Though boxers, their trainers, and their promoters always say you shouldn't get ahead of yourself or look past any opponent, someone almost always does. That appears to be happening again, as Bob Arum spoke with Michael Marley (BoxingScene.com) and discussed a potential opponent for Manny Pacquiao in 2011.
That opponent? "Sugar" Shane Mosley, who Arum says is free to fight who he wants, and not restricted by the bad blood between his company, Golden Boy Promotions, and Arum's Top Rank.
"Mosley is operating indepedently of Golden Boy," Arum said, sidling up to me at ringside at the Pacman/Margarito open workouts Tuesday at the Gaylord Texan Hotel.
"Mosley told me it's up to him who he fights now, it's his decision."
I mentioned that Arum has always had a soft spot in his steelecase heart of the gentlemanly Mosley.
"He is," Arum said, "a lovely guy."
Now we've heard things like this before, and I can't remember a time when it's proven to make anything notable happen. Recently Bernard Hopkins said he wasn't working for Golden Boy anymore, but he has fought under their banner ever since and will again on December 18. But even if Golden Boy might be reluctant to do anything, there are two wrinkles. One is that obviously Mosley is not just a fighter, but owns a piece of the company. The other is that Golden Boy owns a piece of Manny Pacquiao -- which means they'd make more money off of the fight, too.
Mosley was soundly defeated in May by Floyd Mayweather Jr., and came back in September with a draw against Sergio Mora in a contender for worst fight of the year. There's no doubt that he's past his best years by a long shot, and that his star has faded some despite the biggest money fight of his career against Floyd.
Would a fight with Pacquiao be marketable? Surprisingly (maybe), I assume so. Most boxing fans have short memories when it comes to opening their wallets, and if Pacquiao beats Margarito, Manny alone is enough to sell that fight pretty well. He sold a fight with Joshua Clottey, who had no name power. And if Pacquiao happens to lose Saturday to Margarito, Mosley would actually make a lot of sense as a comeback opponent, while Margarito could possibly fight Miguel Cotto again, leading to some form of eventual rematch with the winners of those fights.
Of course, this is all a long way off, and Manny has business to attend to on Saturday.