This past Thursday afternoon the press tour for the upcoming Pacquiao-Mosley fight kicked off at the Beverly Hills Hotel. Both Manny Pacquiao and Shane Mosley rank among the top five active fighters in boxing when it comes to the respect they garner from a majority of today's boxing writers and fans. Throughout their careers Manny and Shane have met the best boxing had to offer in their respectful divisions, and even fought rematches against the fighters who defeated them or gave them their toughest and most difficult fights.

Matching Pacquiao 52-3-2 (38) and Mosley 46-6-1 (39) is a dream fight on paper. At one time had they fought as lightweights or welterweights it would've been a tossup or perhaps Mosley would've gone off as the betting favorite. And there's a strong case that can be made that justifies Mosley as being the best and most dangerous fighter Pacquiao will have ever shared a ring with. However, it's 2011 and Mosley is 39 crowding 40 years old, and Pacquiao is at or near his prime at 32. Oh, Pacquiao is a substantial favorite three months out from the fight, and for good reason. That being today Pacquiao can do everything better in the ring that a fighter can do over another, with the exception being Shane might hold the advantage in single shot power, again, that too may be a reach at this time.

Instead of the Pacquiao-Mosley announcement getting you pumped up for the fight, and it will be an exciting fight as long as it lasts, what it really does is serve as a reminder that this should've been the press tour kickoff for Pacquiao-Mayweather. That's the fight that all boxing fans are waiting to become a reality. Everyone who follows boxing knows that Mosley no longer posses the tools needed to beat Pacquiao. Shane is getting the fight because Mayweather doesn't want it. Mosley said as much at the press conference when he said, “if (Mayweather) wanted to fight him, he'd be fighting him.” For Mayweather, hiding behind the smoke screen that he's thrown up suggesting that Pacquiao is using steroids or some form of HGH, is viewed by most clear thinking fans as an excuse. In sports, especially combat sports, perception is reality. And it's looking more and more like Floyd believes that the risk/reward factor in regards to him fighting Pacquiao isn't worth it.

If $30 million dollars isn't sufficient reward for risking a loss (and since Floyd's near his prime and has never taken a beating, it's unlikely that, win or lose, he'd be facing serious physical damage), what would be? It's got to be one of the greatest risk/reward fights in history. Can he really be so vain that a decision loss means that much to him? Until he agrees to fight Pacquiao, one must conclude that he fears his legacy won't hold up historically when compared to boxing's greatest of the greats if he suffers a defeat in the signature fight of his career. And if that's the case, Floyd's the one who chose the money and low risk fights during the peak years of his career.

The only thing that could legitimately become a stumbling block and prevent the biggest fight of the last decade from being made are Mayweather's pending legal issues, felony coercion and misdemeanor battery pertaining to his ex-girlfriend. Assuming that Mayweather won't have to serve any jail time, and it's highly unlikely that he will, he must step up and fight Pacquiao next, provided Manny gets by Shane in May. The sand in the hourglass is almost through. Floyd has to cast aside his worry that if he loses to Pacquiao, he'll be more remembered for his single defeat than his 41 career victories. That would be better than being more remembered for his appearances on Wrestlemania and Dancing With the Stars as Mark Kriegel of wrote last week.

Just a couple years ago it seemed as if there was plenty of time to make Pacquiao-Mayweather, or if you will, Mayweather-Pacquiao. Then again, if fans were willing to pay to see Hopkins-Jones II 17 years after their first fight, then I guess there's still plenty of time left to work through the obstacles preventing Mayweather from signing the contract to face Pacquiao. The only problem is, Pacquiao is 32 and Mayweather will be 34 at the end of this month. Based on their age, they're both near the end of their prime. It's a rarity that boxing lucks out and gets to see two greats face each other at or near their prime. That's why when it does happen those fights are never forgotten. How many fights are held in the same historical reverence as Frazier-Ali I and Leonard-Hearns I?

In order for Pacquiao-Mayweather to be held in that regard years after they fight, it has to happen soon. If Mayweather can survive his upcoming court date and Pacquiao manages to get by Mosley this coming May, they must face each other in their next bout. If they wait beyond 2011, it'll be more remembered like Leonard-Hearns II then Duran-Leonard I.

Frank Lotierzo can be contacted at

Comment on this article


-Isaiah :

Like Mr. Shane Mosley (who has EARNED my respect) said, "If Floyd wanted to fight Pacquiao, he'd fight him." There are NO excuses why it hasn't happened. Mayweather has already admitted that he lied during the first talks back in late 2009 or so and even then Pacquiao agreed to the 14 day cutoff date. SHORTLY after Pacquiao agreed to ALL the random blood tests he could throw out. I'm tired of talking about it. Floyd's scared. End of story. Prove me wrong. For tens of millions of dollars, I sure would. Isn't it obvious folks? Floyd himself OBVIOUSLY thinks his so called legacy can't hold water if he's that scared of a potential loss. Pacquiao's LEGACY>>>>>>>>>>>>>>Mayweather's legacy. NUFF SAID. "I want uncalled for random Olympic style drug testing, but not year round like the Olympics do it, only if I get to twist it to my liking and then ignore it when the guy agrees to it or if the Commission says it's unsafe." Translation: My legacy is PATHETIC and if I lose, which I just might to the Pacman if we ever fought, I would lose.

