediately after the cancellation of Mosley-Berto, Mosley and Mayweather -- the former welterweight champ and pound-for-pound king until giving up the mantle during a brief retirement -- began negotiating.
"The negotiations were very cordial and went very smoothly," Ellerbe said.
Mosley has agreed to undergo random blood and urine testing, as has Mayweather, Ellerbe said.
Mosley has admitted to using PEDs and was connected to the BALCO scandal. Although he publicly denied using PEDs for years, Mosley admitted during grand jury testimony, which was later released, that he used designer steroids "the clear" and "the cream" and injected himself with EPO, a blood oxygen enhancer, during the lead-up to his 2003 rematch with Oscar De La Hoya. Mosley said he took the steroids unknowingly.
"Floyd only wants to be sure of an even playing field no matter who he fights," Ellerbe said.
Mayweather (40-0, 25 KOs), a five-division champion, and Mosley (46-5, 39 KOs), a three-division champion, have seemingly been on a collision course since the late 1990s, when Mosley was lightweight champion and Mayweather was junior lightweight champion.
Although their careers took different paths, talk of a potential fight heated back up in 2006 after Mosley's two knockouts of Fernando Vargas, but talks never got too serious.
However, Mosley stepped up his call for a fight with Mayweather, 32, last year after Mayweather ended his 18-month retirement. After Mayweather easily beat lightweight champion Juan Manuel Marquez in a lopsided decision in September, Mosley crashed his post-fight interview in the ring and called him out to his face.
It didn't look like Mosley would get the fight because two months later, Pacquiao knocked out Miguel Cotto and talks began for Pacquiao-Mayweather.
Mosley, 38, hasn't fought since last January, when he upset Antonio Margarito to win his title via ninth-round knockout.
Dan Rafael/ESPN.com's boxing writer.