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BOXING

After Floyd Mayweather's win, boxing's Super Bowl awaits the second participant

Will the future mega-match be Mayweather versus Manny Pacquiao, or Mayweather versus Shane Mosley? The boxers, promoters -- and money -- will decide.

September 21, 2009|Lance Pugmire

LAS VEGAS — Boxing's Super Bowl is halfway home now that Floyd Mayweather Jr. so thoroughly dismissed the lighter Juan Manuel Marquez by unanimous decision Saturday.

The participants in the future mega-match, however, remain a work in progress.

HBO Sports President Ross Greenburg says "there's an anticipation that [Mayweather] will fight the [Manny] Pacquiao-[Miguel] Cotto winner," a fight that comes Nov. 14.

But Pomona's welterweight world champion Shane Mosley tried to demand that Mayweather instead consider him for his next fight, barging into the ring as Mayweather (40-0) celebrated his overwhelming triumph Saturday night with HBO cameras rolling.

"I told him, 'Let's get it on, let's fight,' " Mosley told The Times afterward in the MGM Grand Garden Arena. "It showed in his eyes he was scared. It's what I've been saying for years."

Mosley's promoter, Richard Schaefer, said he'll talk soon with Mayweather's manager and advisor to see whether he can make "the fight everyone wants to see: Shane and Mayweather, the great American showdown."

That's a dig, of course, at the bout Greenburg and most every other boxing fan clamors for: Mayweather-Pacquiao, Pacquiao being from the Philippines.

Mayweather, however, was not too pleased with Mosley's stunt, calling it "desperate" and "disrespectful, to interrupt my interview. That was my fight, my moment to shine. And he ruined it."

Mayweather dominated Marquez to the tune of 290-69 punches landed in a bout that marked his comeback from a 21-month layoff and temporary retirement. His defensive skills showed no rust.

The fight didn't sell out -- 13,116 were in the arena that packed in 16,000-plus when Pacquiao knocked out Ricky Hatton in May -- but Schaefer and Team Mayweather are touting that pay-per-view sales will exceed 1 million and stand above Pacquiao-Hatton and Pacquiao-Cotto as the most popular boxing pay-telecast of the year.

"Floyd will have all the leverage if that's the number," Schaefer said. "Love him or hate him, he's the biggest name in the sport, and the biggest revenue stream doesn't come from the Philippines. The U.S. is the capital of boxing, and Floyd Mayweather is the president of the capital."

That's the kind of talk that worries Pacquiao's trainer and close advisor, Freddie Roach.

"It seems like there's a lot of things working against this fight ever happening," Roach said. "It makes sense. It'd be a great fight, but it seems there's a lot of distractions around it.

"I don't think it's going to happen."

Deflating words.

However, the lead matchmaker and veteran negotiator of Pacquiao's Top Rank promotional company, Bruce Trampler, is like many others associated with the process, including Mayweather advisor Leonard Ellerbe and promoter Oscar De La Hoya, who acknowledge that the most attractive, financially lucrative future bout is Mayweather-Pacquiao.

Mayweather split with Top Rank a few years ago, and has verbally sparred -- often intensely -- with promoter Bob Arum since, but Trampler extended an olive branch.

"There's no past grudges. . . . We'll sit down and bygones will be bygones," Trampler said. "It doesn't cost a thing to listen, and if there's a calm meeting of the minds, the match will be made."

As long as Pacquiao can beat Cotto on Nov. 14 in Las Vegas.

And as long as things remain calm. Ellerbe basically threatened that he won't accept a 50-50 purse split "if the [pay-per-view] numbers come back in our favor." Schaefer said if Arum "says 50-50 is fair, it probably isn't."

But Trampler warned, "If Floyd comes in here with that, 'I'm 'Money' Mayweather' thing -- and it seems with his recent utterances on this issue that he's trying to dictate terms -- then I've got news for him: There's no way Manny's only going to take half."

With a few months until the Pacquiao-Cotto bout, there's time for the divide to be closed.

Yet, Trampler describes the challenge of making boxing's Super Bowl with this:

"It's like a baseball team trying to sign a big Scott Boras client: It's not going to be easy."

--

lance.pugmire@latimes.com

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