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Wednesday, April 28, 2010


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Mayweather vs Mosley
By Ben Thompson | April 28, 2010

On January 24, 2009, Shane Mosley turned back the hands of time to produce one of the best performances of his career when he dominated and stopped the heavily-favored Antonio Margarito to once again become a welterweight champion. With another career-defining win under his belt, Mosley thought that he had finally positioned himself to get the big double-digit paydays that had eluded him for his entire career, despite holding not one, but two victories over the Golden Boy, Oscar De La Hoya. Although it looked as though the biggest names in the sport, Floyd Mayweather and Manny Pacquiao, were putting a fight with him on hold in favor of facing each other, ultimately, negotiations fell through and eventually Shane Mosley was finally awarded with the biggest fight of his career: a bout with undefeated pay-per-view cash cow Floyd Mayweather. Eager to prove that he's the best fighter of this era, Mosley quickly signed the contract after a brief period of negotiations. Although details of the contract were never revealed, Mosley's lawyer, Judd Burstein, described his purse as being "the biggest ever." The question is what exactly is "the biggest ever" purse for Mosley? According to a source who has knowledge of the contract, Mosley is set to make a gauranteed minimum purse of $6 million for his bout with Floyd Mayweather. "Yeah, he's gettin' $6 million," the source remarked.

Shane Mosley burst onto the pay-per-view scene nearly ten years ago when, on June 17, 2000, he defeated then WBC welterweight champion Oscar De La Hoya via split decision in a bout that, to this day, is still one of his best performances. Undefeated at the time, the victory earned Mosley a guaranteed minimum of $4.5 million and it appeared as though he was on his way to bigger and better purses. Subsequent back-to-back losses to Vernon Forrest, however, would prevent Mosley from seeing an increase in his earnings until a rematch with De La Hoya would again give him the opportunity to boost his take-home pay. Having already defeated De La Hoya in the first bout, Mosely naturally felt that he was worth more for the second bout. Initially, he stood firm on his demand for a minimum of $8 million after learning that De La Hoya was guaranteed $12 million. In the end, however, Mosley balked and settled for just $4.25 million when De La Hoya's promoter, Bob Arum at the time, called his bluff. Fortunately for Mosley though, he was once again victorious, winning a very close unanimous decision.

It looked as if Mosley's career was back on the path to bigger paydays, particularly when De La Hoya demanded an immediate rubbermatch after the controversial decision of their 2003 rematch. Mosley, however, would blow that opportunity when he turned down a $12 million offer for the third fight, standing firm on his belief that he should be paid more money than De La Hoya, who he now held two victories over. Although it would have been the biggest payday of his career, Mosley instead opted for a much smaller purse, a mere $2.5 million, against what turned out to be a much more difficult opponent in Winky Wright. Mosley would lose that fight, as well as the ensuing rematch, and quickly found himself back at the lower end of the pay scale.

Desperately trying to prevent his career, or more importantly his future earnings, from heading any further south, Mosley felt compelled to take an even smaller payday (less than $1 million if memory serves me correctly) against David Estrada on the undercard…yes…the undercard of an ESPN pay-per-view event headlined by Antonio Margarito vs. Kermit Cintron. After following that up with two TKO victories over Fernando Vargas and a successful performance against Luis Collazo, Mosley now found himself in a familiar position when he got an opportunity to face then undefeated WBA welterweight champion Miguel Cotto. A win could have vaulted Mosley back into the upper echelon of paid boxers, but it was not to be. In another extremely close fight, Mosley found himself on the losing end of a unanimous decision. Although it was a losing effort, it still earned him roughly $2 million and because the bout was close and competitive, Mosley's earning potential did not take that big of a hit. After a brief return to the jr. middleweight division to earn a hard-fought 12th round TKO victory over Ricardo Mayorga, as well as a $1.5 million payday, Mosley eventually found himself in line for another title shot, this time against Antonio Margarito, who had just captured the WBA welterweight title from Miguel Cotto.

Mosley was guaranteed a $2 million purse against Margarito, which was nearly a 50/50 split with the champion despite coming into the bout as the challenger. It was a testament to the fact that Mosley was still a major attraction, despite suffering some major setbacks throughout his career. Still, $2 million was a far cry from the $10-40 million that Oscar De La Hoya, the man that Mosley had already beaten twice, was enjoying throughout his career. In fact, by that time, Floyd Mayweather Jr. and Manny Pacquiao, two fighters who also earned victories over Oscar De La Hoya after Shane Mosley had already defeated him, were now both making upwards of $10 million for their bouts. In his bout with Margarito, a determined Mosley, perhaps frustrated with the lack of financial success he's had after defeating the Golden Boy twice, put on a devastating performance, chopping Margarito down over and over again with right hands en route to a 9th round stoppage. The performance left no doubt that Shane Mosley was still an elite welterweight and a force to be reckoned with. Sadly, it appears that it still wasn't enough to earn him anything close to parity when it comes to purse splits. Let's all hope that Mosley has some pretty good upside on the PPV buys so that figure will be a lot bigger when all is said and done.

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