Dan Rafael of ESPN.com reports tonight that a May 7 fight has been agreed to between Manny Paccquiao and Shane Mosley. The fight will be held at the MGM Grand in Las Vegas.
Pacquiao (52-3-2, 38 KO) and Mosley (46-6-1, 39 KO) are at very different points in their respective Hall of Fame-bound careers right now. The 32-year-old Pacquiao is coming off of a pair of dominant wins in 2010, beating Joshua Clottey and Antonio Margarito, with both fights taking place at Cowboys Stadium in Texas. Mosley, however, turns 40 next September and went 0-1-1 in 2010, losing a wide decision to Floyd Mayweather Jr. in May and winding up with a controversial draw against Sergio Mora, with the story of the fight not so much the scoring, but the fact that neither fighter looked good in a miserably dull 12-round affair.
It will be a return to the 147-pound ranks for Mosley, who fought Mora at 154. Bob Arum says in the Rafael article that "Mosley knows how to deal with speed," but this is debatable at the very least. He fought a fast fighter in Mayweather and couldn't even come close to keeping up after the second round. In fact, the last time Mosley beat what you might consider a "fast" fighter, it was Oscar de la Hoya in 2003.
The fight is sure to draw criticism, and rightly so. Mosley is old and looked worn out this year. While it's worth asking who else was really available, I would point to Andre Berto, though with the admission that Berto is nowhere near Mosley's star level. Our friend Corey Erdman spoke with Lou DiBella, Berto's promoter, and Lou said, "It was never a true sweepstakes. [Pacquiao-Mosley] is not a surprise. Smart business, but maybe not good for boxing."
DiBella also addressed the idea that Berto might have priced himself out. "Arum said publicly and privately that my ask for Berto was reasonable."
While I am not a fan of this fight on paper, I like both guys, so I'm sure I'll be able to talk myself into believing Mosley has a shot in the fight week. I really don't think he has a shot, though. It's not even just that Shane isn't what he used to be; it's that Manny Pacquiao is too good for him anymore. Sadly, I can see the reality that with Berto not being a star and Floyd Mayweather Jr. being a public trainwreck at the current time, the other option might have been Pacquiao not fighting at all.