Floyd Mayweather Jr. ended the dramatic pause before his signature Wednesday when he officially signed to fight Pomona's world welterweight champion Shane Mosley, Mosley's attorney told The Times.
The bout between two of the sport's top pound-for-pound fighters of the past decade-plus will occur May 1 at MGM Grand Garden Arena in Las Vegas. Mosley signed to fight Friday night, and authorities close to the bout had expected Mayweather to sign no later than Monday.
His delay caused some angst for the fight's promoter, Richard Schaefer, of Golden Boy Promotions, who watched Mayweather and Manny Pacquiao feud so heatedly over a pre-fight drug-testing plan that their planned March 13 bout was scrapped.
Mosley, who has admitted to using steroids and EPO before his 2003 victory over Oscar De La Hoya, has consented to allow pre-fight blood and urine tests all the way through fight night, as long as Mayweather undergoes the same test on the same day, Mosley's attorney Judd Burstein said.
The 32-year-old Mayweather (40-0, 25 knockouts) and 38-year-old Mosley (46-5, 39 KOs) have combined to win world titles in eight weight divisions.
-- Lance Pugmire BASEBALL
Verlander gets deal from Tigers
Justin Verlander and the Detroit Tigers have agreed to an $80-million, five-year contract, a person familiar with the negotiations told the Associated Press. Verlander won a career-high 19 games with a career-best 3.45 earned-run average last season. He is 65-43 with a 3.92 ERA in four seasons.
Former Angels pitcher Ramon Ortiz signed a minor league contract with the Dodgers that includes an invitation to spring training. Ortiz, 37, last pitched in the majors in 2007.
-- Dylan Hernandez ETC.
Blue Jackets fire Hitchcock
The Columbus Blue Jackets fired Coach Ken Hitchcock, less than a year after the club made the postseason for the first time. Assistant coach Claude Noel was chosen to lead the team on an interim basis.
General Manager Scott Howson announced the firing a day after the struggling Blue Jackets blew a 1-0 lead in a listless 5-1 loss at Colorado. Columbus stands 14th of the 15 teams in the Western Conference with a 22-27-9 record and 53 points.
Major League Soccer unveiled its 2010 regular-season schedule, and for the first time in the league's 15-year history, it conforms to the pattern set by Europe's leading leagues, with each of the 16 teams playing the other 15 teams once at home and once on the road in a 30-game schedule.
That should lead to an increase in attendance because fans will have only one opportunity of seeing each visiting team during the March 25-Oct. 24 regular season.
-- Grahame L. Jones
Australian Open finalist Justine Henin was given a wild card berth into the main draw of the BNP Paribas Open scheduled for March 8-21 at the Indian Wells Tennis Garden. Henin won the event in 2004.
-- Diane Pucin