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Mosley willing to go down to 140 to meet Pacquiao

17
Jul

Manny Pacquiao and Miguel Cotto seem to have arrived at a sticking point in their negotiations to meet on Nov. 14: Pacquiao reportedly wants a catch weight of 143 pounds, Cotto wants it to be 145.

And one swirling rumor has it that Pacquiao is getting fed up and might look elsewhere for an opponent.

That might open the door for Shane Mosley, who has been pushing hard to fight the No. 1 attraction in boxing and announced Friday that he’d go down to 140 pounds if that’s what it takes to get a crack at Pacquiao’s RING junior welterweight title.

Mosley, THE RING’s No. 1-rated 147-pounder, hasn’t fought at lighter than 146 since 1999 and has never fought in the 140-pound division.

Can he fight at 140 and still be effective at 38 at the time the fight would take place?

“I fought at lightweight a long time and always knew I could make the weight,” Mosley said. “These tall guys, Paul Williams and Antonio Margarito, they’ve come down to as low as 145. If they can do it, I can do it if I do it properly.

“ÔǪ I was willing to go down to 143, 144 (to fight Pacquiao). I thought I might as well go down to 140 and get a belt I’ve never had.”

Freddie Roach, in England for Amir Khan’s fight on Saturday, said he hadn’t heard that Pacquiao has considered abandoning talks with Cotto. He added that he believes Pacquiao and Cotto can overcome their differences and make the fight.

We should know more on Monday, when Roach, Pacquiao and promoter Bob Arum are scheduled to meet in Los Angeles.

If Pacquiao does decide to go a different direction, Roach said, he likes the idea of meeting Mosley at 140.

He said Pacquiao has never fought at a catch weight and would never do so if Roach had his way. Ideally, he’d rather not compromise when it comes to weight.

“We can do that,” said Roach, referring to a Mosley fight at junior welterweight. “Manny went up to 147 and he can beat a lot of guys there but his best fighting weight is 140.”

Mosley surprised his promoter, Richard Schaefer, when he told him last night that he’d be willing to go down to 140.

Schaefer, who had to endure watching Oscar De La Hoya get pummeled by Pacquiao after dropping to 145 pounds, said he was taken aback but he trusts his veteran fighter to make the right decision.

“I told him, ‘Isn’t that dangerous.'” Schaefer said. “He weighs like 153 and is always in shape. I told him, ‘It’s one thing to dehydrate to make 147 but to drop to an entirely different weight class might be a stretch.’ He said, ‘Don’t worry. I know my body, I know what I can and can’t do. I know I can make the weight.’

“He loves a challenge and this would be a challenge.”

Schaefer, obviously in his promoter mode, also raised the question: What’s an easier fight for Pacquiao – Cotto at 145 or Mosley at 140?

“I think if the choice were Cotto at 145 and Mosley at 145, then most experts would say he should fight Cotto, thinking it would be an easier fight,” Schaefer said. “Now, if Mosley is at 140, I think most people would say that’s an easier fight.

“Shane would be giving up a lot – weight, strength. He must know what he’s doing, though.”

Mosley acknowledged that money is a factor in his pursuit of Pacquaio.

However, he reiterated that he could make a good payday – “two or three million,” he said – against other opponents. He said the impact the fight would have on his legacy is his primary motivation.

“It would let people know that I’m the best fighter pound for pound again,” he said. “I can make good in money in fights that don’t make much sense in my boxing career but this is a big, big fight. I would make a lot of money but it would come with a lot of prestige, being the best fighter on the planet.

“It’s about making history. And I know people would want to see it. Can Shane win the belt? Is he too old? Will he be too weak? Will Pacquiao do the same thing to Shane that he did to Oscar? What will happen? There would be so much drama.”

Mosley added that this would be his only foray at 140 pounds.

“After that, I’m gone,” he said. “I’ll win the title and then go back to welterweight to fight (Floyd) Mayweather and everyone else. And maybe I’ll even go to 154 to show I’m the pound-for-pound best.”

Michael Rosenthal can be reached at [email protected]

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