By Robert Morales
Richard Schaefer, CEO of Golden Boy Promotions, listened carefully when he was being told that fellow promoter Dan Goossen did not plan on waiting for Kelly Pavlik to fight Paul Williams in November or December.
Pavlik, the middleweight champion, on Monday postponed his Oct. 3 fight with Williams because of a recurring injury to his left hand. And Goossen on Tuesday said he really wants to get Williams back in the ring in October because he has not fought since April.
Schaefer was asked if "Sugar" Shane Mosley - a welterweight champion who fights under the Golden Boy banner - might be able to step in and take Pavlik's spot against Williams - a former welterweight champion and current interim junior middleweight champion.
First of all, Schaefer didn't think it would be wise for Williams to come back down to welterweight after he had been training for a middleweight fight. He also said Mosley really doesn't want to move up in weight.
"So why try to have Paul Williams do something which I think would be difficult to do in such a short period of time and try to drop to 147?" Schaefer said, referring to the welterweight limit. "If I would be Paul Williams' promoter, I would really focus more on those other eight classes."
Williams has fought as high as middleweight twice, although he weighed only 157 for both fights - three below the middleweight limit. But Goossen has always said that Williams could go as high as the 168-pound super middleweight class.
This gave Schaefer an intriguing idea.
"In case a Pavlik fight falls through, the fact is I have one name in mind and that would be Bernard Hopkins," Schaefer said. "Bernard physically can't make it below 170."
Schaefer said that he has had talks for a fight between Hopkins and cruiserweight champion Tomasz Adamek. Schaefer said a fight between Hopkins and the winner of the Chad Dawson-Glen Johnson light heavyweight title fight Nov. 7 is another possibility.
But a fight between the 44-year-old phenom Hopkins and Williams would probably bring the most fanfare.
"I would have to discuss it with Bernard," Schaefer said. "If I can get Bernard to 170 and if Paul Williams can get to 170 and take on the great Bernard Hopkins, that would be more of a call for Dan Goossen to make rather than Paul Williams having to chop off a leg to make 147.
"I think it's better to put some rocks in your pants rather than chop off a leg."
Mosley: Bring on Anyone
Mosley spoke with BoxingScene.com on Tuesday. He was asked about Williams.
“At this point, I'm not even discussing who I'm going to fight," Mosley said. "It doesn't really matter who I fight. Richard Schaefer is going to put the numbers together. Whatever makes the best sense, that's who I'm going to fight."
Mosley was pressed about Williams.
"I would step into the ring with anybody Richard picks," Mosley said. "I will fight anybody at this point."
Well, as Schaefer said, a fight between Mosley and Williams is not likely to happen. Besides, Schaefer indicated he is close to making a fight between Mosley and either fellow champion Andre Berto or former champion Joshua Clottey.
"I have had conversations with both of their promoters - Lou DiBella for Berto and Bob Arum for Clottey," Schaefer said Tuesday. "And I'm having discussions, frankly, as we speak this morning with HBO as it relates to the licensing fee so we can finalize a deal with either one of those two.
"And I've been having discussions with Richard Sturm (an executive at MGM Grand in Las Vegas) for Dec. 5 at MGM."
Promoters To Blame
Mosley was informed of a statement Golden Boy president Oscar De La Hoya made to this reporter during a recent interview.
De La Hoya, in complimentary fashion, said Mosley only had himself to blame for being on the bench since January. That's when Mosley dismantled Antonio Margarito over nine rounds of their welterweight title fight in Los Angeles.
"Shane put himself in a very difficult position because of his last fight with Antonio Margarito," De La Hoya said. "Obviously, nobody wants to fight him..."
The two guys Mosley really wanted were Floyd Mayweather Jr. and Manny Pacquiao. Mayweather is taking on the smaller Juan Manuel Marquez on Sept. 19 and Pacquiao is going to square off with Miguel Cotto on Nov. 14. Both of those fights are at welterweight - although both will be at catch-weights lower than the 147-pound limit.
Mosley is not pleased at how all of this is playing out.
"They are not getting the best fights out there," Mosley said.
"They are getting behind these fights with Mayweather fighting whoever he wants to fight and not getting behind Mayweather fighting the best fighter out there, and that is me. We have these guys promoting the 'best fights' and the best fighters are not in them.
"Nobody wants to lose to the best fighter, so they will fight the fighter underneath them and make the same amount of money or more. The thing with me, when I had the chance to fight Berto or Margarito, I chose Margarito. I would have made the same amount of money to fight Berto. I wanted Margarito because he was the best fighter.
"That is the difference between real fighters and fighters who want to make money."
To be sure, we asked Mosley if, when he said "they," he was indeed placing the blame at the feet of promoters. Keep in mind that Golden Boy promotes Marquez and is co-promoting his fight with Mayweather.
"Yeah, they're messing up the sport," Mosley said. "That is why UFC and all them MMA guys are getting high ratings, because they're fighting the best fighters. The promoters are not just trying to collect money."
Thus Mosley's bring-them-all-on attitude.
"That is why at this point I will fight anyone," he said. "I will go ahead and knock everybody out and then pretty soon I will cross everyone out and the best will have to fight the best."
