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Mosley vs. Berto on January 30: Signs that Mosley has the inside track on a fight with Mayweather?

Will Mayweather vs. Pacquiao be placed on the backburner?

According to Golden Boy Promotions CEO Richard Schaefer, in an article written by Robert Morales at Boxingscene.com, welterweight champion Shane Mosley, who turned 38 on September 7, is close to finalizing a deal for a title unification contest against WBC welterweight titlist Andre Berto at the Mandalay Bay on January 30.

Promoter Lou DiBella, who represents Berto, also declared that a formal announcement is close to being made in the near future. Originally there were tentative discussions of Mosley facing former IBF welterweight champion Joshua Clottey on December 26, but that fight went up in smoke.

Considering the three fight dates that HBO has granted Mosley in the year 2010, Mosley will be more active inside the ring next year. Furthermore, Mosley will be presented with the kinds of opportunities that evaded him in 2009 to make the fights that fans and experts alike wish to see happen. Mosley vs. Berto is an attractive prelude to that objective; a crossroads fight that pits a seasoned multi-division champion against a young but relatively inexperienced athletic pugilist who is eager to prove his own worth.

Floyd Mayweather Jr, coming off his unanimous decision win over Juan Manuel Marquez, would also like to remain active in 2010, but with Mosley potentially fighting Berto and Pacquiao vs. Cotto having yet to happen, who might Mayweather's dance partner be in his next fight?

How about pound for pound king Manny Pacquiao? The pride of the Philippines still has a fight coming up against WBO welterweight champion Miguel Cotto on November 14. Should that fight live up to expectations or even exceed them, there is a distinct possibility that fans could be privileged to a rematch early in 2010. A rematch between Pacquiao and Cotto is an easier fight for Top Rank promoter Bob Arum to make, given the fact that both Cotto and Pacquiao fight for Top Rank, rather than matching either one of them against Mayweather.

On the other hand, Mosley is the easier fight for Mayweather to make, given his solid business relationship with Mosley's representatives at Golden Boy Promotions. The negotiation process for Team Mayweather would not be nearly as disputed or hotly contested with Mosley as it would be with the vastly more popular Pacquiao, who has his own respective fan base and enjoys the fruits of his own revenue generating abilities. Pacquiao, who is promoted by Arum, believes he deserves the lions share of money against Mayweather.

As many of you are probably aware of by now, Mayweather objects to the notion of taking the shorter monetary end of any purse split and was successful in exhibiting his sustained marketing power in his fight against Marquez a couple weeks ago. Mayweather and Arum have been feuding for years, as a result of Mayweather's claims that Arum failed to promote him into the lights out super star that he always felt he deserved to be when he was still fighting for Arum. Therefore it would be an understatement to suggest that the negotiations, let alone the finalization, of a Mayweather vs. Pacquiao super fight are unforeseeable in the immediate future.

Schaefer was adament in his proclamation that Mayweather will once again be forced to face fighters in his own weight class, which happens to be the welterweight division, as he was quoted in saying, "I personally think a Shane Mosley-Floyd Mayweather fight would be huge.  I could see Mayweather fighting Mosley next, or I can see Mayweather fighting Pacquiao sometime early next year, and then the winner of that fight, who would they want to fight? Who is the biggest name out there? I would have to say it is Shane Mosley, if he beats Berto."

Schaefer's intentions behind HBO's three fight schedule for Mosley in 2010 would likely include the match against Berto in January, one more fight which would probably be a tune-up on HBO at some point in the spring, and inevitably big showdown on PPV in the fall, which would seem to be Mayweather.

Defeating the younger, undefeated Berto would serve as some what of a feather in the welterweight king's cap, proving that Mosley's best days are not yet behind him and also generating some interest in a super fight with Mayweather later in the year depending on how impressive Mosley's performance is against Berto.

Should Cotto manage to pull off the upset over Pacquiao next month, and Mayweather shows a reluctance to face Mosley, how about Mosley vs. Cotto II? Their first fight back in November of 2007 was quite a memorable battle. There are a number of options for big fights in 2010, as this reporter is looking forward to seeing how exactly the following year is going to unfold!

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