WBA welterweight titleholder Shane Mosley was interviewed by Julius Stecker of PhilBoxing.com, and "Sugar" was hardly polite or reserved when discussing the imminent fight between Manny Pacquiao and Miguel Cotto.
The fight does not make any sense to me. A fight with me will make more money. I know there have been numbers going on out there like Cotto making 5 or 6 million and Manny making 10,11 or 12. But in a fight with me, he will make more money. Bob Arum is being the puppet master putting this together, but Manny will make more money fighting me.
And why fight Cotto? He almost lost to Joshua Clottey. It was a fight that he easily could have lost. Cotto ran around the ring in the last few rounds. The fight with Cotto is not the best fight for boxing or fight fight fans, or Manny Pacquiao fans. It is the best fight for Bob Arum. Even if you look at Cotto’s gash, do you think it will heal in time? It might just open up again if he fights Pacquiao. The fans need to know that the best and biggest fight in boxing right now is with me.
I am trying to make the fight happen. I threw a bone out to Pacquiao saying I would fight him at 144. I am the Welterweight Champion of the World, Cotto isn’t. I am the former Pound for Pound champion, Cotto isn’t. Pacquiao is the pound for champion. We should be fighting. Bob Arum is not letting this happen.
There is a part of me that knows this is most likely just a tactic, Shane throwing all his cards on the table and trying to talk his way into a fight with Pacquiao, but there is also part of this that should be discussed as if Shane is just full of it.
- Mosley is not the welterweight champion. He and Cotto are both titleholders, really no different from one another other than Mosley earned his by beating a better fighter (even with Plastergate, Margarito is a damn sight better than Michael Jennings).
- Mosley is not as big a star as Cotto is. This is a sad fact, perhaps, because Sugar Shane has earned a legion of supporters, but they've just never been there. Cotto has the rabid and loyal Puerto Rican fanbase in his corner. Mosley does not have anything close to that.
- That said, it is highly unlikely there is more money in a Pacquiao-Mosley fight than there is Pacquiao-Cotto. Cotto brings more fans, which means a likely higher buyrate. Either fight would sell out in Vegas, largely due to the presence of Pacquiao.
- Yeah, Cotto almost lost to Joshua Clottey. But he didn't.
- Cotto beat Mosley in 2007 in a close, epic fight that had great action, real drama, and was one of the best fights of that year. But nobody thinks Mosley won that fight.
All that aside, Mosley just really wants this fight, and you cannot blame him for that. Shane has made a career of fighting top opponents. When no one on earth would TOUCH a fight with Winky Wright, Mosley fought him. He lost and fought him again, and lost again. Three men have been able to beat Mosley: Wright (twice), Vernon Forrest (twice) and Cotto.
It's not like Miguel Cotto is some bum. Taking Plastergate into account now, Cotto's only loss is treated with skepticism at this point. Cotto beat Mosley. Cotto fought Margarito, fought Clottey, fought a then-unbeaten Carlos Quintana -- he's another guy that fights the best fighters he can. And you can make a good argument that Mosley and Cotto are really 1A and 1B in the welterweight rankings.
Mosley accuses Arum of lying to the public with this fight, and says that Pacquiao-Mosley is "much bigger" than Pacquiao-Cotto. When the years pass, it may well have turned out that that would have been the case. As far as all-time standing goes, Mosley is miles ahead of Cotto for the time being. But Cotto is in his prime. Mosley is nearing 40.
It's a toss-up in terms of promising action, being a great fight, being a desirable fight, etc., so it comes down to business. And Shane and everyone else at Golden Boy understand that Bob Arum makes more money with Pacquiao-Cotto. If those same Golden Boy folks think the public doesn't get that, they're mistaken. We get it.
No one is saying Pacquiao-Mosley wouldn't be a great fight. But why pretend Pacquiao-Cotto won't be a great fight? Saying these things won't make Pacquiao-Mosley happen. Unless Cotto breaks his legs jogging up and down stairs or something, it's simply not a possibility for this year.
Mosley also notes, as he likes to do, that he loves his job. Well, then fight. He knows for a fact that the Pacquiao sweepstakes are over. Clottey's out there. Berto's out there. Williams is out there. Right now, all he's doing is spending precious time slamming another fight, and in turn not fighting.
Final note: Bob Arum has said that the Pacquiao-Cotto weight will be 144 or 145 pounds.
Let's include a poll, too.