-ultimoshogun :

I'm not gonna get into the argument over the PED's, blood testing or who's ducking who again...but over on Fighthype, there's an article stating that Floyd's been tweeting about Pacman and like the author states, that's a good least Floyd does have Pacman on his mind so maybe after his legal troubles are settled negotiations for the fight will resume and hopefully be made.

-MisterLee :

Sup F-lo writa'!!

-Radam G :

Money May is a historian of the game. He very well knows that he would be more remembered for getting kayoed by THC PacMan than for winning 41 bouts. That is just the way the crookie crumbles. James Jeffries is most remembered for losing to Jack Johnson than for retiring as the undisputed heavyweight champion of the world. Tommy Burns is more remembered for losing to an unforgivable black Jack Johnson, then for being the shortest person in height and the lightest one in weight to ever hold the world heavyweight title. Sonny Liston is remembered most for losing to Cassius Clay/Muhammad Ali and being called "The big, ugly bear," than for being one of the hardest punching fighters of all times. Look how everybody is remembering Long Tall Paul Williams right now. Go back to Jersey Joe Walcott. He is more remembered for getting kayoed by Rocky Marciano than winning bouts. Floyd Patterson is remembered for how many times that he was knocked down, instead of being the first to repeat as heavyweight champion of the world. Michael "Double M" -- Master of Misery" Moorer is most remembered from being kayoed by Rev. (Big) George Foreman than for being the second lightheavyweight titleholder to win the heavyweight title and the puglist who won both division and than regain another version of the heavyweight title. Money May ain't a fool, even though in the eight grade he dropped out of school. He doesn't want to drop out of the league of undefeated former title-belt holders. Holla!

-FighterforJC :

Mosley is going to be Pacquiao's most dangerous opponent yet, just like Mosley was Mayweather's most dangerous opponent at the time. The difference, however, is that Mosley is Pacquiao's biggest threat because of Mosley's style, while Mosley was Mayweather's biggest threat because Mayweather has been fighting chumps his whole life.

-Real Talk :

@ Radam G, that's because they didn't mount the All American comeback that we love so much. Pac could've been remembered for his loss to Eric Morrales, but he came back to avenge that loss an it's history. I just don't see Pac KOing May unless May stops sharpening his blade...or brushing up on his skills. That punch Mosley landed was from lack of good fundementals. I watch fight film all the time, Floyd's hands were by his waist in the pocket when Shane landed his biggest punch!!?? Unacceptible...Hopkins would agree, but did you see what happened after that? All good boxing, all smart boxing...a little cautious...but I can say that because I didn't eat that textbook hook on the temple. Mosley is dangerous all fight long...remember Ricardo Mayorga??? People criticize Floyd, people criticize me...people criticize Jesus LOL. I left the block alone because I had the bigger picture in mind an folks had negative comments about that. If Floyd fights Pac great, I would love to see a trilogy for the ages. Both fighters should see 120 to 150 million for getting it on 3 times. If not 1 is good enough for me. My Mama told me you'll never please everybody so don't kill yourself trying. I see Mosley laying the blueprint on how to deal with THIS Pac, then Floyd making it happen. I'd like to see Floyd fight Cotto first. Speaking of Cotto it seems like nobody wants to see Cotto, just making excuses like ...oh the last time they fought it was one sided. Well starve me down like a concentration camp and throw me in with P4P #1 and what do you expect? I'm going to play promoter an advisor and say Floyd should fight Cotto or Berto then Pacquiao. Dueces

-Radam G :

Whaddup Real Talk? Good to hear from ya. It's been a while. Anyway, Sugar Shane Mosley's blueprint for beating Da Manny is worthless. I've given the Sugarman a courtesy round seven of getting Pac-knocked out. But from what I've heard through the boxing grapevine and what I saw in a dream, the Sugarman is going down in round THREE! The ole, sneaky genie Naazim had SSM "swimming without gettin' wet" against Margarito. What da triple FUDGE! That was genie COLD. Having your fighter to dry whup a dude, lmfao! In the get down against Da Manny, in my dream, gene Naazim is going to have the snail-fast SSM leap frogging and trying to bang Da Manny with a overhand right to the noggin and a left hook to the torso. This jive will not work. Da Manny is not a princess, but a pugilist. He is going to counter kiss the leaping in frog not with da Pac-lips, but with da Pac-fists. Oh yea, Da Manny will be kissing da frog, but dat sucka won't be turning into a PRINCE. But he will turn into Sleeping Beauty. Out like a MUTHASUCKA in the third. Ya heard! Money May and Pops Joy May will be at ringside trembling and not wanting any part of THC PacMan. And I will be nearby laughing like a mutha. Maybe da Don will also be there gettin' his watch on. I hope that he is not on probation and cannot leave Da York. Holla!