HBO ups ante for Margarito to resurrect Mosley fight

Updated: November 24, 2008, 11:28 PM ET
By Dan Rafael | ESPN.com

A week after the fight was left for dead, the Antonio Margarito-Shane Mosley welterweight title match was resurrected on Monday.

"It's back together. Everybody got satisfied. Everybody was sensible," Top Rank's Bob Arum, Margarito's promoter, told ESPN.com. "We adjusted the purses as far as HBO putting more money in and it got solved."

They'll meet Jan. 24 at Mandalay Bay in Las Vegas, Arum said.

"The fight is done," said Richard Schaefer, CEO of Mosley promoter Golden Boy. "I think it's fantastic to end 2008 with a bang with Oscar De La Hoya against Manny Pacquiao [on Dec. 6] and then for Golden Boy and Top Rank to start 2009 with a bang with Margarito-Mosley. It's a fight that fans want. Now, it's a fight the fans will get. It's exciting."

Margarito, who stopped Miguel Cotto in a tremendous action fight to win the belt July 26, had been dissatisfied with his $2 million purse guarantee and that he'd be splitting the pot 50-50 with Mosley despite being the titleholder and a bigger attraction. Unhappy with the deal, Margarito turned down the fight last week after Mosley, Golden Boy, Top Rank and HBO thought they had a deal.

The deal originally worked out between Top Rank and Golden Boy will remain the same but HBO came up with additional money that will be paid directly to Top Rank and Margarito. The amount was not disclosed, but it was enough to satisfy Margarito.

"Let's just say that the gap has been overcome," Arum said. "We're fine with everything. We're happy we can do the fight. It's a good fight for HBO and good for the fans to get a fight like that without having to dig into their pockets [to buy it on pay-per-view]. I think it's a win-win situation."

After Margarito initially rejected the fight last week, HBO attempted to make a match between welterweight titlist Andre Berto and Mosley. However, when that fight hit some snags, HBO's Kery Davis revisited the Margarito fight and spent much of his time in Las Vegas at last week's Ricky Hatton-Paulie Malignaggi bout working things out with Top Rank president Todd duBoef while Arum was out of the country on vacation.

In fact, it was during Hatton-Malignaggi that Davis and duBoef came to an agreement via e-mail. On Monday, the fight was finalized when Golden Boy and Mosley signed off on the deal, Schaefer told ESPN.com.

"The fighters deserve a lot of credit for taking the fight, but HBO deserves a tremendous amount of credit. Kery Davis deserves a tremendous amount of credit for keeping at it," Schaefer said. "Everyone is always pounding on HBO but they really stepped up and found a way to get it done. Fans should thank HBO for getting it done."

Margarito-Mosley will officially be announced Dec. 6 at a news conference in Las Vegas on the morning of De La Hoya-Pacquiao, Schaefer said.

Arum said that regardless of whether Margarito wins or loses, he would still move forward with a summer rematch with Cotto.

Dan Rafael covers boxing for ESPN.com.

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