MANILA, JANUARY 13, 2011 (STAR) By Abac Cordero - After a thorough review and probably some minor revisions, Manny Pacquiao has finally signed the fight contract.

[Photo is loading... Shane Mosley] - This makes Pacquiao’s May 7 encounter with Shane Mosley official, and now it’s time for the promoters, led by Bob Arum, to work on it, drum it up, make some noise and hope for the best.

“Yes, Manny has signed the contract,” someone close to the boxer said yesterday.

Pacquiao signed the contract last weekend, immediately upon his return from an extended two-week vacation that took him and his family to Boracay, then Japan and finally, Australia.

Arum, the chief of Top Rank Promotions, came to Manila last December and showed the fight contract to Pacquiao. But while he hoped it wouldn’t take long before things were done, it went otherwise.

Pacquiao’s adviser, Michael Koncz, said the 32-year-old fighting congressman was in no hurry to sign the contract, and wanted to take some time to look at it before putting his name on the dotted line.

“We’re not where we want to be. But it’s not too far,” said Koncz before Christmas, explaining why Pacquiao had to hold on to his decision to sign the fight contract.

Pacquiao’s chief-of-staff and legal counsel, Franklin Gacal, told The STAR the other day the reigning pound-for-pound champion stands to receive a guranteed purse of $15 million for the Mosley fight.

“No less than $15 million,” said the lawyer from General Santos City.

Of course, Pacquiao stands to earn more, a lot more, when everything else comes in, and if the pay-per-view sales breach the one million mark, his earnings for this May fight could reach $20 million.

Mosley is guaranteed $5 million for stepping up and facing Pacquiao, and reports said the 39-year-old pride of Pomona in California will get $5 for every pay-per-view sales exceeding 500,000 hits.

If successful, Mosley can earn as much as $8.5 million, which should surpass his biggest paycheck ever of $7 million, in his fight against Floyd Mayweather in May last year.

Arum and his bright men should be working on the dates by now.

A press tour is scheduled for February with stops in San Francisco, Los Angeles, New York and Washington, where the Filipino congressman may get the chance to meet President Obama.

“The President wants to meet Pacquiao,” said Arum, who is working on the rare opportunity with the help of Sen. Harry Reid, whom Pacquiao campaigned for in last year’s US elections.

Pacquiao has been nominated for the Laureus World Sportsman Award along with five others, and a quick stop in Abu Dhabi can be worked out in time for the awards night on Feb. 7.

The 2011 awards will take at the Emirates Palace in Abu Dhabi. It will be broadcast to a worldwide TV audience, and will provide a high profile, a very distinguished list of great sportsmen.

Just enough to drum up the coming fight, just in case Pacquiao emerges the winner.

Sugar too sweet for Pacman? By Joaquin Henson (The Philippine Star) Updated January 13, 2011 12:00 AM

MANILA, Philippines - Sugar Shane Mosley is expected to battle Manny Pacquiao the same way he outfought Oscar de la Hoya in their two meetings in 2000 and 2003. That means Mosley will try to be at his sweetest in making it difficult for Pacquiao to tag him when they face off in a 12-round WBO welterweight title bout at the MGM Grand Garden Arena in Las Vegas on May 7.

But at 39, can Mosley turn back the hands of time and stay clear of Pacquiao’s war zone? If Mosley plans to use his seven-inch reach advantage by striking from a distance, he’s got to be quick with his hands and feet. Mosley’s problem is he isn’t quite as fast as Pacquiao.

To be sure, Mosley’s speed was the telling factor in his wins over De la Hoya. “Mosley used the ring and moved back quite a bit as he slid side to side but he didn’t run,” wrote Ivan Goldman in KO Magazine. “He lay in wait like a cheetah. Mosley beat the Golden Boy at his own game, the game of speed.” Goldman said Mosley beat De la Hoya like Sugar Ray Robinson defeated Jake LaMotta in five of their six encounters from 1942 to 1951.

Over 20,000 fans packed the Staples Center to witness Mosley’s first victory over De la Hoya. Mosley did nearly everything to confound De la Hoya and even switched to southpaw briefly in the eighth round. He started strong and finished even stronger, outlanding De la Hoya by a 45-18 margin in the final round. Mosley won by a split decision but in the rematch, the verdict was unanimous.

It isn’t certain if Mosley got his nickname when he started fighting at eight years old because of his resemblance in style to Robinson or another legend Sugar Ray Leonard. But Mosley couldn’t care less which Sugar Ray he looked like. “I want to be remembered as one of the great Sugars,” he said. “You have Sugar Ray Robinson, Sugar Ray Leonard and now, Sugar Shane Mosley.”

In boxing history, a lot of fighters came to be known as “Sugar,” usually a moniker for those with a “sweet” style. The list includes Robinson, Leonard, former WBC superflyweight champion Sugar Baby Rojas of Colombia, former world featherweight titlist Ultiminio (Sugar) Ramos of Cuba, Aruba welterweight Sugar Boy Nando who fought in 114 bouts over 22 years up to 1970, 1972 Olympic lightwelterweight gold medalist Sugar Ray Seales of the Virgin Islands and English lightweight Sugar Free Somerville. Among Filipino fighters who used the nickname were Sugar Rey Mike who lost a 12-round decision to Hi Yong Choi in a WBA minimumweight title bout in 1991, former Philippine bantamweight champion Federico (Sugar) Bonus and superfeatherweight Sugar Cane Carreon.

Whether Mosley is the sweetest of them all is what he hopes to prove against Pacquiao.

Boxing analyst Larry Merchant said what makes Mosley difficult to beat is his ability to adjust during a fight – in other words, his intelligence. “Shane has a great intuitive feel of how to adjust to his opponent and it seems seamless because he has such a classic boxing style,” said Merchant. “He’s a really keen student of the game and can always put that into practice on the fly.”

Mosley is in the record books as the only fighter ever to beat De la Hoya twice. He started his career with 38 straight wins, 35 by KO. After capturing the IBF lightweight title in 1997, Mosley repulsed eight challengers in a row, all inside the distance. He went on to add the WBC welterweight and WBC lightmiddleweight belts to his collection.

Mosley has never been knocked out although he was floored twice by Vernon Forrest in losing a decision in 2002. Forrest used a vicious right uppercut to deck Mosley for the first time in his career. In a rematch six months later, Mosley did two things differently – he circled to his right, away from Forrest’s right hand, and tried to force the Viper to take the initiative instead of counterpunch. Forrest wasn’t bothered by the change in tactics and won another decision.

Chief News Editor: Sol Jose Vanzi

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