First came the talk. Then came the word that an announcement was imminent. Then we learned that the two had reached terms.
Now, the fight is signed. Shane Mosley will defend the WBA welterweight title on May 1 against Floyd Mayweather Jr. in an HBO PPV showdown from the MGM Grand in Las Vegas. A press conference in New York is expected within the next week.
Whatever your feelings are about Mayweather (40-0, 25 KO), you cannot deny that he's taking quite possibly the biggest risk of his career with this fight. Mayweather probably gets more guff than is really deserved, but it comes with the territory of being a major star and such an obviously great boxer. This time, with the Pacquiao fight falling through, Mayweather has stepped up to the plate and taken the sort of challenge we want.
I don't see anyone questioning Mayweather for taking this fight, and if they do, whatever. You can't please everybody, but I think for most of us, this is the type of fight we've asked for out of Floyd, especially in this comeback. Mayweather doesn't seem like the type of guy who is going to want to be boxing when he's 40 years old, so time is somewhat limited. If he's going to fight, then take good fights.
Mosley (46-5, 39 KO) is a whole new challenge for Floyd, just as Floyd is a whole new challenge for Shane. Make no mistake here. No matter how good Mosley still is after a year-plus out of the ring, this is not Antonio Margarito, this is not Ricardo Mayorga, this is not Miguel Cotto. This is Floyd Mayweather Jr.
What intrigues me most about this is that these guys have built their careers largely on their hand speed. There's a lot more to both of them, but when I think of the two of them, I think speed first.
And when they fight on May 1, they're going to both be facing the fastest guy they've ever fought. The only guy on Floyd's record you might argue for is Zab Judah, and on Shane's there's no one like Floyd. It's been a long, long time since Mosley really faced anyone with notable speed, in fact, and the thought creeps into my mind that maybe Mosley isn't quite as fast as we think he is. Particularly in his last two fights, it's not hard for a guy with even mediocre speed to look blazing against Margarito and Mayorga, two really slow guys.
Then again, maybe Shane is every bit as fast as we think he is.
I love this fight. I really do. And I can't wait to see it. Mayweather is taking a challenge and I commend that. This is a fight boxing fans have been dying to see for a decade. Maybe it's a bit late, but I don't think it's too late.