By Geoffrey Ciani - Rampant rumors recently suggest the possibility of an October 17 showdown between Manny Pacquiao and Sugar Shane Mosley, but will the bout really happen? Odds are, probably not. The rumored match-up is theoretically slated to take place at an unknown catch weight somewhere between 140 and 147 pounds. According to reports, Pacquiao has agreed to fight Mosley and all that is left is working out the details of the contract. Even still, I believe the odds of this fight coming to fruition are very slim, mainly because of the looming interest in a proposed mega bout between Pacquiao and Floyd Mayweather Junior.
Two things jump to mind as a result of these recent reports. First, Shane Mosley really wants this fight. In fact, he seems almost “desperate” to make this happen . Not only as he agreed to meet Pacquiao at an unidentified catch weight, but he has also eagerly conceded a 60-40 purse split favoring Pacquiao and has insisted that Pacquiao get an immediate rematch clause in the event of a Sugar Shane victory. Such concessions lead me to the other thing that jumps to mind—since Mosley is doing everything in his power to try and lure Pacquiao into the ring, he must be extremely confident that he can beat him .. Why else would he be willing to give up so much? Such a victory would almost certainly ensure a later date with Floyd, so with or without a Pacquiao rematch, Mosley is seemingly counting that, in the long run, a win over Pacquiao will be more lucrative for both bank account and legacy.
While Mosley’s motivation is clear, Team Pacquiao’s motivation is still unknown. There are several possibilities. On one hand, they might be genuinely interested in fighting Mosley, and perhaps this really is the prelude to a negotiations process that will give the fans a real treat in October. On the other hand, this might just be a way for Team Pacquiao to gain leverage for future negotiations with Mayeather, or perhaps even Juan Manuel Marquez. Another option still might be that they are simply hedging their bets so they can make the most lucrative deal possible in the aftermath of the July contest between Mayweather and Marquez. Whatever the underlying motive really is, at the very least, I suspect nothing will be set in stone until after Mayweather and Marquez do battle.
The one wild card in all of this is Manny Pacquiao. He himself has stated that he is willing to fight Mosley. Since Manny has always seemed to be a man of the highest honor and integrity, it is conceivable that he really intends to fight Mosley next, but even if this is true, it is entirely plausible that Freddy Roach might be able to convince him otherwise. After all, unlike Oscar De La Hoya and Ricky Hatton, Roach knows that Mosley is a major threat to Manny. Roach is very perceptive when it comes to making match-ups that are favorable to his pride and joy fighter. He knew that Oscar was past it and unable to pull the trigger and he knew that Manny would have a field day with Hatton’s defensive deficiencies.
Sugar Shane Mosley poses an entirely different type of opponent and Roach is fully aware of this. That is why Roach has refused to allow Manny to face Mosley at 147 pounds like he did Oscar. He is smart enough to realize the threat posed by Mosley, ergo, his insistence on Mosley coming down below 147. That Mosley is even willing to openly concede a 60-40 purse split and an immediate rematch clause for Manny probably makes Roach even more weary of allowing Pacquiao to square off against him . Unlike his last three opponents, Shane is still a very fast fighter, and he also posses a great deal of power and accuracy in his right hand—a punch that Manny has proven susceptible to in the past. Even still, Manny is a very special fighter and he would certainly have a good chance to beat Mosley, even if Shane does present several obstacles that were lacking in Pacquiao’s last few opponents.
At the end of the day, I still think the prospects of a Manny-Floyd showdown will probably win the day, much to the dismay of Mosley. The number of casual fans who are already actively talking about the potential of this fight is truly amazing. I have never heard so many casual fans speak so enthusiastically about any fight, let alone a fight that has not even been signed yet. This indicates a strong probability that Mayweather-Pacquiao would generate more money than Mosley-Pacquiao, which probably means more money for Pac-Man. For Roach, the bottom line might become a matter of how Mayweather looks when he returns to the ring. At that point, Roach has to decide whether he believes Manny has a better chance against Floyd, the technically superior fighter, or against Mosley, the aging fighter with superior size and strength.
Personally, I would much prefer seeing Mosley and Pacquiao do battle. These two warriors have each represented something admirable amongst modern day fighters, and that is a constant desire to continuously prove himself against the best opposition available. In light of that, Mosley-Pacquiao is the fight with the best potential for excitement, so even though I have my doubts that this will happen, I have made my preference known. Will Pacquiao really fight Sugar Shane Mosley? Only time will tell.
This article was also published at East Side Boxing