Welterweight champ Quintana could defend title against Mosley

Updated: February 12, 2008, 6:08 PM ET
By Dan Rafael | ESPN.com

While new welterweight titleholder Carlos Quintana, who pulled a major upset when he convincingly outpointed Paul Williams to win a belt last Saturday night, returned to Puerto Rico to a hero's welcome, promoter Lou DiBella began working on his first defense Tuesday.

It could come against former three-division champion Shane Mosley, DiBella told ESPN.com.

Mosley is planning to fight May 31 in Las Vegas on HBO PPV, but his opponent has not been solidified. Golden Boy Promotions CEO Richard Schaefer initially was in negotiations with Don King to match Mosley (44-5, 37 KOs) with former champ Ricardo Mayorga in a junior middleweight fight. When those discussions cooled last week, talks heated up with former undisputed welterweight champion Zab Judah, but no deal has been struck.

Now, Quintana (25-1, 19 KOs) is in the picture.

"I called Richard Schaefer in the last 24 hours and he indicated that it was very interesting and we would speak about it again," DiBella said. "We agreed it would be an interesting matchup of styles and an exciting fight. I ran the fight by Carlos and his trainer, Jose Bonilla, and they like the fight."

DiBella said it was a preliminary discussion but that he had a good feeling about it.

"I'm aware Richard has had discussions with Judah but there is no deal closed," DiBella said. "I've always had good dealings with Richard. There's nothing not to like about the fight. I'm sure Shane would love the opportunity to win another title. And Carlos relishes the chance to fight a star like Shane Mosley, which he is looking forward to doing. It's a hell of a fight. You have two guys who are boxers but both are capable of hurting the other guy."

There was a rematch clause in Williams' contract with Quintana, but it permits Quintana to take an interim bout before having to give him a rematch.

Quintana, who won by scores of 116-112, 116-112 and 115-113, was a heavy underdog against Williams, who was making his first defense. But Quintana consistently beat Williams to the punch, landed clean shots throughout the fight and opened cuts over both of his eyes to win the fight.

In his only previous title shot, Quintana, 31, had been stopped in five rounds by Miguel Cotto in December 2006 in a fight for a vacant title.

In his last bout in November, Mosley, 36, challenged Cotto for his version of the 147-pound crown but lost a tight decision in one of the most exciting fights of the year.

Schaefer was unavailable for comment.

Dan Rafael covers boxing for ESPN.com.

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