On Monday night a deal was reached to make the rematch between Oscar De La Hoya and Shane Mosley. This after a phony deadline had been set for February 8th for Mosley to accept the financial terms being offered to him.
It seemed that despite the fact that Mosley was on a three fight non-winning streak( two losses to Vernon Forrest and a no-decision to Raul Marquez), he was more than a bit insulted that he was actually being offered less for the rematch versus 'the Golden Boy' than for the first time out in June of 2000.
Mosley, was offered a sum of $4.25 million for a second go around while he made $4.5 million for the first bout. Mosley thought, incorrectly, that just because he beat De La Hoya the first time that he should be on equal terms with him financially for the rematch. He was so insulted by the offer, he called it 'chump change' on national TV. Again, it was a classic case of a fighter not realizing that there is a huge difference between ability and marketability. And oftentimes those two things have nothing to do with just how much a fighter is worth in the marketplace.
The sad reality is for Mosley was that after his watershed victory over De La Hoya, he would come back with a knockout win over Antonio Diaz at the Theater in Madison Square Garden in front of about 4,000 folks, then he would blast out Shannon Taylor in a small ballroom at the Caesers Palace in Las Vegas that held about 2,000 and then his next bout against Adrian Stone( which turned out to be his last win) was held at an outdoor pavilion that had a capacity of around 4,500.
He wasn't exactly packing them in I'd say.
He became so disgruntled with what he thought was the sub-standard promoting job of Cedric Kushner that he hired the firm of IMG to help market and promoter his career. There was one snag though- he would lose convincingly to Forrest in his next two bouts- and suddenly his marketability, which was questionable when he was undefeated and rolling, plummeted even further.
For the bout against Marquez he would earn an astonishing $1.8 million, a classic case of HBO again, bidding against itself, which was done to ensure that Mosley would be showcased properly before a rematch with Oscar. A rematch was to have been agreed to and signed. But there was discontent even at that point as Mosley made it very clear that he felt he deserved at least eight million bucks for a rematch since he had already defeated De La Hoya. He even questioned the intentions of IMG, who's chairman Barry Frank is long time pals with Arum.
Quickly, the 'deadline' was passed and Arum talked openly of negotiating with the likes of Fernando Vargas and even the retired Felix Trinidad to engage in second bouts with his fighter. Which made great financial sense to Arum, since both of those fights figured to do much better business the second time around than a rematch with Mosley. The first encounter between the Mosley and De La Hoya generated around 600,000 buys. Contrast that to the numbers of De La Hoya-Trinidad( 1.2 million buys) and De La Hoya-Vargas( 900,000 subscribers) and you can see why Arum was so willing to go elsewhere. And here's the kicker, Mosley is still probably the toughest and most difficult fight for De La Hoya at this point. Mosley was giving Arum an opportunity to slip through a backdoor and make a deal for a more lucrative- and easier- fight.
Mosley simply didn't have much leverage. Industry sources forecast that a Mosley bout against Winky Wright would bring him no more than two million dollars at the most. He simply had nowhere else to go but back to De La Hoya for 'chump change'. But he did have a few things go his way. First, while Arum talked of making another bout with Vargas in Novemeber, the Main Event brass which promotes him, made it very clear that they would not be rushing Vargas in to another big fight for awhile. And Trinidad has seemingly convinced everyone that he is indeed, retired, for all intents and purposes.
Still, Mosley was steadfast in his refusal to make a deal. And sources say that Arum was even considering making a pay-per-view match with the relatively unknown Antonio Margarito for September. Arum's thinking being very simple: Oscar sells regardless and if you put him in there with another Mexican, even better.
But to the credit of De La Hoya, he took some bold steps to make this rematch a reality. First, he personally called Mosley and offered a wager that if he should be defeated by him for the second time he would give him a half-million out of his own purse. And if he should lose, he settles for that measley $4.25 million. Then there were reports that HBO was willing to throw in another quarter-million to make sure that Mosley was at least guaranteed the same amount he was for the first time. Then with the aid of noted boxing attorney Judd Burnstein, he would negotiate a lower landmark for Mosley to get pay-per-view upside( from 700,000 to 600,000) and other guarantees of appearances( with guaranteed minimums) on HBO in the future, win, lose or draw.
It was a great deal, especially for a fighter who is not only in need of a big fight, but a win period. It's been nearly two years since he has posted a W on his ledger. And you know what, fundamentally, it's the exact same deal he was offered back a few months ago. Think about it, if he were to win, he's at least as big as he was before he entered the Forrest and in line for more lucrative fights, and if he loses, well, HBO was still going to put him in fights anyway, most likely. The only thing that was really guaranteed to him was the extra $250,000 to his purse.
They sure went a long way, to get exactly where they were to begin with. Let's hope September 13th is as interesting and has as many ebbs and flows as the negotiations leading into the fight.