By Jake Donovan
They’re not at the finish line yet, but a major hurdle was cleared in moving forward with a planned rematch between Shane Mosley and Ricardo Mayorga.
A ruling in a Dade County court room on Tuesday declared that any future efforts of actual promoting by Mayorga’s estranged Hall of Fame promoter Don King would not be negatively impacted by Saturday’s show, which takes place at The Forum in Inglewood, California.
Mosley is promoting the show on his own—and going all out to drum up interest for the Pay-Per-View event, for what it’s worth. However, the former three-division champ was forced to seek contingency plans when there existed the strong possibility of Mayorga being pulled from the card, as the early court proceedings suggested a potential ruling in favor of King.
However, Judge Kathleen Williams ultimately determined that—given the lack of movement in Mayorga’s career over the last several years—Saturday’s show needn’t be jeopardized while the fighter and Hall of Fame promoter figure out how to sort out their own affairs.
Mosley (47-9-1, 39KOs) returns to the ring for the first time in nearly two years. His last fight ended on a corner stool in Sydney, Australia, citing a back injury in his inability to continue after six rounds of action versus Anthony Mundine in Nov. ’13.
The loss was his third in the span of four fights, and fifth over the final nine fights of his career. His previous setbacks came against a who’s who of the best fighters of the generation, dropping unanimous decisions to Miguel Cotto (Nov. ’07), Floyd Mayweather (May ’10), Manny Pacquiao (May ’11) and Saul ‘Canelo’ Alvarez (May ’12).
Wedged in between was a career-resurrecting win over Antonio Margarito, who at the time was regarded as the best welterweight in the world. A hand-wrap scandal preceded the Jan, ’09 clash, with Mosley delivering the truly last great performance of career in dishing out a one-sided nine-round beatdown of the Mexican brawler, who was subsequently suspended for his pre-fight actions.
Setting up the fight some more heroics in Mosley’s career, scoring a last-second 12th round knockout over Mayorga in their Sept. ’08 clash. Their HBO-televised headliner was surprisingly competitive, with Mosley up on just two of the three scorecards but taking the fight out of the judges’ hands, flattening Mayorga a split second before time expired. Mayorga was unable to beat the count, giving Mosley a literal last-second knockout.
Nothing about the fight screamed the need for a rematch, but their disdain for one another never waned. So when it came time for Mosley—who had previously announced his retirement—to decide he wasn’t yet done with the sport, his long-standing feud with Mayorga resurfaced.
The two sides spent the past year or so seeking the perfect opportunity to stage a rematch, leading to their plans for the August 29 sequel. The event has local competition, as the next installment of Premier Boxing Champions (PBC) on ESPN airs live from Staples Center in Los Angeles. The two biggest wins of Mosley’s storied career came at the venue—defeating Margarito in ’09 as well as Oscar de la Hoya in their first fight in June ’00, the very first boxing event to be staged at the famed venue.
Since it was booked with the PBC show—headlined by a mouthwatering featherweight clash between Leo Santa Cruz and Abner Mares—Mosley instead opted for another famous SoCal location, The Forum in Inglewood to stage his first show as a lead promoter.
While the court ruling landed in his favor, there still exists at least one more issue—whether or not Mayorga arrives fight-ready. The brash bully from Nicaragua is reportedly more than 15 lbs. above the contracted weight, and not very active in the gym in the weeks leading up to Saturday’s event.
As was the case had Mayorga been pulled from the card, Mosley insists that the show will go on, no matter what. There still exists a yet-to-be-revealed backup plan, although the hope is that the fight remains intact, if only to generate enough interest for potential PPV sales to recuperate any immediate loss Mosley will incur in the investment towards his future.
A press conference for the event is due to take place Tuesday afternoon at the venue. The press release announcing the media event suggests that both Mosley and Mayorga will be in attendance, along with select fighters from the undercard including Maureen Shea and Joel Diaz Jr.
Jake Donovan is the managing editor of BoxingScene.com.