It's recently been reported by a few California on-line newspaper publications that Golden Boy Promotions and Lou DiBella are going to announce that WBA welterweight champ Shane Mosley will meet WBC title holder Andre Berto on January 30th of 2010.
It sure seems that since using up the 10-15 dates Lou DiBella was given by HBO when he left to start "DiBella Entertainment," Lou has been in the role of the junior promoter lately. One thing boxing fans aren't aware of is just how hard it is for secondary promoters to get television dates. Which translates into certain fighters having the unwritten edge and that's how it affects the fans; we have evidence of the cause and effect most recently in the Diaz-Malignaggi bout.
Wow - The WBA champ fighting the WBC champ, is it suddenly the 80s again? In a statement by Golden Boy CEO Richard Schaefer, he implied that the winner of Mosley-Berto will strengthen their case and be considered among the upper-echelon of the pound-for-pound list. In others words the winner will have bragging rights to lobby for a fight with the Pacquiao-Cotto winner or Floyd Mayweather.
Mosley-Berto is an interesting fight from a fan’s perspective and it's also the biggest and best fight that can be realized for both Shane and Andre at this time. Let’s face it, Berto has nowhere else to go. There's no money or status for Mayweather to gain by fighting him, and with Pacquiao and Cotto already scheduled for November 14th, who's left? As far as Mosley, everybody knows that Mayweather really doesn't want to fight him and for reasons that make perfect sense. Not only could he be convincingly beaten by Mosley, (if he's still the fighter who knocked out Margarito in January) but it wouldn't be the superfight that he's in line for against the Pacquiao-Cotto winner. Regardless of who wins between them, Mayweather matches up better with both Manny and Miguel than he does Shane.
By virtue of process of elimination Mosley-Berto is the right fight for both.
For Berto, Mosley should represent his coming out party and arrival. Andre hasn't fought anyone of Mosley's caliber since turning pro five years ago. He also hasn't been impressive in any particular fight and in some boxing circles he's perceived to be more hype than he is a world beater. At age 26 it's the right time for Berto to step up in class and take on the 38 year old Mosley. Shane looked terrific in his last fight against Margarito, but it's also possible that he could have a slight letdown after doing everything he could in trying to land a fight with Pacquiao and Mayweather and instead is fighting Berto. Mosley is not beyond looking past certain fighters and sometimes his confidence and toughness have led to him not always fighting the smartest fight he should and in turn some fights that should've been easy ended up being more of a struggle.
Mosley like Berto didn't have many options and by the time the fight rolls around Shane will have been out of the ring for over a year. At age 38 the rest may be good for his body and it's been reported that he's stayed in shape since he last fought, but nothing keeps a fighter sharp and rust-free like fighting does. Mosley can't continue to just hang around and challenge Pacquiao to fight at ridiculous catch-weights nor can he hope to embarrass Mayweather into fighting him. By fighting Berto he can pick up another title belt if he wins and further establish himself as the top fighter in the welterweight division.
The only shot Mosley has to land the big money fight he's been clamoring for is to take the right fights over the next year and not lose. In reality Mosley could be more than a year away from getting a shot at the Pacquiao-Cotto winner or Mayweather, which isn't a given. And that's because it's all contingent on 1) - a fight between Mayweather and the Pacquiao/Cotto winner can be made, and 2)- the winner of that fight is willing to fight Mosley.
Until then Mosley has to keep busy and remain in front of the boxing public. Fighting Andre Berto does that for him. Along with that he has a chance to pick up another title and gain more of a stranglehold on the welterweight division, not to mention beating a young undefeated fighter the likes of Berto will reinforce the thought that he's still the fighter to beat at 147. Obviously, there will be those who say that who ever comes out on top among the Pacquiao, Cotto, Mayweather trio is the top pound-for-pound fighter in boxing. However, that's a very subjective and mythical title.
If Mosley takes care of Berto and looks good doing it, he'll have the right to reply that the best pound-for-pound fighter in boxing who's in his division can't even claim they're the best welterweight in the world let alone the best fighter in boxing.
And if by chance Berto upsets Mosley, he'll be injected into the mix. And it's not likely that whoever survives the round robin of the Pacquiao/Cotto/Mayweather trio will have any trepidation in regards to fighting Berto, translating into Berto possibly parlaying a win over Mosley into a huge money fight.
Mosley-Berto is a smart fight for all parties involved and it has the potential to be an interesting one too. Berto will no doubt press Mosley and try to force the fight. And Mosley is at his best fighting as the counter-puncher. In addition to that this will be Mosley's second fight with new trainer Naazim Richardson.
Naazim did a great job prepping Mosley on how to box Margarito the first time they worked together. Mosley never learned to hold and tie up bigger and stronger opponents like Margarito, yet under the tutelage of Richardson he did it perfectly, and that had a lot to do with how good Mosley looked in the fight.
Frank Lotierzo can be contacted at GlovedFist@Gmail.com