By Rick Reeno
Discussions are ongoing to finalize a fight between WBA welterweight champion Paulie Malignaggi (32-4, 7KOs) and three division beltholder "Sugar" Shane Mosley (46-8-1, 39KOs), according to Golden Boy Promotions CEO Richard Schaefer. The Showtime televised fight would take place on April 27th at Barclays Center in Brooklyn, New York.
The fight has received some criticism. Mosley, 41, has gone 0-1-3 in his last four outings. However, all three of those defeats came at the hands of the very best - Floyd Mayweather Jr., Saul Alvarez and Manny Pacquiao.
Mosley announced his retirement following the twelve round decision loss to Alvarez in May. It didn't take long for Mosley to change his mind about returning for one final run, at 147.
"I think you what you need to do is look at who Shane Mosley lost against. You ask people 'who is going to win that fight' and the fact is - it is 50-50. This is a 50-50 fight. A couple of media guys are criticizing [the fight] and you say 'okay, who do you pick?' - and then it's like silence," Schaefer told BoxingScene.com.
The fight does have intrigue regarding the winner - and opinions have varied over which fighter has the edge. Despite the criticism, Schaefer believes Mosley has done more than enough in his career to earn one final shot.
"Let me tell you one thing, Shane Mosley has entertained us and sports fans for so many years. He's been a multiple time world champion and he's become one of the most recognizable faces in the sport. And I think if Shane Mosley deserves one thing - he deserves to have another shot. We are going to try to give him that shot, and it's going to be up to him to deliver [in the ring]. It's really do or die and Shane deserves that [shot]," Schaefer said.
Mayeather Deal Could Be Reached Soon
Schaefer is working quietly, and secretly, behind the scenes to finalize the details for the big event on May 4th at the MGM Grand - which is going to feature the return of Floyd Mayweather Jr. (43-0, 26KOs) - and likely WBC 154-pound champion Saul "Canelo" Alvarez (41-0-1, 30KOs).
Regarding Mayweather, Schaefer says the details are being so closely guarded that most of the staff at Golden Boy is the dark on the day to day discussions. While a deal for his opponent might be reached before the end of the year, the actual announcement is likely not going to happen until early 2013.
"I'm still working on that and I don't really have any updates.....at least updates that I can make public. As you can imagine to put together a Mayweather fight, which every year is the Super Bowl of boxing, takes a lot of work. Mayweather Promotions and Golden Boy Promotions are working very diligently on this. When we are going to be ready to announce something, I'm sure the pound-for-pound king will make the appropriate statement," Schaefer said.
"But until then we are working behind the scenes and when I say we, it's basically me at Golden Boy that's doing that because there are very few people in Mayweather Promotions and Golden Boy Promotions who know what's really going on. That's the way we've always played it and that's the way it's always worked since 2007. I think we might be able to finalize everything in the old year, but I don't anticipate that we are going to have an announcement before the end of the year."
The potentially opponent is a complete secret, although some believe WBC interim-champion Robert "The Ghost" Guerrero is a frontrunner to land the fight - with Canelo defending his title in the pay-per-view co-feature.
Hopkins-Cloud Heads To HBO, MAYBE
Schaefer cautions that a light heavyweight fight between Bernard Hopkins (52-6-2, 32KOs), and IBF champion Tavoris Cloud (24-0, 19KOs), completely depends on the IBF's approval. While the parties themselves have reached an agreement, the IBF's refusal to sanction the fight would force Schaefer/Hopkins to head in another direction.
"I have to caution, as I said to some other media members, the parties involved have agreed to terms, but we are still awaiting the sanctioning of the IBF. The fight is only going to happen if in fact the the fight is sanctioned for the IBF's world title," Schaefer said.
The fight was initially targeted for Showtime, and BoxingScene even has quotes [which were reserved for a later date] from Showtime Sports head Stephen Espinoza , but the match has now switched over to HBO. Schaefer states that HBO's present involvement with the 168/175 weight divisions was a factor in Golden Boy's decision to bring it over.
"[Golden Boy] has so much content and we have, I would say, about 80% of the fighters that matter and its normal that you work with both networks. And I think that we have enough great fights and great matchups to go around. I feel as well that HBO is heavily engaged in that 168/175-poiund weight class - [which made it] the right platform and at the end of the day we got it done," Schaefer said.
Hopkins-Cloud takes place on March 9th from the Barclays Center in Brooklyn.
Velez-Ponce, Bogere-Abril, Gary Russell Jr. Triple on March 2.
Schaefer has nearly put the finishing touches on a tripleheader for March 2nd on Showtime.
In the main event, Daniel Ponce De Leon (44-4, 35KOs) will defend his WBC featherweight crown against undefeated Jayson Velez (20-0, 15KOs). The postponed fight between Sharife Bogere (23-0, 15KOs) and Richard Abril (17-3-1, 8KOs), for the WBA's vacant lightweight title, will land in the co-feature slot. And rising featherweight contender Gary Russell Jr. (21-0, 13KOs) will appear in a significant match.
Russell will receive a big push in 2013, says Schaefer, which is potentially going to include the winner of Ponce-Velez.
"The idea would be is that Gary would be fighting sometime next year the winner of Ponce and Jayson," Schaefer said.
The venue is being worked on.