Bob Arum: Shane Mosley-Manny Pacquiao 'Most Sellable Fight'
Pacquiao will put his WBO welterweight (147 pounds) belt on the line May 7. against Mosley in an HBO pay-per-view fight from the MGM Grand Hotel in Las Vegas.
Arum explained why the 39-year-old Mosley (46-6-1, 39 knockouts) was chosen to meet Pacquiao (52-3-2, 38 KOs), who is also the WBC junior middleweight (154 pounds) king, over 37-year-old WBO and WBA lightweight king Juan Manuel Marquez (51-5-1, 38 KOs) and 27-year-old WBC welterweight belt-holder Andre Berto (27-0, 21 KOs).
Mosley told FanHouse that his purse, up front, will be around $5 million against Pacquiao with escalators that will make it surpass the career-best of $7 million that he pocketed after May's unanimous decision loss to Floyd Mayweather (41-0, 25 KOs), who received a non-heavyweight record guarantee of $22.5 million.
Arum said that Golden Boy Promotions, on behalf of Marquez "overpriced" the Mexican, three-division champion. According to a source with knowledge of Marquez's demands, the Mexican, three-division champion had asked for a $5 million guarantee, while making $5 per pay-per-view buy above 500,000, for $8.5 million total if the fight generated 1.2 million buys.
FanHouse: Why was Shane Mosley chosen?
Bob Arum: We believe that Shane Mosley against Manny Pacquiao was the most sellable fight out there not only for boxing fans but also the casual sports fan. Those are the people that we rely on to buy the pay per view.
We know that they know who Shane Mosley is, and that they are familiar with Shane Mosley. We believe that most of the boxing fans want to see Manny Pacquiao fight a guy like Shane Mosley.
That's what all of our research was telling us, and therefore, that's why Shane Mosley was at the head of the pack right from the get-go.
Is there anything to the notion by some observers that Manny Pacquiao may be choosing Shane Mosley because of his perceived deteriorated skills and his age?
His age is his age, but Shane Mosley has been one of the finest fighters around. There's been a criticism [From Bernard Hopkins] that Manny Pacquiao hasn't fought an African American fighter.
Well, we picked out the best African American fighter around, Shane Mosley, to fight him. You know, the only advantage that Manny has is that maybe he's just better than all of these opponents.
Can you talk about why not each of the other two candidates, starting with Andre Berto?
Andre Berto is an excellent fighter. He's a very, very nice young man. But he hasn't had the exposure necessary to be in a major pay per view fight. That doesn't say anything about his ability as a fighter. That doesn't say anything about his character.
He's an excellent fighter, and he's a nice young man. But, other than the people who are really following boxing, they don't know who Andre Berto is, and he never has been in with an 'A' class opponent, even on a non-pay per view fight.
And what about Juan Manuel Marquez?
As far as Marquez is concerned, Marquez, you know, he had those two fights with Manny Pacquiao going for him. The two prior fights [a draw and a disputed split-decision loss] with Manny Pacquiao.
But one guy has become bigger from the standpoint, physically -- and that's Manny Pacquiao-- than the other guy. The other guy is a lightweight fighter, and Manny Pacquiao has grown into a welterweight.
We thought that when the dust cleared, that a third fight between them was going to be a relatively tough sell.
How much did the obviously strained relationship between Top Rank Promotions and Golden Boy Promotions factor into the negotiations, as well as the asking price of the purse demands of Juan Manuel Marquez?
Golden Boy, they agreed to step aside and to allow us to promote a third fight between Manny Pacquiao and Juan Manuel Marquez. They gave us the call on everything that we wanted. So that was not an obstacle.
But what was an obstacle was that they had priced themselves so high, that it was something that Manny became offended about. They were asking for more than double the money that they made when Marquez fought and lost to Floyd Mayweather.
I don't think that that was fair or that it was right, and Marquez, because of that, was a non-starter.
Have the promotional tour details been worked out?
We're going to do it during the first or the second week of February. We're going to do Los Angeles, New York, Washington, D.C., and San Francisco.
What else is there to add?
I think that we're putting together one of the best under cards ever in boxing. You're going to love the under card. We're going to try to lead the under card with what I believe was the Fight of the Year this year.
That's the rematch of [WBC lightweight champion] Humberto Soto and Urbano Antillon [won by Soto]. That's going to be unbelievable. And [Hall of Fame matchmaker] Bruce Trampler is working on some other fights.
But I won't mention them until further down the line.