Top Rank CEO Bob Arum is close to inking a deal that will have Manny Pacquiao face Shane Mosley on May 7 at Las Vegas’ MGM Grand.
Negotiations were not far enough along last Friday (December 17) to make an announcement, which Pacquiao’s team had planned to do in conjunction with the fighter’s 32nd birthday celebration in Manila.
In speaking with the Manila Bulletin, Arum said that he is closing out final particulars on the deal with Mosley advisor and Rap-A-Lot founder James Prince.
“We had a very good meeting,” Arum disclosed.
With Pacquiao’s side on board, Prince will review the contract with Mosley over the next few days before confirming the fight with media. Both sides are shooting to get the deal done before the holidays, and announce by December 23.
When Mosley was revealed as the frontrunner for Pacquiao, many fans and media members derided the bout as unacceptable for a pound for pound #1 fighter, citing Mosley’s age (39 years old), and last two performances against Floyd Mayweather and Sergio Mora.
Pacquiao trainer Freddie Roach, who last year would only let a Mosley-Pacquiao fight happen if Mosley made a 143 pound catchweight, says the current version of Shane is still dangerous in the early rounds.
“I’m not counting him out…[Mosley is] very dangerous in the first four rounds,” Roach told the Manila Bulletin. “If people think this is going to be an easy fight for Manny, they’re crazy.”
Pacquiao last fought in November at a junior middleweight catchweight of 150 pounds, defeating Antonio Margarito to pick up the WBC title. Mosley’s last fight was in September, a draw with Sergio Mora at junior middleweight.
In addition to his WBC title at 154 pounds, Pacquiao also holds the WBO welterweight (147 pounds) belt. At press time, neither camp has verified any catchweights for this fight.