Shane Mosley today is the intern trying to land a full-time gig, the freshman quarterback told to carry the senior starter's helmet, the student with failing grades and no extra credit work completed.
He has no leverage.
The fight everyone wants to see (Floyd Mayweather Jr.-Manny Pacquiao) isn't happening for now; the fight some wanted to see but not enough to warrant pay-per-view status (Mosley-Andre Berto) is off, the tragedy in Haiti having taken from Berto at least eight family members; and the fight Mosley has wanted for years (himself against Mayweather) is reportedly being made for early May.
If it happens and Mosley is finally able to face Mayweather in a ring at the MGM Grand for a reason other than acting desperate as he did after a Mayweather pummeling of Juan Manuel Marquez in September, the man who is an admitted steroid user needs to stand at the front of whatever drug testing protocol is agreed upon for the fight.
Mosley needs to reach above and beyond standard procedure.
Mayweather needs to push those limits.
Otherwise, why aren't we preparing to watch Mayweather-Pacquiao?
You don't reach the elite professional status of Mayweather without deflecting much daily criticism, and you can add the term hypocrite to the undefeated champion's file if he doesn't demand at least the same level of stringent blood testing of Mosley as he did Pacquiao.
He should actually demand much more.
I'll always believe Mayweather's insistence that Pacquiao agree to random blood testing was more gamesmanship than any confidence the Filipino champion would test positive for performance-enhancing drugs (he never has). I'll always contend the entire charade was about Mayweather trying to get into Pacquiao's head.
It worked, but not to the point Mayweather hoped, the megafight that could earn each man $40 million still more dream than reality today with no assurance it will ever happen.
But you can't stand on the soap box (one covered with HBO logos) and maintain someone you suspect of taking PEDs adhere to random testing and not do the same with a guy who in 2007 admitted to using them during his career, to taking designer steroids ''the clear'' and ''the cream,'' who was linked in the Bay Area Laboratory Co-operative scandal to blood oxygen-enhancer EPO.
Mosley cheated. He swears to this day he was misled by others, but that doesn't change the fact he was on the stuff.
Opportunity, then, exists for both fighters. Mayweather can strengthen his claims about wanting to prove his sport clean and that his requests of Pacquiao came from a sincere place by demanding Mosley agree to random blood tests right up until the fight.
Mosley couldn't question it. He couldn't publicly seek compromise. He couldn't do anything but champion such strict guidelines or risk appearing a known user with more to hide.
It's a great fight, one many have imagined for years. It's not near the compelling matchup Mayweather-Pacquiao would be, despite the spin already being dispensed. But his perfect record and five division titles has limited whom Mayweather (40-0, 25 knockouts) would even consider opposing, and thank goodness some of the names reported earlier weren't serious.
I'm not even sure Mayweather would need to work a day to beat Paulie Malignaggi or Matthew Hatton. He definitely wouldn't need a trainer, perhaps good news should Uncle Roger's legal case on felony battery charges not be decided.
But you figure Little Floyd could play a few hours at the tables, make it rain a little, bet some baseball games and then run up to the arena to easily beat some of the stiffs that have been proposed.
Not against Mosley (46-5, 39 KOs), a three-time division champion. Mosley could win the fight. I don't think he would. But it's possible.
It will be interesting to see how negotiations run given that Mosley is represented by Golden Boy Promotions and Mayweather has worked with the company to the point that it spoke for him when trying to make the Pacquiao deal, interesting to discover if Oscar De La Hoya is so quick to hold his fighter (Mosley) to the same Olympic-style random testing procedures he knocked Pacquiao for refusing. I won't hold my breath on that last part.
Interesting to see if Mayweather assumes just as tough a position, or perhaps an even tougher one when proposing the drug testing protocol to Mosley's camp as he did with Pacquiao and Top Rank.
Interesting to see if Mayweather really is concerned about the sport's reputation or if hypocrisy will define his actions.
Shane Mosley? He shouldn't have much of a say in any of it.
It happens when you have the leverage of an intern.
Las Vegas Review-Journal sports columnist Ed Graney can be reached at email@example.com or 702-383-4618. He also can be heard weeknights from 11 p.m. to 1 a.m. on "The Sports Scribes" on KDWN (720 AM) and www.kdwn.com.