Shane Mosley to fight May 18

Former three-division champion "Sugar" Shane Mosley, who has been looking for a fight since deciding to end his brief retirement late last year, has found one.

Mosley will face welterweight contender Pablo Cesar Cano on May 18 (Fox Deportes) in Cancun, Mexico.

"I'm happy to get back in the ring competing," Mosley told ESPN.com on Wednesday. "This can put me back in contention to fight for another world title."

Mosley has not fought since losing a lopsided decision to junior middleweight titlist Saul "Canelo" Alvarez last May. A month later, Mosley announced his retirement.

He thought his first fight out of retirement would be challenging welterweight titlist Paulie Malignaggi for his version of the 147-pound title on April 27 in a Showtime main event at the Barclays Center in Brooklyn, N.Y. Mosley had agreed to terms in January, as did Malignaggi, but Malignaggi later changed his mind, leaving Mosley (46-8-1, 39 KOs) without a fight.

So now Mosley, 41, a former junior middleweight, welterweight and lightweight champion, will take on the 23-year-old Cano. In his last fight, Cano, of Mexico, dropped Malignaggi in the 11th round of their world title fight but Malignaggi hung on to win a heavily disputed split decision and retain his belt on Oct. 20 at the Barclays Center.

Cano (25-2-1, 19 KOs) was scheduled to face Manuel Perez of Denver on March 16 in his first fight since the loss, but Cano withdrew three days before the bout after being diagnosed with the flu. It worked out for Cano, who now has a much bigger fight.

"Cano's last fight fell out because he was sick, so now he needs an opponent for his next fight," Mosley said. "And I told everyone at Golden Boy that I am willing to fight anybody at 147. Anybody. My mind set is I am on a mission to win a world title again and do it with my father (Jack Mosley) in the corner."

Jack Mosley trained his son for most of his career, but they have had multiple breakups. This will be their first fight together since 2008.

"We think it's an interesting fight," Golden Boy Promotions chief executive Richard Schaefer said. "Televisa, which we have a (television) deal with in Mexico, likes the fight so they are excited about it and, of course, those fights are on Fox Deportes in the United States, so this gives them a fight with some good names also."

After Malignaggi-Mosley fell apart, Schaefer understandably was unable to sell a Mosley fight to Showtime or HBO because of Mosley's recent performances. He is 0-3-1 in his last four fights and has not performed well in any of the bouts, including in losses to Alvarez, Manny Pacquiao and Floyd Mayweather as well as a draw with Sergio Mora.

"HBO and Showtime felt that Shane should have a fight where he shows he's still got it and that such a fight should not be on a premium network," Schaefer said. "That was communicated to Shane. The message was conveyed and he took this fight with Cano.

"This is a fight that is going to show where Cano is and where Shane is. For Shane to fight Joe Shmoe wouldn't do anybody any good. But if Shane can beat a young, talented guy like Cano, it's a huge step for Shane, who can say, 'Hey, I'm still here and I want to have another shot at the title.' So this is a meaningful fight for Shane and also for Cano, because if he can beat Mosley that's a great name on his resume. So Cano will be motivated for that reason and Shane knows how important this is because it can open doors for him again if he wins."

Besides the controversial loss to Malignaggi, Cano's other defeat came against all-time great Erik Morales because of cuts in the 10th round in 2011. Mosley said he has watched that fight.

"I haven't seen his fight with Malignaggi yet. I'm going to get a copy of it," Mosley said. "But I watched the fight with Morales and I got a feel for how Cano fights. He looks like a good, young fighter. He likes to fight, he's tough and he's strong. I'm looking forward to fighting him. This is the type of fight I need to get myself back on the road to fighting the top guys at welterweight. At this point, I'm looking to fight everybody."

Mosley said he was inspired by watching Bernard Hopkins, his longtime friend, win a light-heavyweight world title on March 9 at age 48, breaking his own record for being the oldest fighter in boxing history to win a world title when he outpointed Tavoris Cloud.

"I was proud of him and I was inspired by the things he was doing at the age of 48," Mosley said. "He looked good doing it. He had the moves and the style matched up very well for him. For him to be able to do that at 48 is phenomenal. At the end of the fight it didn't look like he was breathing. He was smiling and talking -- he always talks -- and looked great. That really inspired me."

Mosley added that he has no issue with going to Mexico to face a Mexican opponent.

"I've never fought in Mexico, but I went there for the press conference for the fight with Canelo and I got a good response," Mosley said. "A lot of people there love me and respect me and I think it will be the same with this fight. Cancun is fine with me. After the fight maybe I'll take a little vacation there and enjoy myself after all the hard work I'm about to put in."