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De La Hoya, Mosley Near a Rematch

Details still being worked out on bout that would take place in Las Vegas on Sept. 13 and be fought at 154 pounds.

December 17, 2002|Steve Springer | Times Staff Writer

A tentative agreement has been reached for Oscar De La Hoya and Shane Mosley to meet in a long-awaited rematch in Las Vegas, at either Mandalay Bay or MGM Grand on Sept. 13. Under terms of the contract, which will not be signed until both camps have gone over the details, De La Hoya will receive between $12 million and $15 million, and Mosley $4 million with additional money based on pay-per-view buys.

The agreement, which stipulates that the fight will be at 154 pounds, is also contingent on Mosley's defeating Raul Marquez on Feb. 8 at Mandalay Bay Events Center. That fight will be formally announced today. De La Hoya has no plans to fight in the interim.

"It's a done deal," said promoter Bob Arum of De La Hoya-Mosley II.

"In my book, a done deal is a signed deal," cautioned De La Hoya's business manager Richard Schaefer. "We went through this with Fernando Vargas [negotiations collapsed, then were revived]. But all that said, we are looking forward to signing a contract and, yes, I think this fight will happen."

Mosley won a split decision over De La Hoya in their first meeting in June 2000 at Staples Center. According to a source close to the negotiations, Staples Center officials have been unwilling to enter the expensive bidding for the rematch.

"They just haven't stepped to the plate," the source said.

Without signatures on the contracts, neither fighter was available for comment Monday.

"It's up to Shane. Whatever he wants to do, I'm always in his corner," said Mosley's father, Jack, who serves as his trainer. "He still has the speed and the agility and he continues to work hard. He has all the attributes which made him a champion."

The boxing landscape appeared to have changed drastically after Mosley's hand was raised in the Staples Center ring 2 1/2 years ago. De La Hoya's world seemed to have fallen apart. He had suffered his second defeat in as many years, having lost to Felix Trinidad in 1999. De La Hoya was bitter and depressed. He fired his trainer, Robert Alcazar, cut his legal ties with Arum and flirted with retirement.

Mosley, on the other hand, was still unbeaten and seemingly on top of the world. He fully expected to inherit De La Hoya's title as boxing's Golden Boy.

Instead, De La Hoya, after a nine-month break to try a singing career, got a new trainer in Floyd Mayweather Sr., got back into the ring, got married, eventually made up with Arum and is now coming off one of his biggest victories, a TKO of Vargas in September.

Mosley, on the hand, has lost his last two fights, both to Vernon Forrest, and will be moving up to 154 pounds for his next one.

De La Hoya had hoped to lure Trinidad -- who has retired -- back into the ring, but has given up hope on that option. At least for now.

"Maybe if Trinidad reads that we are about to sign with Mosley," Schaefer said, "he'll come out of the bushes."

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