It's hard to argue with Mosley. He would have been the best fighter either Pacquiao or Mayweather could have fought. Also the most difficult for Pacquiao and Mayweather to get a win against.
Schaefer responded to Mosley.
"It always takes two to make a fight and if you have two willing parties then it is the responsibility, in my opinion, for the promoter to make sure the fight can be done," Schaefer said. "Now if you have one guy who just doesn't want to fight the other one ... It is very apparent to me that at that particular point, Shane Mosley was not on Floyd Mayweather's radar screen. And, frankly, Shane was not on Manny Pacquiao's radar, either.
"Regardless of what Pacquiao's people say, I think they used Shane's name for negotiations with Cotto. Pacquiao did not want to fight Mosley. Shane had maybe the best fight of his professional career when he totally destroyed Margarito, so Oscar has a point."
Schaefer intimated Pacquiao knew exactly what he was doing all along. He noted that Pacquiao was ringside sitting next to Arum - who promotes Pacquiao - when Cotto (also promoted by Arum) narrowly defeated Clottey via split decision in June.
"He (Cotto) was OK and looked OK, but he didn't look spectacular in beating Clottey," Schaefer said. "During and after the fight, he (Pacquiao) told Bob to go and get the fight done."
Schaefer made it clear he was not saying that either Mayweather or Pacquiao are scared to take on Mosley. But ...
"I don't think Floyd Mayweather is avoiding Shane and I don't think Manny Pacquiao is avoiding Shane," Schaefer said. "Maybe at this point they both felt they have other opponents that are less dangerous than "Sugar" Shane Mosley. And they opted to go with the less dangerous option."
Schaefer said to be fair, Mayweather did reach out to Mosley for a fight a few years back and that Mosley indicated Mayweather was not on his proverbial radar screen at that time.
Either way, Schaefer said, he expects Mosley is going to eventually get what he wants. The only thing is, Mosley is going to be 38 next month and unless he is going to be the next Hopkins, time might be running out.
"I would say that Juan Manuel Marquez is not a walk in the park for Floyd Mayweather and I would say that Miguel Cotto is not a walk in the park for Manny Pacquiao," Schaefer said. "They are all good fights. As sports fans, as fight fans, we really are blessed to have some great showdowns ahead of us.
"You have names there that you can mix and match and they are all greats fights. It might seem that Shane is not in that mix right now, but he will be. Who is Mayweather going to fight next? Who is Manny Pacquiao going to fight next? Even Bob Arum admits that "Sugar" Shane Mosley is the best fighter at 147 pounds. And I agree with that. Eventually, all roads to lead to Sugarland."
Who are Mayweather and Pacquiao going to fight next if they win their next fights? Probably each other. That development could send Mosley over the edge.
Luevano, Three Days After
It was Tuesday and featherweight world champion Steven Luevano was back home in West Covina, Calif. Three days earlier he had retained his belt with a win over Bernabe Concepcion via seventh-round disqualification.
Concepcion, of the Philippines, leveled Luevano with a right cross well after the bell rang ending the seventh round. Luevano, who was down for several minutes, talked about the unsavory experience.
"I'm doing fine right now," he said. "I was fine after the fight, too. I was just a little out of it for a while."
Luevano said he didn't think he was ever out cold, but he said trainer Robert Garcia and assistant trainer Paco Navarro told him he was out for about five seconds.
"All I remember hearing was the bell," Luevano said. "I was going to touch his gloves and he hit me twice and I just looked at the referee and I fell. I was asking everyone after the fight, 'Did I fall hard?' Robert said 'No,' that I didn't fall hard."
Luevano said he thought the first person speaking to him while he was on the canvas was Navarro.
"But Robert said he was the first one in the ring," Luevano said. "I didn't know. I just heard somebody talking to me. When I got my vision back, I thought it was Paco. But it was Robert."
Luevano was ahead by one point on two of the three scorecards and behind by one on the third. That said, he scoffed at those in the Filipino media as well as Filipino fans who are wondering if he was playing possum and could have gotten up and continued the fight. The idea there being Luevano knew that if he stayed down, he would win via disqualification.
"They could think whatever they want because I was the one who got hit," Luevano said. "They weren't in the ring. It's not like I was losing the fight and that was the only choice that I had to win. They're just mad because the Filipino didn't get to win the title he was so searching for. He was the one who was getting frustrated and he got so frustrated that he couldn't hit me.
"So the only chance that he had was when I was relaxed and I was going to touch his gloves and he hit me twice. The bell rang like three or four times and how is he not going to hear that? I heard the bell and so did (referee) Jay Nady."
There is already talk of a rematch in December. Luevano was asked if he would consider a return fight against a fighter who may have intentionally fouled him.
"Yeah," Luevano said. "To me, it's an easy fight. But Bob Arum better make it worth my while if they want me to fight him again to give him a chance. If it was me, I wouldn't fight him. If they are going to pay me well, I'll fight him, take the money and keep my belt."
Luevano made $150,000 for his fifth title defense. He and Concepcion are both promoter by Arum's Top Rank Inc.
Robert Morales covers boxing for the Los Angeles Daily News, Long Beach Press-Telegram, and BoxingScene.com.