According to ESPN's Dan Rafael, Floyd Mayweather Jr. and "Sugar" Shane Mosley have come to terms for a welterweight title bout on May 1 on HBO Pay-Per-View, at the MGM Grand in Las Vegas. This is a matchup that has been a decade in the making. With both fighters in the same weight class and universally acknowledged as top five pound-for-pound fighters in the world, the battle couldn't have been much more timely. It seems like this news is being leaked out in baby steps, and follows up on Kevin Iole's Facebook update that an announcement would be coming soon.
This fight was made possible by other potential fights falling through. Despite Mosley calling out Mayweather in a semi-staged looking argument after Mayweather's last win, Floyd went after pound-for-pound king and fellow box office oligarch Manny Pacquiao for what would have been the biggest lower weight fight in two decades. Mayweather had to look for a replacement when Pacquiao balked at Mayweather's blood testing demands, and while there was a lot of noise about a number of sub-par opponents, he's actually ended up making a fight with the best fighter available.
Mosley has taken an even more circuitous route to this fight. He was scheduled to fight Joshua Clottey, but the fight was canceled because the proposed Paul Williams-Kelly Pavlik fight had to be moved, and HBO didn't want the fight too close to Christmas. Then, Mosley inked a contract to unify against Andre Berto, and only a couple weeks before the fight, disaster struck in Haiti, killing eight of Berto's family members and causing that fight to be canceled as well. With Mosley suddenly available and both sides represented by Golden Boy, the two quickly entered into negotiations.
Of course, this won't be the last word about this one. While the two sides have agreed to terms, they haven't signed the fight, and much stranger things have happened than having a negoitation fall through at this stage. Leonard Ellerbe, Mayweather's representative, is somewhat notorious for bringing up new demands right when it seems like the fight is fait accompli. On the other hand, Mosley has been hot to trot since the beginning, publicly announcing that he'd accede to the same demands that sunk Mayweather-Pacquiao.
Here's to hoping that things run smoother with this promotion than they've run for Mayweather's and Mosley's last two failed promotions.