Shane Mosley has agreed to defend his World Boxing Council and World Boxing Assn. 154-pound titles against Ricardo Mayorga of Nicaragua on March 13 at a still-undetermined site, according to a boxing source.
The fight is contingent on Mayorga winning his match against Cory Spinks for the undisputed welterweight title Dec. 13 at Atlantic City, N.J. Mayorga, who holds the WBC and WBA 147-pound titles, would move up in weight to face Mosley.
Mayorga's stock in the boxing world soared when he beat Vernon Forrest twice last year. Mosley's stock tumbled when he lost to Forrest twice the year before.
In accepting the Mayorga fight, Mosley is turning his back for now on a more lucrative third fight against Oscar De La Hoya, whom he already has beaten twice.
De La Hoya, who lost by unanimous decision to Mosley in June, is planning to fight once in 2004, probably in November.
"If Shane wins against Mayorga," said Richard Schaefer, De La Hoya's business advisor, "it makes a third fight against Oscar bigger. If Shane loses, there could still be a third fight against Oscar. But a win by Mayorga would also create a possible new opponent for Oscar."
Despite his two victories over De La Hoya, Mosley found the financial conditions offered for a third fight similar to the first two. De La Hoya remains the drawing card, his handlers insisted, and must still get a much larger share of the purse.
Some in Mosley's camp advised him to take the fight, because he still figures to make twice as much against De La Hoya than against anybody else.
But Mosley, according to a source, held firm.
"What I would recommend for Shane," De La Hoya said last month, "would be to test his value by fighting someone else, like Mayorga."