Shane Mosley is preparing for the second fight of his latest comeback as it was announced Wednesday that he'll face off with Patrick Lopez on Dec. 17 at Roberto Duran Arena in Panama City, Panama.
Hilmar Rojas of BoxingScene.com confirmed the details of the bout at the KO Drugs event, which is part of the 94th Convention of the World Boxing Association. He also passed along comments from the 44-year-old American about the bout:
I will fight for at the WBA Convention in honor of [WBA President] Mr. Gilberto Mendoza. He has been sick and I've always thought about him and his family. I spent a lot of time with him in Panama. So I told him I would be at Christmas with him and fight in his event KO Drugs. I'm fighting for my friend Gilberto. If I can raise his spirits, I'm happy to oblige. I'm ready to show the world that I'm still world class.
The WBA international welterweight title will be on the line in the match.
Mosley (48-9-1) made a comeback from his second retirement back in August with a convincing knockout victory over Ricardo Mayorga. He's struggled in recent outings, however, going 2-4-1 over his past seven fights since the start of 2010.
Lopez (23-5) is another veteran, 37, who is continuing to fight deep into his career. He won gold at the Pan American Games in 2003 before turning pro. He's fought mostly in the lower levels of the sport but did have a competitive clash with Josesito Lopez in 2009, losing by split decision.
The fight represents a chance for Mosley to make a statement about his current form as he looks to showcase some vintage power. On the flip side, a victory would mark one of the most notable triumphs of Lopez's professional career.
Although Mosley's results have fallen off in recent years, he was convinced there's still some pop left in his gloves ahead of his latest comeback. He told Dan Rafael of ESPN back in July that taking some time away from the sport helped revitalize him.
"I'm planning to show the world what (22 months) off did for me. They think I'm finished? I'm far from finished," Mosley said. "I am in the best shape of my life. I feel bad for Mayorga. No one knows how good I really am. I am going to kill him."
Mosley did look fresh against Mayorga, but that's far from the measuring stick it would have been during the Nicaraguan star's prime. And it will be difficult to yield much from a meeting with Lopez, who owns a middling career resume despite earning three straight victories.
Ultimately, this is a fight Mosley should be able to control. It's a major step up in the level of competition for his opponent, which should allow Sugar, a former three-weight world champion, to set the pace early.
That should pave the way for a result similar to the one against Mayorga: a middle-round knockout.