*Manny Pacquiao, unable to get even a response from Floyd Mayweather Jr. gauging his interest in a fight, will instead defend his welterweight belt against former champion Shane Mosley on May 7 in a pay-per-view fight at the MGM Grand in Las Vegas.
“We came to a meeting of the minds,” Top Rank promoter Bob Arum told ESPN.com Tuesday night after a final meeting with Mosley and his adviser, James Prince, at the Top Rank offices in Las Vegas. “[Top Rank matchmaker] Bruce Trample says it’s a very difficult fight. I believe it will be an exciting fight. Shane knows how to fight and how to deal with the speed. Manny is in for a hellacious fight. I really believe styles make fights.”
Arum said the fight will take place at the welterweight limit of 147 pounds.
“I know that they think I’m an old man and that Manny is going to beat me. Let them think that,” said Mosley, a former lightweight, welterweight and junior middleweight champion. “I still have power and speed. They thought I was done before I knocked out [Antonio] Margarito, too. So they can think whatever they want. I know what I can do.”
For weeks, Arum has been laying the groundwork for the match, an unpopular one with hard-core fight fans because many consider the 39-year-old Mosley (46-6-1, 39 KOs) to be past his prime after going 0-1-1 in his last two bouts.
He was routed by Mayweather in May and fought to a desultory draw with Sergio Mora in a junior middleweight fight in September.
“I hurt Floyd in our fight, but he’s a great fighter and has great defense,” Mosley said. “What can I do about Mora? Do you really think that was a draw? Come on. I won that fight. He ran from me all night. But Pacquiao? Come on, man. I’m a bigger guy than him and he gets hit. And you saw how I hurt Floyd. Manny is going to come forward and I will hit him on the chin at some point. His defense is not like Floyd’s. Manny will come at me, and I will knock him out.”