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BOXING:

Mosley trying to finalize deal with Pacquiao

WBA welterweight champion says catch-weight fight could happen in October

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Associated Press

World Boxing Association welterweight champion Shane Mosley, left, said Wednesday that he’s in negotiations for a fall fight with pound-for-pound Manny Pacquiao, right.

East Silences West

After weeks of anticipation and hype, Manny Pacquiao quickly put an end to his junior welterweight match-up with Ricky Hatton with a KO of "The Hitman" at the end of the second round.

Beyond the Sun

The contracts have yet to be signed, but on paper there seems to be at least a little intrigue for a matchup this fall between two of the top fighters in the world.

World Boxing Association welterweight champion Shane Mosley 46-5-0 (39 KOs) said Wednesday that only a few obstacles stand between him and pound-for-pound king Manny Pacquiao 49-3-2 (37 KOs) securing a catch-weight bout for Oct. 17.

“Now that Manny has stated that he is ready to fight me, the only thing left to finish are negotiations," Mosley said in a released statement on Wednesday.

"(Promoters) Richard Schaefer and Bob Arum are working out the details now. I will be ready to fight Pacquiao on October 17."

While Mosley’s camp was quick to spread the news that the Filipino superstar reportedly told GMA News on Wednesday that he would be willing to fight the 37-year-old Mosley ("No problem. We can fight. As long as we negotiate," Pacquiao said.), Pacquiao’s promoter, Bob Arum, told the Los Angeles Times such talk was premature.

"This has absolutely no credibility to it. Manny hasn't decided who he's going to fight," Arum said. "It could be Mosley, or it could be (Miguel) Cotto, (Floyd) Mayweather Jr., (Juan Manuel) Marquez or (Edwin) Valero. They're all in the mix."

"I've also heard from Manny's people that he wants to wait and see the Mayweather-Marquez fight (on July 18) before he agrees to anything,” continued Arum, who told the Times he was contacted by Mosley's promoter, Richard Schaefer, Wednesday about a possible deal.

“That would mean we won't be ready until November. All that he's said is that he's willing to fight Mosley. But he still has to explore the best deal.”

For most boxing fans the biggest fight looming would be a showdown between undefeated Floyd Mayweather Jr. 39-0 (25 KOs), and the reigning fighter of the year, Pacquiao.

First, Mayweather would have to get past Marquez in July. Pacquiao, who is filming a movie this summer in his native Philippines, could then decide to set up a multi-million dollar megafight with “Pretty Boy” Floyd.

But “Pac-Man” trainer Freddie Roach said after his second-round knockout of Ricky Hatton last month that he doesn’t want the IBO and Ring Magazine World Light Welterweight champ to be away from the ring for too long.

"As a fan, I'd like to see him fight Mosley," Roach said at the time. “The Mayweather fight may not happen because we don't want to wait for him. Mosley is more dangerous, they both like to fight and his power is dangerous. But Manny is the best, anyone in the world, he can beat all of them."

Mosley, who on Wednesday won a fight outside the ring when a New York State Supreme Court judge upheld his defamation case against BALCO steroid head Victor Conte, said he would be willing to fight somewhere between 140 and 147 pounds and offer a 60-40 split of the purse favoring Pacquaio, who has won 10 straight fights.

"I like to put my skills to the test, I started with Antonio Margarito and now if I had the chance to fight Pacquiao that would be great," Mosley said at the media conference after Pacquiao’s dominant victory at the MGM Grand.

"I tell him in person, let's do it at 147. You want the welterweight title, let's do it and see what happens."

Andy Samuelson can be reached at [email protected] or 702-948-7837.

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