Berto withdrawal could lead to Floyd-Mosley

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The disaster in Haiti forced Andre Berto to withdraw from his Jan. 30 welterweight title bout in Las Vegas with Shane Mosley, making a bout between Mosley and unbeaten Floyd Mayweather Jr. more likely.

Berto's family is from Haiti and he lost several relatives in the Jan. 12 earthquake. His sister and niece survived, but are homeless, and Berto finally decided he couldn't concentrate on the fight with everything that is going on in Haiti.

That forced cancelation of Golden Boy Promotions' Jan. 30 card at Mandalay Bay, but it may mean that a Mayweather-Mosley fight happens sometime in the first part of the year.

"Shane Mosley obviously always wants to be in big fights," said Richard Schaefer, the CEO of Golden Boy Promotions. "What we are going to try to see is if we can pursue a fight with Floyd Mayweather. I had some talks [with Mayweather's representatives] and we'll see how that goes. What I'm going to be doing in the next 24 hours is to work nonstop to see if we can put that fight together.

"In boxing, you have three truly super mega fights [that can be made] and this is one of them. This is one of those fights that boxing fans and sports fans, and the general public, have been looking forward to for many years. If we can pull that off and have Shane Mosley and Floyd Mayweather fight each other, I would been extremely happy and extremely pleased for all the fans out there."

The fight is unlikely to be on March 13, which Golden Boy had been holding for a Mayweather bout. Manny Pacquiao and Joshua Clottey will fight on that date in a Top Rank show at Cowboys Stadium in Dallas.

Golden Boy has an April 17 pay-per-view planned between Roy Jones Jr. and Bernard Hopkins and is holding May 1 at the MGM Grand in Las Vegas for a card featuring Juan Manuel Marquez.

That would be a logical landing spot for a Mayweather-Mosley bout, if a deal can be made, though Schaefer was in the early stages of talks and couldn't commit. He said he was going to meet with his staff to see when it would work best.

"I'm going to sit down with our marketing people, and our sponsors, as well, and determine what the right time frame would be to properly promote and activate that fight," Schaefer said. "On the surface, with March 13 just around the corner, I don't think that would be the right thing to do. If you're going with a super mega fight like that to go against Pacquiao-Clottey. I think that would be totally wrong and I would not want to do that."

Schaefer said "I have my work cut out for me in the next 24 hours" as he tries to finalize an agreement for a Mayweather-Mosley fight and then attempts to find a date.

He was sympathetic to Berto and said there would be an opportunity for him to fight Mosley either later in the year or sometime next year.

He concurred with Berto's decision to withdraw, saying "Family clearly must come first." Berto, 26, represented Haiti in the 2004 Olympics. He was a favorite to make the U.S. Olympic Team, but lost his opportunity in the Olympic Trials when he was disqualified. Because he his parents were born in Haiti, he was eligible to try out for its Olympic team and qualified. He lost in the first round, however.

He's developed into one of boxing's best young fighters since turning pro, but had not been able to concentrate on his preparations for the most important bout of his career since the Jan. 12 tragedy in Haiti.

"Since the 7.0 earthquake struck Haiti on Tuesday evening, I have been focusing on my family and the Haitian people who are facing an inconceivable battle for survival while still trying to continue to prepare for an opportunity I have dreamt of since childhood," Berto said in a statement. "I lost several family members to the earthquake and after two days without word, was relieved to learn that my sister, Naomi and her daughter, Jessica, survived, but were left homeless. I have seen the pain in my parents' eyes as they attempt to understand what has happened to our homeland and recognize a place they once called home.

"As a result of this disaster, I am mentally and physically exhausted and therefore I have no choice but to withdraw from my bout on January 30."