Manny Pacquiao will defend his welterweight belt against former champion Shane Mosley on May 7th, 2011 at the MGM Grand in Las Vegas. Pacquiao’s camp had been unable to get a response from Floyd Mayweather Jr.’s camp about a fight. Many boxing fans were looking forward to that match because many consider the 39-year-old Shane Mosley past his prime. However, I guess he’ll put to rest the myth that he’s scared of fighting African-American fighters.
“We came to a meeting of the minds,” Top Rank promoter Bob Arum told ESPN.com on Tuesday night after a final meeting with Mosley and his adviser, James Prince, at the Top Rank offices in Las Vegas. “[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.”
“I know that they think I’m an old man and that Manny is going to beat me. Let them think that,” said Mosley, a former lightweight, welterweight and junior middleweight champion. “I still have power and speed. They thought I was done before I knocked out [Antonio] Margarito, too. So they can think whatever they want. I know what I can do.”
Mosley got the fight with Pacquiao over lightweight champion Juan Manuel Marquez and welterweight titlist Andre Berto. Arum had solicited term sheets from all three before going to the Philippines last week to attend Pacquiao’s 32nd birthday party and to go over the particulars for all three potential opponents.
“I thought Mosley was the best draw of the three and it would do the best business,” Arum said.
Roach said he preferred for Pacquiao to fight Marquez or Berto before Mosley, but said of the match when told it had been agreed to, “I think it’s a good fight. 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.
In his last fight on Nov. 13, Pacquiao dominated Margarito in a lopsided decision win to claim a vacant junior middleweight belt and extend his record of winning titles in eight weight divisions.
Mosley knocked Margarito out in the ninth round in Jan. 2009, one fight before he lost to Mayweather, the opponent most want to see Pacquiao fight.
Despite Pacquiao-Mayweather looming as the richest fight in boxing history, Mayweather has steadfastly refused to take the challenge after two rounds of failed negotiations.