Shane Mosley signs contract to fight Floyd Mayweather Jr. on May 1
Shane Mosley's attorney confirmed to The Times today that the Pomona world welterweight champion has signed a contract to fight unbeaten Floyd Mayweather Jr. on May 1, most likely at MGM Grand Garden Arena in Las Vegas.
Mosley's purse for the 147-pound fight will be his "biggest ever," attorney Judd Burstein said, declining to reveal terms. Mayweather has yet to sign his own deal agreement, but Burstein said he has been assured by the boxer's lead advisor, Leonard Ellerbe, that the signature would come sometime "in the next two days."
It is unclear whether the fight will be for Mosley's World Boxing Assn. welterweight belt, Burstein said.
Mosley, said Burstein, drove himself Friday to the Hard Rock Hotel in Las Vegas, where a Burstein-represented fighter had a bout, and signed his deal in a hotel room.
"It's a fight people have wanted to see for a long time, but never happened for whatever reasons," Burstein said. "Now that it's going to happen, Shane is looking forward to doing what he and many of his fans have long thought he would do."
The fighters, who each spent the last decade ranked somewhere among the top in the lists of the best pound-for-pound boxers in the world, have won world titles in eight different weight classes.
The deal was struck with Mosley agreeing to all of Mayweather's stipulations for a stringent drug-testing protocol that will subject him to random blood and urine tests for performance-enhancing drugs all the way to fight night. Burstein said Mosley agreed to the arrangement "as long as Floyd takes the same test at the same time."
Mosley's 2003 decision victory over Oscar De La Hoya was tainted by his acknowledged use of designer steroids "the cream" and "the clear" and energy boosting EPO in the days before the bout. Mosley later explained that he took the substances unknowingly, believing they were legal supplements. He met with BALCO founder Victor Conte before using the substances.
Mayweather's push for drug testing resulted in the scrapped plans for him to fight Manny Pacquiao on March 13 in Las Vegas. Pacquiao will now fight Joshua Clottey in a welterweight bout on March 13 at Dallas Cowboys Stadium in Texas.
The 38-year-old Mosley was originally supposed to end a one-year layoff tonight after beating Antonio Margarito by ninth-round TKO last January at Staples Center, but his opponent Andre Berto had to withdraw because of the devastation of the earthquake in Haiti, where has family members.
Mosley prodded Mayweather and Pacquiao to fight him last year to no avail, as Mayweather (40-0) accepted a comeback fight that he won handily against the lighter and smaller Juan Manuel Marquez.
Mayweather, earlier this decade, suggested Mosley was dodging him, and after Mayweather's fame was boosted by a 2007 victory over De La Hoya, Mosley has claimed Mayweather was ducking him.
Now, with a Mayweather autograph, the long-awaited bout will happen.
-- Lance Pugmire
Photo: Shane Mosley celebrates after defeating Antonio Margarito for the WBA welterweight title last January. Credit: Los Angeles Times