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Wednesday, April 14, 2010

Mayweather's got endurance, insurance while Mosley collars tighten

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Mayweather vs Mosley
Boxing Examiner | Michael Marley

It may not be permissible and I may lose my Pacland pass but I have to agree with the Floyd Mayweather camp that getting a return bout clause in the contract for the Shane Mosley bout on May 1 was just a good business practice.

You may think it stinks from a sporting perspective and you may twist it around until you see it as an excuse for Money May to delay or prevent a megabout against Manny Pacquiao but, in my eyes, the explanation of adviser Laughing Lenny Ellerbe that the rematch proviso is merely an “insurance policy” is plausible.

In speaking to the LA Times and scribe Lance Pugmire, Ellerbe claimed that Mayweather did not even know about the rematch clause until after it was agreed to by the Mosley side. I can even buy that because maybe Mayweather' manager, Al Haymon, wanted Mosley's acquiesence on the matter before delivering it on a contractual plate to his fighter.

As Ellerbe pointed out, a rematch clause goes beyond a clean defeat and also covers a head butt, a disqualification loss and other extenuating circumstances which can crop up in big fights.

Now let me swtich over the Mosley camp where it seems to me both the fighter and his esteemed trainer, Naazim Richardson, are both acting a little bit out of their normal profiles.

I know it's just hype but Mosley never predicts fights, especially saying he will win by KO, so his appearance on the George Lopez Show struck me as a case of trying too hard.

Mayweather rarely loses a round, let alone a whole fight so how believable is it that Mosley can possibly win by KO or stoppage?

Which gets me to Brother Naazim.

On Tuesday's Trainers Conference Call, I asked him directly why he told Pugmire that if Mosley could sweep the first five rounds, Mayweather might contemplate quitting, at least mentally, knowing he can fall back on the rematch clause insurance policy.

I was stunned when Richardson said he never uttered those words and I checked by email with Pugmire. With the aura of integrity, The Times has and Pugmire's solid reputation, I could only think Richardson suffered from memory loss or did not want to repeat such an inflammatory supposition over the call.

Pugmire told me, and wrote in his follow up article today, that the trainer did say those very words to his face while they were up at Shane's Big Bear Lake training camp.

Is Richardson's collar getting tight with just 17 days to go? He got a big image boost when he caught Antonio Margarito and his trainer with the funky handwraps and he does a solid job handling Bernard Hopkins but a victory over the undefeated Mayweather would be a gigantic career boost for the tutor from Philadelphia.

Make no mistake, I'm not calling Richardson a liar. Sometimes the inner circle around the big stars get caught up in emotion, that I understand. Been there, done that.

Mosley usually seems like nothing can fluster his equanimity.

Maybe I'm only looking at tea leaves but the Mayweather camp is chilling while fighter and trainer in the opposite corner are showing signs of being extraordinairly uptight.

If Shane or Naazim or both remain uptight, then Mayweather's precious “O” isn't going anywhere.

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