Robert Morales' Insider Notebook includes a lot of discussion with WBA welterweight titlist Shane Mosley, who is finding himself a tough sell to everyone else in the division and is coming a bit unglued about his situation. Mosley hasn't fought since January, when he stunningly destroyed Antonio Margarito in Los Angeles.
Mosley is fully set to return on December 26, a date that was moved from December 5 to hopefully accommodate a middleweight championship fight between Kelly Pavlik and Paul Williams, but he's still unable to find an opponent -- or so he says.
Really, the problem seems kind of obvious to me: No one's willing to just say, "Look, we're going to have to fight Joshua Clottey here."
Mosley is still talking about Manny Pacquiao and Floyd Mayweather Jr., but he needs to let that go until next year. Both of them are locked in to fights and aren't going to fight him before 2009 is out. Miguel Cotto is another name, and he's fighting Pacquiao.
Andre Berto and Dan Goossen don't seem to want that fight just yet. Berto is working on a deal to fight Isaac Hlatshwayo, it appears. Golden Boy went to Zab Judah with an offer that was first said to be about $500,000 and 5% of a pay-per-view, but Richard Schaefer now says was about $350-400,000. Yoel Judah, Zab's father, immediately turned them down. Zab went on an infantile rant about it, which didn't surprise Schaefer.
Shane seems totally hyped on name-dropping guys who aren't going to fight him this year (Pacquiao, Mayweather, Cotto) or guys that have basically said no for now (Judah, Berto), but he's not mentioning Joshua Clottey at all.
It's not that Clottey's name hasn't come up. At various points he's seemed to be the leading candidate to fight Mosley in December, but then as recently as two days ago there was this out-of-the-blue offer to a totally undeserving Judah, who lost to Clottey last fall, which was the last time Judah fought. In the meantime, Clottey narrowly lost a tough decision in a really good fight to Miguel Cotto in June, which did nothing but raise Clottey's stock.
No, Clottey is not a big star. In fact, he's not even really a regular sized star. So the money won't be big, and Shane has said he wants the big fights. But the fact of the matter is this. Mosley turns 38 on Monday and there is no really big money fight out there for him right now. And if he waits around on one, he might be waiting until he's 39.
If Berto and Judah have decided they don't want to take this fight, and obviously Pacquiao, Cotto and Mayweather are unavailable, who does he think he's going to land?
It's got to be Joshua Clottey. The rest of the pretenders in the myth that is the "deep" welterweight division aren't going to bring more money. What, Selcuk Aydin? Jesus Soto Karass? Alfonso Gomez? Sebastian Lujan? Is he hoping Ricky Hatton might go, "You know, I'd like to fight Shane Mosley"?
Unless a surprise comes about from Berto, or Mayweather wipes out Marquez in two rounds on September 19 and decides he's ready to go right at Shane Mosley in three months, there's no question it's Clottey. There really almost has to be some other reason that Mosley-Clottey isn't already on the docket and getting some early hype.